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Nancy Behnke Strasser R.D. Nutritional Coordinator for the Center for Integrated Healing, Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana

 Dieting to Prevent Cancer
by Nancy Behnke Strasser RD

 Flaxseeds have been endorsed by the FDA for cancer prevention. Eating flax seed and other Omega 3 rich foods such as almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts may provide protection against cancer as well as heart disease, strokes, inflammatory diseases like arthritis.  Flaxseeds boosts the immune system.  They increase vitamin D levels and helps retain calcium, magnesium and phosphate for better bone health.  Lignins in flax are antioxidants that inhibit estrogenic activity and inhibit prostaglandins that increase cancer metastasis. I munch on flaxseeds right out of the bag. Or grind them in a blender or coffee mill.  You can add them to cereals, waffles, salads, vegetable dishes and rice.

 Trans-Fatty-Acids and Cancer

When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, to make margarine and lard for example, they form trans-fatty-acids. Trans-fatty-acids are also formed from partially hydrogenated oils in cookies, cupcakes and candy bars.  Trans-fatty-acids may increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Other sources of trans-fatty-acids are butter and milk fat.  It is a good idea to greatly restrict your consumption of trans-fatty-acids.

 Calory Restriction May Prevent Cancer

To prevent cancer I limit the total amount of calories that I consume. This is my best protection from chronic disease.  As Thomas Jefferson said: "We never repent having eaten too little."  Excess calories and excess fat lead to excess fatty deposits within our bodies.  This excess stored fat increases the secretion of steroid hormone like estrogen and androgens.  Overweight women are at higher risk for endometrial cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, kidney cancer, gallbladder cancer.  Also, excess food consumption leads to hyperglycemia and excess Insulin secretion.  These factors may increase your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Increased body size may also cause cancer to reoccur.  Men who are overweight have increased risk of colon cancer, gall bladder cancer and kidney cancer.  The biggest single contributor to body weight is fat. Even essential fats like Omega 6 fatty acids may increase blood supplies to tumor cells and may increase metastasis and tumor growth. That is why in this program we want to emphasize increasing the ration of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids.  Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils come from plants.

The Diet for Natural Health

The diet that is good for the prevention and control of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure is the same diet that prevents and controls cancer.  We all have cancer cells in our bodies at all times. It is the health of our bodies that determines if those cancer cells multiply or are removed from our body with help from our immune system.  I believe our diets impact greatly on how successful we are at controlling cancer growth.

Cancer Preventing Foods

The most important food groups to include for cancer prevention are fruits and vegetables.  Eat plant foods with diverse colors: red, green, orange, blue, purple...These rich colors provide flavonoids and numerous other phyto chemicals that protect us from cancer.

Nancy's Personal Anti-Cancer Formula

To prevent or control cancer I fall back on over 4500 research studies from around the world that suggest I....

  • eat a plant based diet.
  • limit animal protein, a high protein diet may favor tumor development.
  • eat less saturated fat.
  • limit weight gain by lowering caloric intake.
  • eat more than five servings of fruit and vegetables a day of many colors, including cruciferous plants and citrus fruit.
  • choose complex carbohydrates over simple sugars and get them from a variety of whole grains, legumes, roots and tubers.
  • process foods minimally and avoid white flour and white sugar.
  • eat upwards of 60grams per day of fiber.
  • improve the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids by eating flax seeds or cold water fish.
  • choose organically grown foods or do your own gardening.
  • avoid additives: flavorings, dyes, artificial sweeteners.
  • avoid alcohol and don't smoke.
  • include a vitamin mineral supplement rich in antioxidants.

To discover how to improve your health by improving your diet and life style see our two videos:  Diet for Natural Health
                    Natural Health with Medicinal Herbs and Healing Foods