Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP
About 35% of all cancers can be prevented by following one simple rule – eat healthy, eat less. Obesity, foods rich in fats, refined flour and sugar are frequently the cause of diabetes and cancer.
Having too much food (especially animal proteins and fats) is one of the main causes of cancer. Obesity is already considered as an epidemic disease in the US, Canada, and several European countries. More than six percent of adult population is obese. Obesity is the common cause of deaths through esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, pancreas, prostate, uterus, cervix and ovarian cancers.
What is the salvation? First of all, eat 75% of the required food to keep your weight stable. You can have fruits, vegetables (minerals and vitamins) as many as you want. This will not only make you look good, but also will extend your life span. Such experiments were shown in mice, fish and primates (our nearest relatives, as Darwin said).
Omega-3 and omega-6. Imbalance in these two fatty acids can cause cancer. Omega-3 protects from cancer, whereas omega-6 does the opposite. It is because these two omega acids affect the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (genes involved in cancer) differently. There is a direct correlation between high consumption of omega-6 fatty acids and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Flax seeds (especially its lingan fraction) can reduce prostate and breast cancer. Since flax seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (form of omega-3 fatty acids) it prevents diseases of the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. A decrease in these omega-3 fatty acids can cause prostate cancer. By the way, fish is even richer in omega-3 fatty acids. So, it’s up to you to decide how to get your daily dose of omega-3. Furthermore, low intake of these fats can significantly decrease the work of your brain.
Fruits, vegetables (especially allium and cruciferous). Overdose it any way you want, as long as you have no allergic reaction to any particular fruits or vegetables. Potential reduction of 65% risk in breast, colorectal, prostate cancer, 55% decrease in lung cancer and up to 50% in overall Selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll all reduce cancer risk. Antioxidants (such as lycopene, lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin) reduce it even more. However, ascorbic acid peroral intake had no effect, whereas intravenous injection did. All of the above vitamins, antioxidants, and acids can be found in blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, cabbages, garlic, broccoli, soybeans, tea (especially green tea), pumpkin, spinach, lycopene, tomatoes, etc.
Selenium is present in the active sites of several enzymes (reductases, peroxidases), that can induce apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Selenium improves the immune system and causes formation of NK-cells (Natural killer cells). Low selenium levels increase risk of cancer. Sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cereals, meat, mushrooms, fish, and eggs – all contain selenium. High levels of selenium can also be found in kidney, tuna, crab and lobster.
Chlorophyll. This molecule can play a vital role in cancer prevention. It can bind heterocyclic amines (grilled food), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (highly cancerogenous), aflatoxin (liver cancer). In dead, chlorophyll decreases cancer risk, by binding with the cancerous compounds. There are other factors like fiber (low intake), refined grains, red meat that can cause cancer, and, on the other hand, oral enzymes and probiotics, that decrease the cancer risk.
Conclusion: have more fruits and vegetables, selenium, vitamins (B-12, C, D), folic acid, antioxidants, oral enzymes, beneficial probiotic and high fiber intake to prevent cancer. Get less, or even say “no” to red meat, refined sugars and fats.