YOU SHOULD KNOW
- No sugar & low G.I.
- No processed food or additives
- Avoid pesticides and other toxic chemicals in our environment
- Mainly whole food vegetarian diet, lots and lots of greens
- Daily physical activity
LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Sugar and high blood sugar levels increases inflammation and nourishes cancer. Stay well clear of processed sugars and keep a stable blood sugar level.
There is evidence that chronically elevated blood glucose, insulin and IGF1 levels help tumor growth and worsen the outcome in cancer patients.
Evidence also supports that by avoiding sugar (glucose restriction) one reduces the risk of precancerous cells developing into cancer.
read the label
Once you start, it's no fun food shopping anymore, until you start finding your way between the processed foods and additives. Once you start reading the label, you'll find it is common sense what you should and shouldn't be eating. IF it's longer than a handful of natural ingredients, then it's most likely very processed, and if there are ingredients you can't recognize, then they are most likely not of any nutritional benefit. It's just easier to think that the food manufacturers take responsibility for what they put in their products. But unfortunately not many do.
Be as strong as you can be, so that your body has the resources to deal with the treatments thrown at it - and get ready to try all of them - at the same time! Click here to read about the cocktail approach. Let the doctors do their work while you do yours. You will probably be told that continue living as usual, that you needn't worry about diet and lifestyle changes - but evidence is to the contrary. Just to name a few:
- Eating a sugary diet (including white carbs) helps tumor growth.
- Eating tomato sauce heated with olive oil regulates angiogenesis (the abnormal growth of blood capillaries in tumours)
- Eating cruciferous vegetables has a direct anticancer effect
- Drinking green tea has a direct anticancer effect
- Physical activity extends the lifespan of cancer patients and correlates with lower incidence of many cancers
This is down to nourishing the hard working cells in your body with the right fuel. Not to mention how important it is to drink plenty of water and to rest. Then steer clear of anything that is an extra burden on your body - your liver will be hard at work dealing with all the prescription drugs, so you don't want it working overtime on other unnecessary chemicals like pesticides, synthetic additives and alcohol. And avoid synthetic hormones either in the form of a pill, or through plastic food containers - both connected to cancer. Choose your battles!
Inspired by Michael Pollan's little gem of a book "Food Rules" David Servan-Schreiber compiled a set of "Anticancer rules" for what every person ought to know about how they can help avoid cancer - or slow it down if they have it.
1. Go retro: Your main course should be 80 percent vegetables, 20 percent animal protein, like it was in the old days. Opt for the opposite of the quarter pounder topped with a token leaf of iceberg lettuce and an anemic tomato slice. Meat should be used sparingly for taste, as when it used to be scarce, and should not be the focus of the meal. Additional note from Cancerhero: Meat produced on a large industrial scale, and processed meats (cold-cuts, bacon etc) should be avoided and have been linked to cancer in several studies. Eat meat maximum 2-3 times a week and opt for healthy animals - game, grass-fed, small scale farm animals.
2. Mix and match your vegetables: Vary the vegetables you eat from one meal to the next, or mix them together - broccoli is an effective anticancer food, and is even more effective when combined with tomato sauce, onions or garlic. Get in the habit of adding onions, garlic or leeks to all your dishes as you cook. Additional note from Cancerhero: Eat the rainbow every day!
3. Go organic: Choose organic foods whenever possible, but remember it's always better to eat broccoli that's been exposed to pesticide than to not eat broccoli at all (the same applies to any other anticancer vegetable).
4. Spice it up: Add turmeric (with black pepper) when cooking (delicious in salad dressings!). This yellow spice is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. Remember to add Mediterranean herbs to your food: thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, mint, etc. They don't just add flavor, they can also help reduce the growth of cancer cells. Additional note from Cancerhero: Loads of studies on PUBMED of the clinical benefits of turmeric/curcumin also discussed in the film 'Surviving Terminal Cancer'
5. Skip the potato: Potatoes raise blood sugar, which can feed inflammation and cancer growth. They also contain high levels of pesticide residue (to the point that most potato farmers I know don't eat their own grown potatoes).
6. Go fish: Eat fish two or three times a week - sardines, mackerel, and anchovies have less mercury and PCBs than bigger fish like tuna. Avoid swordfish and shark, which the FDA says pregnant women should not eat because they contain a high concentration of contaminants. Additional note from Cancerhero: Common sense that any fish not recommended for pregnant women for health reasons, should be avoided by anyone else concerned with their health. That includes basically all fish from the Baltic Sea and lakes surrounded by agriculture - limiting the healthy alternatives quite dramatically.
