Foods that Fight Cancer

31 05 2009

A lot of money is going into researching certain foods to figure out what kind of action they have on different tumors. We know that in mice models, tomatoes reduce prostate tumor weight by 34%. In the same experiment, another set of mice were fed broccoli which reduced their prostate tumor weight by 42%. However, the combination diet of tomatoes and broccoli reduced tumor weight by 52%. The scientists conclude:

“The combination of tomato and broccoli was more effective at slowing tumor growth than either tomato or broccoli alone and supports the public health recommendations to increase the intake of a variety of plant components.”(1)

Why wait for research to understand why eating fresh fruits and vegetables from the color of the rainbow is actually good for you. You can start today and benefit from it now. The specific chemicals in fruits and vegetables that kill cancer and shrink tumors are called phytonutrients. The best way to take these powerful anti-tumor compounds is not by pill, but by actually eating a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.  Here’s the list:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Carotenoid Vegetables: carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, persimmons, apricots, beets, etc. Basically, any red, yellow or bright-green colored fruit or vegetable.
  • Umbelliferous Vegetables: includes carotenoid vegetables but also includes celery, parsnips, fennel, dill, anise, parsley, cilantro, etc.
  • Allium Vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, chives, scallions
  • Citrus Fruits: oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, limes, etc.
  • Berries: all berries including grapes
  • Olives
  • Whole Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Turmeric: (must be taken with pepper to increase absorption)
  • Ginger
  • Terpene Family of Herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, mint, etc.
  • Tomatoes: cooked
  • Soy: avoid if your cancer is aggravated by estrogen!
  • Mushrooms: especially maitake, stimulate Natural Killer cells
  • Seaweed
  • Selenium: foods rich in selenium; two brazil nuts give you more than a full RDA of selenium
  • Vitamin D: foods rich in Vitamin D
  • Pomegranate Juice
  • Red Wine
  • Dark Choloate: at least 70% cocoa
  • Green Tea

* list of food with anti-cancer and/or anti-angiogenesis properties compiled from two sources:

  1. Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD
  2. Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis, RD & Vesanto Melina, MS, RD

Cancer: the big picture

Every cancer is different, and this list is not intended to replace the advice or treatment from your doctor.  If you’re eating a wide range of these foods you are assisting your body’s healing process.  Keep in mind, some chemo treatments don’t work with some foods, like soy, so you should talk to your doctor about any major changes to your diet.  Also, eating right is just one half of the equation; the other half is getting your NK immune cells to wake up and attack the cancer: click here for more info.

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Affirmations to Heal Cancer

14 05 2009

Psychoneuroimmuniology studies how the mind regulates the immune system.  For example, feelings of hopelessness “down regulates” your immune system, and feelings of control “up regulate” your immune.    Loise Hay discovered this mind-body connection decades before science did in her practice as a spiritual counselor, and authored a book of affirmations for each “dis-ease”.  This book evolved into the now famous “You Can Heal Your Life” and if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, this book is a must read.

When your immune system becomes suppressed, cancer is allowed to grow.  A suppressed immune system is one of three conditions needed in order for cancer to flourish.  Many things can suppress your immune system, but consider your mental state for a moment.  If you constantly feel hopeless, stressed out, angry, resentful, hyper-critical or tend to punish yourself, these negative feelings could be preventing your immune system from fighting cancer.

Changing these negative feelings require that you rewire your brain — that’s were Louise Hay and her affirmations come in to play.  An affirmation is a statement, like “I love and approve of myself”, that you want in your life.  Louise’s affirmations for cancer is this:

I lovingly forgive and release all of the past.
I choose to fill my world with joy.
I love and approve of myself.

You may wonder why you don’t see any words about cancer in this affirmation about getting rid of cancer.  The reason behind this missing word is key to understanding affirmations.  In the video version of “You Can Heal Your Life”, one example is a Native American Indian and his quest to pray for rain.  He never ask for rain directly, for example ‘I need it to rain’, instead he visualizes what it feels like to squish his toes in the mud after a rainstorm, the smell of fresh rain, the sound of rain, and gratitude for having rained.  Asking for rain, is asking to be in a state of needing rain and counter productive.  Visualizing the experience of rain is key to his prayer for rain.

It’s best if you create your own affirmations and not just repeat Lousie’s one above.  However, for illustrative purposes, let’s work with the most basic: “I love and approve of myself.”  The way you rewire your brain with this affirmation is to say it in front of a mirror, ten times each day.  As you repeat this affirmation, your mind will struggle to make meaning out of it, allow it to struggle with the statement and allow your mind to visualize the statement’s impact on your life.  Use all your five senses to visualize what it’s like to “love and approve of myself”.

I have a collection of five affirmations that I do for about 30 minutes twice a day while walking with coffee in hand.  I’ve noticed that after a few days of a new affirmation, some new phrases seem to evolve or some new way of thinking about a problem comes to light.  This is important feedback from your brain struggling to resolve your affirmation.  What’s also helpful is to write down your inner dialogue, common phrases that you say when confronted with a certain problem or experience.  Examine as many negative phrases you can, and write an affirmation to make them positive.  For example, if you’re always saying “my life is filled with chaos” choose to say “all is well in my life” instead.

I guarantee affirmations will improve your quality of life.  So my challenge to you is what affirmations do you want in your life, and would you be willing to commit some time twice a day to visualize them?  Please post your affirmations and how often you are willing to visualize them in the comments below.