In Honor of Cancer Awareness Month, These Foods Can Help Keep Cancer At Bay.
My biological mother died of breast cancer. I was five and my brother was three. Back then, little was known of chemotherapy or of any other form of treatment that could potentially heal the disease. In most cases, like my mother’s a late diagnosis allowed the cancer to quickly metastasize and rob the victim of their life. I was lucky that my brother and I were taking in by a God-send and raised. So, the month of October – Cancer Awareness Month – is of grave importance to me. It is a month that gives critical information that reminds us to live healthy lifestyles, to go for regular check-ups and to appreciate the lives we have. In addition to the many revolutionary things being done by scientists to find a cure, these top foods habits help lower the risk of getting cancer.
These Foods Should Be The Core Of Your Diet Plan
1. Plenty of fresh vegetables.
As cliché as it sounds, eating your vegetables right goes a long way to rid the body of cells, chemicals and hormones that could potentially be cancerous. When it comes to vegetables, you are spoilt for choice; kale, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, carrots, onions, mushrooms, name them. These vegetables contain flavonoids, isothiocyanates, carotenoids, indoles and other compounds that detox your cells and trigger the production of enzymes to protect against cancer-causing cells. We have discussed before, that the key to cooking vegetables right so as to get the most nutrient-content, is to cook them for as little time as possible. Overcooking them destroys most of the nutrients, so much so that the vegetables might as well be stale.
Growing up, my mother would tell us that if we ate a lot of fish, especially the gills, we would always be at top of the class We wanted to excel in school so we ate a lot of fish. Many parents tell this to their children to entice them to eat more fish but the benefits are truly important. Research has shown that regular fish eaters are less prone to certain cancers like endometrial and blood cancer. Fish contains vital omega acids that fight potentially cancerous cells and also keep your brain, nerves and your hormonal system healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in aiding the treatment of tumors during chemotherapy.
Nuts can be compared to worker bees or ants; they may be small but they build a forte that keeps intruders off and the queen bee or mother ant safe. Nuts contain the mineral selenium which destroys cancerous cells and repairs their DNA, making you less prone to cancers, or reducing the tumors. Researchers at Harvard, Arizona and Cornell have showed that regular consumption of nuts drastically reduces the chances of prostate cancer.
4. Garlic, turmeric and ginger; the small things that make the big difference.
These three not only transform the overall taste of your food but could also lower your risk of having cancer. The sulphur compounds in garlic stimulate the defenses of your body to kill off cancerous cells. Turmeric contains curcumin which decreases tumor sizes and fights against breast and colon cancer. Ginger on the other hand, is a gem because of the beta-ionone compound in it. The compound fights off cells that could cause ovarian and colon cancers. So whether you choose to use it as a spice, add it to your tea, or chew it raw, make sure to include lots of ginger in your meals.
5. Stock up on fresh fruits
An apple a day literally keeps the doctor away. Fruits are a great source of vitamins, anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogens that will ensure you stay healthy. They also help to deplete existing tumors. Like vegetables, there is a vast variety of fruits to choose from; avocados, lime/lemon, cherries, apples, kiwi, berries, grapes, papayas and many more. With fruits, you can choose to ingest them in whatever form you deem fit. You can have them whole, make delicious smoothies (check out our simple and unique smoothie recipes here) or garnish your food with them. The more fruit in your diet, the better.
Steer Clear Of These Foods
1. Too Much Processed and Microwaved Meals
My sister refuses to buy a microwave in her house. For the longest time I couldn’t understand why anybody would not want to have the efficiency and effectiveness of warming and sometimes cooking food using a microwave. Then she showed me a study that showed that microwaving basically means that your food is cooked by high frequency waves of radiation, which is bad for anyone’s health. However this discussion on Quora shows that this is still an arguable theory. One person points out that there are more risks involved when plastic and non-microwave friendly containers are used, as they could potentially contaminate food with harmful chemicals.
2. Too much of overcooked red meat
White meat is better than red meat, as it is rich in Vitamin B12. However, Dr. Bennard Odawa, a cancer specialist in Kisumu recommends that if you have to consume red meat, do not over-grill or overcook it. These will keep away carcinogens that could generate cancerous cells in your body.
3. Foods with trans fats
Most fast foods are loaded with hydrogenated oils, which increase cholesterol levels and could potentially cause heart diseases and cancers. So keep away from too much fries, cooking fats, biscuits, cakes and the like. Use cooking oils and not fats, if you have to fry your food.
4. Consuming too much salts and sugars
These are other examples of small things that make a big difference, either positively or negatively. Heavily salted foods increase the risk of stomach cancer. Refined sugars found in sodas and other beverages like certain energy drinks are known to be the top cause of diabetes. They also interfere with the body pH levels causing an influx of acidity in the body.
5. Genetically Modified Foods
They look and taste good, but be wary of GMOs. Chemically processed foods can never be good for your health. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, genetically modified foods can cause organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. The site also states that studies show how genetically modified food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. So try as much as possible to eat organic.
At the end of the day, eating right is not just about keeping cancer at bay or kicking it to the curb. It is about making sure that you stay healthy and live long enough to fulfill your dreams and visions, and that you are there to celebrate life with your loved ones. Would you like to share your story with us during cancer awareness month? Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #thevillagepot.