7. Remember not all eggs are created equal: Choose only omega-3 eggs, or don't eat the yolks. Hens are now fed on mostly corn and soybeans, and their eggs contain 20 times more pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than cell-growth regulating omega-3s. Additional note from Cancerhero: This is especially relevant in the US, the EU and individual countries have local regulations and standards. Primarily choose eggs from healthy organic, free-range (outdoor) hens preferably from small scale farms.
8. Change your oil: Use only olive and canola/rape-seed oil in cooking and salad dressings. Go through your kitchen cabinets and throw out your soybean, corn and sunflower oils. (And no, you can't give them to your neighbors or your relatives... They're much too rich in omega-6 fatty acids!) Additional note from Cancerhero: Coconut oil is also a nutritional alternative. Be sure to use 'extra virgin', 'mechanically extracted', 'cold-pressed' oils - oils that haven't been refined and processed for longer shelf-life giving them toxic properties instead.
9. Say "Brown is beautiful": Eat your grains whole and mixed (wheat with oats, barley, spelt, flax, etc.) and favor organic whole grains when possible since pesticides tend to accumulate on whole grains. Avoid refined, white flour (used in bagels, muffins, sandwich bread, buns, etc.) whenever possible, and eat white pasta only al dente. Additional note from Cancerhero: Try to keep wheat as an exception, and generally always opt for a sourdough alternative for breads. Sourdough is a long and slow fermentation process that successfully breaks down the grains that are hard on our digestive systems. Again, 'going retro' - it's how bread used to be made before yeast introduced a faster production process.
10. Keep sweets down to fruits: Cut down on sugar by avoiding sweetened sodas and fruit juices, and skipping dessert or replacing it with fruit (especially stone fruits and berries) after most meals. Read the labels carefully, and steer clear of products that list any type of sugar (including brown sugar, corn syrup, etc.) in the first three ingredients. If you have an incorrigible sweet tooth, try a few squares of dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa. Additional note from Cancerhero: Sugar and artificial sweeteners have many names and it can be hard to know what you're reading on the label. A good rule of thumb, if it is not a natural ingredient and you don't know what it means - then you most likely shouldn't eat it.
11. Go green: Instead of coffee or black tea, drink three cups of green tea per day. Use decaffeinated green tea if it gets you too wired. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk for developing cancer.
12. Make room for exceptions. What matters is what you do on a daily basis, not the occasional treat. Additional note from Cancerhero: Hear hear! If you are in generally good health then stick to the rules at home and on a daily basis, so that you can treat yourself to exceptions when going out and when you can't control the cooking! Subsequently if you are struggling with a chronic condition or terminal cancer - you be the judge - exceptions play a big part in mental health and social situations. But sticking to the rules can also provide a sense of control and motivation when proactively contributing to improving one's health.
1. Get physical: Make time to exercise, be it walking, dancing or running. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. This can be as easy as just walking part of the way to the office, or the grocery store. A dog is often a better walking partner than an exercise buddy. Choose an activity you enjoy; if you're having fun, you're more likely to stick with it.
2. Let the sun shine in: Try to get at least 20 minutes of daily sun exposure (torso, arms and legs) without sunscreen, preferably at noon in the summer (but take care to avoid sunburns!). This will boost your body's natural production of Vitamin D. As an alternative: discuss the option of taking a Vitamin D3 supplement with your doctor.
3. Banish bad chemicals: Avoid exposure to common household contaminants. You should air our your dry-cleaning for two hours before storing or wearing it; use organic cleaning products (or wear gloves); don't heat liquids or food in hard plastics; avoid cosmetics with parabens and phthalates; don't use chemical pesticides in your house or garden; replace your scratched Teflon pans; filter your tap water (or used bottled water) if you live in a contaminated area; don't keep your cell phone close to you when it is turned on.
4. Reach out (and touch someone!): Reach out to at least two friends for support (logistical and emotional) during times of stress, even if it's through the internet. But if they're within arms reach, go ahead and hug them, often!
5. Remember to breathe: Learn a basic breathing relaxation technique to let out some steam whenever you start to feel stressed.
6. Get involved: Find out how you can best give something back to your local community, then give it.
7. Cultivate happiness like a garden: Make sure you do one thing you love for yourself on most days (it doesn't have to take long!).