Nutrition and Cancer
Follow a Whole Foods approach to eating is key in helping the body be strong and fight or prevent cancer. Can I imagine it growing? How many ingredients does it have? What has been done to the food? Is it part of the food or the whole food?
* Organic foods
Use organic foods as much as possible to limit exposing the body to toxins.
* Drink Filtered Water
Use only cold-pressed oils that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. For cooking, these include extra virgin olive oil and canola oil. Other high omega-3 fatty acid oils are walnut, flax seed and cod liver oils. These can be used for cold dishes or taken as a supplement. These also have vitamin E.
* Avoid all potentially rancid oils, hydrogenated, shortenings and other synthetic fats.
Eat at least 25 gram per day. 30 to 50 grams per day will help with cleansing the body of potential toxins from foods and other items we eat. Include sources of fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
* Foods with at least 3 gram of fiber per serving are considered good sources of fiber.
* Eat from the RAINBOW!
Eating vegetables and fruits that have bright colors contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that prevent and fight cancer.
* Vegetables: 6 to 10 servings
2-4 serv green leafy & cruciferous veggies 2-3 serv carotene & flavonoid veggies 2-3 serv other Vegies
Mustard greens Beets
Winter, acorn, butternut
Yams or sweet potatoes
* Fruits: 3 to 6 servings
Red Yellow & green Orange Purple
* The Cabbage Family
Contains indole-3-carbinol which has direct cancer fighting properties. Also helps the liver to eliminate toxins and promotes beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Choose members of the cabbage family that are dark green over the lighter members as the dark green contain more phytochemicals.
* Carotene-rich vegetables
Choose vegetables with bright colors. Carotenes act as antioxidants to protect cells against oxidative damage. Many different forms exist. Lycopene and Lutein are carotenes.
* Glutathione foods for detoxification
Tomatoes, spinach, carrots, apples, avocado, watermelon, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries and walnuts are just a few of the foods containing glutathione, a major antioxidant and detoxifier. Selenium is also needed for detoxifying. The selenium content of food varies dependent on solid conditions.
* Onion and Garlic
* Whole grains
Include 3 to 6 servings per day
* Dry Beans & Legumes
Include 1 to 2 servings per day
* Nuts & Seeds
Include a few handfuls every day. Choose nuts and seeds that are raw, organic and preferably unshelled.
* Soy Products
Include 1 to 2 servings per day. Soy products include tofu, tempeh, soy nuts, edamame, soymilk, miso.
* Fatty fish
Include 2 to 3 servings of about 3 oz per week. Chooses include wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and white tuna.
Include 1 to 2 servings of low fat dairy every day. Choose organic with no growth hormones. Dairy contains conjugated linoleic acid that is thought to have cancer fighting properties. Cultured dairy product can help with the good intestinal bacteria.
* Whey protein powder – use in smoothies or add to foods everyday. Whey is a complete protein that contains glutamine. Glutamine can help boost the immune system.
* Ground Flax Seed
Include 1 to 2 Tbsp per day for omega-3 fatty acids and a source of lignin.
* Green Tea and Green Drinks
Drink 4, 8 oz cups per day. Green tea contains a number of substances that have antioxidant and anticancer properties. Water-processed decaffeinated tea should be used over tea decaffeinated with ethyl acetate.
* Green vegetables juices contain high levels of plant pigments and chlorophyll, powerful antioxidants and anticancer effects. Barley grass, wheat grass, chlorella and spirulina.
* Exercise and Stress Management
This is a very important component of cancer management. At a minimum, walk 2 to 3 miles per day, every day. Practice yoga. Spend time meditating (at least 15 minutes of “quiet” time each day).
* Foods to Avoid Entirely
• Smoked or cured meats: bacon, hot dogs, smoked luncheon meats, sausages, ham, Spam, etc
• Meats cooked at extremely high temperatures or cooked well-done
• Heavily sweetened or artificially sweetened soft drinks, sweet powdered drinks mixes, juice-flavored drinks, etc
• Fried foods
• Processed foods (high calorie, fat, salt)
• Refined white flours
• Refined sugar cereals
• Margarine, butter, and vegetable shortening
* Reading List
How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine – Michael Murray (Riverhead Books, 2002)
A Dietitian’s Cancer Story – Diana Dyer (Swan Press, 1999)
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia – Rebecca Wood (Penguin Books, 1999)
Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pritchford (North Atlantic Books, 1993)
Feeding the Whole Family – Cynthia Lair (Moon Smile Press, 1997)
Cooking the Whole Foods Way – Christina Pirello (H.P. Books, 1997)