Cancer survivors scored only about 47 out of 100 on adhering to US Dietary guidelines, with their consumption of vegetables and whole grains being especially poor.
Plus the cancer survivors consumed more fat, added sugar and alcohol and ate less fiber.
Overall, the survivors also failed to consume adequate amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium and calcium.
Talk about playing with fire…and inviting cancer to come knocking again.
Your diet DOES mattter
Contrary to what you may think, your diet makes a tremendous difference in whether or not your number will come up in the cancer lottery.
Here are some ways your diet can influence your cancer risk:
Sugar is a very inflammatory substance, and malignant tumor cells use inflammation as a signal to reproduce. Plus sugar also disrupts your intestinal flora balance, which in turn can impair your immune functioning, making it less effective at detecting and destroying cancer cells.
It’s important to note that this not only includes all forms of sugar but also refined carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, cookies and donuts) which turn to sugar upon digestion.
Infection with H. pylori (the bacteria that causes ulcers) is associated with increased risk of stomach cancer in and of itself, but that risk is multiplied exponentially when people with H. pylori also have a high-salt diet.
And the thing is, H. pylori doesn’t always cause symptoms, so many people that have it don’t even know it.
Having a diet with a high concentration of acidifying foods is also harmful because cancer needs an acidic environment to survive and thrive.
Number one here is SODA—both diet and regular. If you drink soda on a regular basis, you are rolling out the red carpet for cancer, period.
Other harmful acidifying foods are fast food, all types of packaged, processed foods, baked goods and pastries, and even foods marketed as “healthy” like breakfast cereals and granola bars.
Fiber plays several roles in protecting you against cancer:
- It helps sweep out excess toxins and carcinogens from the GI tract.
- It helps whisk away old worn-out hormones that your body is trying to eliminate (which can increase your risk of hormone-dependent cancers if they are reabsorbed into circulation).
- It helps to move heavy metals out of your body, and many heavy metals are known or suspected carcinogens.
Different nutrients help reduce your risk of cancers in various ways.
Some act as antioxidants that can fight inflammation and disease-causing free radicals in your body, while others support your immune system (which is your first line of defense against cancer), and still other nutrients function as natural anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.
Especially important are:
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
Many people with certain gene mutations that increase their risk of cancers cop out by blaming their illness on on their poor luck in the gene pool.
Sorry, but it doesn’t exactly work that way.
You see, not all of your genes are firing off on all cylinders, and some of the harmful ones are only “awakened” if your body isn’t properly nourished.
So alas, your diet plays a significant role here too.
Do your part
If you are a cancer survivor (or want to do all you can to help prevent your number from coming up) you MUST acknowledge the fact that your diet is a major factor in determining your fate.
Then take the bull by the horns and do something about it!
Here are ways you can help:
Have a diet of healthy, fiber-rich real foods. No more excuses about “not liking vegetables” or “not having the time.” Would you “like” chemotherapy instead, or “have the time” to be dead? If you need good ideas on how to enjoy healthy foods, check out Great Taste No Pain.
Take a high quality probiotic supplement like Super Shield to help encourage a healthier intestinal flora balance, which in turn will support your precious cancer-protecting immune system.
Make sure you’re getting enough anti-inflammatory Omega-3 essential fatty acids by eating more fish like salmon and supplementing with a top-notch fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
Drink filtered or distilled water instead of soda or other sugary drinks, and keep the alcohol consumption moderate.
Make at least half of your plate fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat a tossed salad every day. That will help encourage a healthier pH balance and keep you more on the side of alkaline versus acidic.
Reduce stress. Stress causes harmful changes to your gut flora that can weaken your immune system functioning, plus stress also causes your body to lose precious cancer-protecting nutrients.
Remember, nutrition is your best protection against disease, and that includes cancer. Engage the power of nutrition to create a healthier you.