Prevention through nutrition may be one of the only ways to combat the prevalence of cancer we see in our society. Combine the Standard American Diet (SAD) with stress, environmental toxicty and other daily adventures and you’re sitting in a mine field. Eating right may help on more levels than you think. Know this: CANCER CANNOT THRIVE IN AN ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT. What kind of environment are you living in? Chances are, if you are eating SAD, it’s ACID, not ALKALINE. Now, I know I have mentioned acid vs alkaline before, so this may sound repetitive, but repetition is the only way things stick, so live it, learn it and love it.
I recently lost my grandmother to a long time battle with colon cancer. Colon cancer thrives on the cells located in the large intestine. It causes intestinal blockages, and a great deal of pain. Now, my grandmother was quite an amazing lady, but I know for a fact that her diet wasn’t all that. Had I known then, what I know now, maybe I could have shed more light on the subject and helped extend her life, but I have taken the opportunity to let her passing inspire me to help others BEFORE it gets to a point of no return.
So, with that said, I wanted to metion some of the key things to consider if you know cancer runs in your family, or even if it doesn’t. It can happen to anyone and chances are, about 90% of you reading this knows someone who has had or currently has some type of cancer.
First off, diet, or eating lifestyle, as I like to call it; you have to choose mostly raw, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans, and majorly limit your consumption of cooked animal products. The process of cooking these products changes the already dead food, into a more toxic substance. Espeically consider this when you BBQ, since the act of BBQing food creates toxic carcinogens which have been shown to be directly linked to cancer; mostly colon cancer. Fried foods are the same thing; these foods have been coated in crappy, high carb, no nutritional value batter and then cooked at an extremely high tempurature. This is sort of like the microwave concept. Foods cooked at unGodly high tempuratures are NO LONGER FOOD. Is having fried chicken truly worth the cost of your precious health? Remember friends, you make your own choices about food, and no one forces you to eat anything. I understand that some foods have cultural connections…so you modify. You don’t have to completely cut the foods you love and have grown up on entirely out forever, but you certainly can not eat them on a regular basis and expect to remain healthy. Sure, there are those rare cases of people eating junk food, smoking everyday and drinking, and living until 125, but that is rare, and do you really want to take that chance? Fresh, disease preventing foods do NOT have to be boring, and thank goodness there is a trend towards vegetables being bumped up to main dishes instead of primarily sides. Incorporate more vegetables, and eat them RAW if you can. The more raw, the more bioavailable and this means that your body gets direct access to these foods’ healing, natural enzymes, vitamins and nutrients that can be cancer preventing. Cruciferous veggies are said to have the most cancer fighting properties…these would be things like kale, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, cauliflower, etc. These foods contain compounds that appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer causing agents in the body as well as activate enzymes that can disable and eliminate carcinogens. You can eat as much of these foods as you like. There really is no limit and the more the better!
We have all heard about antioxidants, right? Well, bright colorful fruits and vegetables possess the magic of these antioxidants, so EAT THEM! Make salads every day or at least 3-4 days a week and mix it up. Throw fruit in them, add tofu, sprinkle nuts and seeds! Make creating flavorful, cancer preventing meals FUN! You eat with you eyes as much as you eat with you mouth, so eat that rainbow and reap all the benefits.
Again, if you are creating an alkaline environment, your body cannot produce cancerous cells. They thrive in acidic environments.
Along with what you are eating, you should take some time out to breathe deeply, and destress before a meal so you can become a mindful eater. Mindful eating does take practice, but once you start to make it a ritual, it will be old hat. One thing I do is before I eat, I read a passage out of the book A Grateful Heart, by M.J. Ryan. This is a collection of daily blessings for your meals and contains quotes from everyone from Buddha to Ghandi to the Beatles, to Mother Teresa. It’s just a way for you to take a moment, center yourself and be ready to absorb all the nutrients from your healthful meal. If this sounds a little much for you, then sit quietly and count to 10, then begin your meal. Make sure to put your fork down in between bites and throughly chew your food.
If you consider that the mind, body and spirit are all one, then consider taking your food choices a bit more seriously. When you eat certain foods, think about how they affect you on a mental and spiritual level. Ask yourself how you feel after eating something truly nourishing. Do you feel refreshed? Fulfilled? Healthy? And ask yourself how you feel after eating a burger, fries and a coke. Do you feel guilty? Stuffed? Tired? Your body will tell you how it feels, even if you cannot put your finger on it. Eating foods that help you thrive and help prevent disease will be evident when you can perform simple daily functions with ease. Walking. Breathing. Sitting. Your body should be free of pain, excess worry or stress if you are eating foods that serve you. Do NOT wait until it is too late. Start now and as Hippocrates said, let food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.