Cancer Awareness

Cancer Awareness

Foods to help fight and prevent cancer

Desiree Munn is the Practice Manager at Blouberg Family Practice. Desiree has traveled the long and difficult road of living with cancer when her husband Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in 2016. Originally the Doctors gave him 3 months to live but they refused to accept this heart wrenching and challenging diagnosis and embarked on a journey to fight his cancer by changing his diet and lifestyle and made frequent reference to the book called Foods to fight Cancer. Michael’s day would start off with a bowl of fresh berries. His daily diet varied but always included foods that would help fight his cancer especially from the Super Foods Group and Desiree would grill chicken or fish to accompany it for added protein.

Green Tea replaced normal tea and coffee. No more artificial sweeteners, sugars or anything that contained preservatives was used. It was important to keep Michael’s immune system boosted and his nutritional levels up as he had lost a lot of weight already. With Michael’s nutritional levels being kept up his energy levels were also boosted, and Desiree made sure that Michael also took daily walks to get some exercise. As Michael found swallowing turmeric in the powder form mixed in water unpleasant, Desiree bought him turmeric tablets from the health shop. With Michael’s change in diet and lifestyle, he was given a quality of life and both him, Desiree and his family were able to share an extra 18 happy months together. Despite the extraordinary efforts of his oncologist, Dr. Jacqueline Hall, Mike eventually succumbed to his cancer. Sadly, Michael passed away on 18 January 2018 under the kind and compassionate care of Dr. Sheena Mathew.

The impact of diet on cancer

We now estimate that 30 percent of all cancers are directly related to the type of diet favored by different individuals. We have also seen from data, changes in diet have a real impact on the risk of developing a very large number of cancers. Certain epidemiological studies have succeeded in establishing a close relationship between the lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet and an increase in the rate of certain cancers. Studies have also shown that a significant intake of fruits and vegetables lead to a marked decrease in the risk of developing cancer, this effect was especially notable in cancers of the digestive system. Nature supplies us with an abundance of foods rich in nutrients with very powerful anticancer properties to boost our immune system.

Fruit and vegetables – so much more than just vitamins

Fruit and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants to fight cancer which is basically little soldiers fighting off toxins in our systems. Below are some naturally occurring anticancer foods

A passion for berries

Start your day off with a delicious smoothie or a bowl of berries for breakfast. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries – all contain large amounts of antioxidants to help fight and prevent cancer. They also make a delicious dessert and I always say fresh is best (in season) but supermarkets do stock frozen berries. You can also defrost frozen berries and use them as toppings for cereals or desserts.

Spice up your life

Turmeric is known to us South Africans as “Borrie”. It adds to that wonderful aroma in curries, but it is little known for its wonderful cancer-fighting properties. It has been used for centuries in India as a stable diet and part of an ancient Ayurvedic tradition of medicine because of the ingredient called curcumin. Add turmeric to your spice rack and to your daily diet. The daily addition of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, salad dressings or pasta dishes is a simple rapid way of providing a curcumin intake sufficient to help prevent cancer from developing. Its available in organic powder and tablet form from your local pharmacy and health shop.

The garlic and onion family

Garlic and onions, that amazing smell that comes from an Italian Pizzeria. The powerful aroma that is released from garlic, onions, leeks and chives when chopped, crushed or chewed are responsible for these anticancer properties as they loaded with phytochemicals.

Cancer hates cabbage – the superfoods

Today, known as Super Foods: Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Kale have an almost magical ability to fight against the development of cancerous cells in the body and should be lightly cooked and thoroughly chewed.

Tomatoes – the prostates friend

Tomatoes contain the magical ingredient called Lycopene, a phytochemical responsible for both the tomato’s bright red color and its anticancer potential. Eating tomatoes and tomato-based sauces and dishes regularly can be a delicious way to help fight and prevent Prostate cancer so don’t be shy to include tomatoes in your all your dishes and add it your daily diet. It is also high in Vitamin C.

There are many simple and practical lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your chance of developing cancer. Among the most important are quitting smoking and getting regular exercise and, of course, eating a diet rich in valuable nutrients.

Should you be concerned about cancer or nutrition for yourself or anyone in your family affected by cancer, please contact us at Blouberg Family Practice: 021 023 0480 or make an online appointment for an assessment.

Reference: Foods to Fight Cancer by Professor Richard Beliveau and Dr. Denis Gingras.