The foods we put into our grocery carts affect far more than just our waistline. Choosing nutrient-dense foods plays a lifelong role in the health of our skin, the purity of our internal organs, and our susceptibility to cancer. Clean eating creates resiliency in the body and can be easily incorporated into any diet without breaking the bank or consuming too much time. Small changes in your diet don’t have to be scary, or even luxurious, and you will discover how sustainable they can be.
Individuals who follow the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living know that disease and diet are intimately connected because they’ve felt the lasting benefits of eating nutritiously firsthand. The positive, small changes it takes to create drastic differences for lifelong health are not hard to make, and it starts with informing yourself about the foods you eat.
The Cancer Culprits
Knowledge is power. Many individuals are simply unaware of the dangers in common foods they consume on a daily basis. With just a little bit of knowledge, small shifts can be made for lasting benefits and a lifetime of living cancer-free. Let’s take a look at where we are ingesting cancer-causing agents and how we can empower ourselves to create a change.
Processed meats certainly preserve for longer periods of time than other meats, and may be considered easier to manage in most busy households. However, it is the nasty chemical that preserves these foods that has been linked to bowel, pancreatic and other types of cancers. Studies show that sodium nitrite (which turns into nitrosamines, a known carcinogen) is the killer. It is used in bacon, lunchmeat, hot dogs, packaged meats, sausage and almost all frozen meats.1 Avoid any meat that is homogeneous in color, i.e. dark red. Choose organic, fresh meats, instead of meat that has been preserved.
These substitutes can be misconceiving, because people tend to emphasize the lower caloric content instead of the harmful ingredients used to make it. Studies found the very first artificial sweetener was created by mistake, when researcher Constantine Fahlberg accidently licked coal tar off of his fingers and noticed the sweet taste of this compound. He named it saccharin, and it is still on the markets to this day.2In more recent years, Aspartame has become widely used as a sugar alternative and is linked to several cancers. The shocking truth is the potent neurotoxins it contains, which include genetically modified bacteria, phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol (which breaks down into formaldehyde in the body).
Non-Organic Animal Products
Farmed fish, factory farmed meat, and milk produced from cows treated with rBGh (Recombinant Growth Hormone), have all been linked to cancer. Research shows that milk produced from cows treated with rBGH increases the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. This means the milk we purchase from the grocery store and feed to our children has been linked to these types of cancers. Non-organic animal products also contain pesticides, which are known carcinogens. These carcinogens impersonate normal hormonal activity, disrupt it, and are known to accelerate cancer.
This product, often used as a meat substitute, can be confused as a health food, but it has been strongly correlated to cancer (especially breast cancer) because of its dangerous levels of plant estrogens. Plant estrogens promote the increase of breast cell growth, increasing the risk of cancer. If you’re choosing to eat soy, try fermented soy, like natto, miso, and tempeh. These are safer types of soy, as they don’t interfere with thyroid function or stop necessary enzymes from striving.
The Cancer Defenders
Picking nutrient-dense foods that are low in sugars, high in good fats, and rich in antioxidants are key in a Cancer Killer’s diet. Let’s check out some easy, nutritious, options that are jammed full of the nutrients needed to protect against cancer.
This cruciferous veggie has been shown to encourage the production of specific enzymes that disengage free radicals and is loaded with substances that fight a huge range of cancers. If you’re going to consider one vegetable to add into your diet, broccoli is a must, as science has proven this flowery plant a top cancer-fighting vegetable. Studies show that broccoli is high in sulforaphane, a compound that helps the body metabolize hormones, and is especially talented at converting dangerous, cancer-promoting, estrogens into protective types of hormones.3
These fruits have a high ellagic acid content and are low in sugars. This rids the body of inflammation and creates an atmosphere where cancer is not welcome. Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are very powerful cancer prevention tools: they are powerful detoxifiers, they are nutrient-dense, and they’re acceptable on both the Core and Advanced Maximized Living Nutrition Plans. Berries have been shown to prevent several types of cancer, including skin, bladder, lung and breast cancers. Research has shown that while they are all high in cancer-fighting antioxidants, blueberries are the most preventative, because they are so rich in the world’s “super-antioxidant,” anthocyanin.4
Organic Animal Products
Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry and eggs
We know that organic animal products are vastly different from factory-farmed meat. They are free from over-processing, pesticides and sodium nitrites, which are each agents proven to cause cancer. This then provides organic meat-eaters a source that is pure protein, free from the various cancer-causing toxins that would be present in factory-farmed meat. It is valuable to consider that organic animal products are not only free from cancer-causing toxins, they also contain agents that prevent the disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which are each serious champions in the prevention of cancer, can each be found in organic animal products.
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, an agent common in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and a source that has been found successful in preventing various types of cancers, including prostate and mouth cancer. This fruit contains elements that attack free radicals and has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer cells linked to breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancers.
They are a certified superfood, and these healthy fats are masters in cancer prevention. Researchers have reported that raw nuts are excellent antioxidants, providing several minerals that maintain a cancer-free atmosphere within the body. Brazil nuts have been studied for their high selenium content. Selenium is a bioactive nutrient linked to cancer risk reduction.5
Walnuts are also a top cancer-killing contender, as they also contain high levels of ellagic acid. Cashews, pine nuts and flaxseeds are also high-quality nuts, rich in antioxidants and minerals.
A Few Simple Choices, a Lifetime of Results
Now that we know a few products we can remove from our cart, and a few nutrient dense defenders that we can add to our list, we are one step closer to living a maximized, cancer-free life. Try to incorporate a few of these delicious options into your next meal, and you will notice how easy it is to make small shifts that create lifelong change.
- Chenni, F, Tache, S, Naud, N, Gueraud, F, Hobbs, D, Kunhle, G, Pierre, F, Corpet, D. (2013). Heme-Induced Biomarkers Associated with Red Meat Promotion of colon Cancer Are Not Modulated by the Intake of Nitrite. Nutrition and Cancer, 65 (2), pg. 227-233
- Whitehouse, C, Boullata, J, McCauley, L. (2008). The potential toxicity of artificial sweeteners. AAOHN Journal, 56(6), 251-9; quiz 260-1. Retrieved from https://www.lib.uwo.ca/cgi-bin/ezpauthn.cgi/docview/219393439?accountid=15115
- Murphy, K. (2011). Broccoli targets cancer cells. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, 23(3), 150. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA271323823&v=2.1&u=lond95336&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w
- Seeram, N. (2008). Berry Fruits for Cancer Prevention: Current Status and Future Prospects. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56 (3), 630-635.
- Ip, C, Lisk, DJ.(1994). Bioactivity of selenium from Brazil nut for cancer prevention and selenoenyzme maintenance. Nutrition and Cancer, 21 (3):203-12.
Dr. Brian Bartholomew owns and operates Ithaca Family Chiropractic in Ithaca, Ny. As a family chiropractor, his expertise is in pediatric care, nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.ithacachiropractic.com. Dr. Bartholomew is available for outside speaking for businesses, churches, groups, athletic teams, rotaries, health food stores and anyone who wants to take charge of their health naturally!