Here is a list of foods you should never eat in order to prevent cancer:
1. Refined and Processed Sugar - This is the number one food that feeds cancer-causing cells. Cancer literally feed and thrive on sugar. The more you can minimize or avoid foods that contain processed sugar - including refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, white pasta, etc. - the easier it will be to avoid your body from developing cancer-causing cells.
2. GMO's or Genetically Modified Organisms - These are foods that have been mutated by the inclusion of "donar genes" that "turn on a desired trait." The issue with GMO's is the fact that there is no way of knowing which genes may be turned on by this process. This included cancer-causing genes!
3. Tuna, Shark and Swordfish - These types of fish are a major source of methyl mercury, a carginogen that accumulates in our bodies causing the proliferation of cancer-causing cells. Methyl mercury can also cause neurological damage to unborn babies and pregnant women.
4. Burnt and Charred Foods - Consuming burned and charred foods, such as on the BBQ, produces carcinogenic chemical compounds that cause a significantly increased risk of developing cancer over time.
5. Non-organic or local meets - Conventional meats are injected with hormones - particularly estrogen - which can contribute to ovarian, breast, cervical and prostate cancer.
6. Alcohol – Alcohol literally digests like pure sugar. According to the American Cancer Society, "Drinking alcohol can cause cancer…and the more alcohol a person consumes, the higher his or her risk of developing some kinds of cancer.”
7. Canned Foods – There are an alarming number of chemicals used in the commercial canning process that are dangerous to our health on many levels. BPA is usually used in many can linings, and the process of preserving the foods in cans depletes their nutritional value, which puts them in the category of a refined food.
8. Conventionally grown Produce - Non-organic produce is filled with harmful pesticides, which consumed over time can increase your risk of developing cancer. Organic is most definitely the way to go!
9. Processed Meats - Processed meats include hotdogs, sausages, bacon, and deli meats. All of these foods contain nitrates and nitrites, which are preservatives to make these foods more shelf stable. These preservatives combine with your stomach acid and other chemicals in foods to form nitrosamines, which are damaging and powerful carcinogens. Look for nitrite-free deli meats and sausages. Avoid hotdogs - it's hard to tell what's actually in them anyway!!
10. Olestra – This fat substitute can cause a 40-50% drop in blood carotenoids (anti-oxidants with an anti-cancer effect), not to mention the digestive side effects from eating foods containing this additive.
There are certainly many theories about dangerous foods and toxins. To what extent these foods and substances can really make us ill is still being researched. There are many uncontrollable factors that contribute to illness and weakened immune systems, but it is important to pay attention to those factors and behaviors that ARE within our control. Foods can most definitely heal and strengthen us, contributing to a healthy mind and body. This leads to an increase in confidence, energy, and productivity, and the ability to manage stress in a healthy way.
The best thing we can all do for ourselves is to make the effort to stay away from the foods that can overtime kill us. It may not be easy but it is possible to do, without feeling deprived and angry. I highly recommend starting slowly, congratulate yourself for every new food and behavior you adapt into your life. Don’t feel guilty if and when you slip up. Aim for a ratio of 80% right and 20% almost right in the beginning.
On the flip side of things, here are some foods you want to include in your diet to help boost your immune system to protect your body from diseases - especialy cancer. Organic foods are best to include most of the time. It's easiest to go with local and seasonal for the freshest, most nutrient dense foods. The foods below contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that will protect you from cancer. You want to aim for a minimum of 8-9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, as well as the inclusion of legumes and seeds for maximum protection.
1. Onion - A study in Europe published in The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who ate onions regularly showed a 60-70% reduction in all major cancers. When we cut an onion, the gas that is given off creates disulfide and anti-cancer nutrients to be formed.
2. Seeds – Raw seeds and nuts contain phytochemicals and fats that help reduce inflammation, help reduce cholesterol, and helps the absorption of other important micronutrients. Try to avoid salted nuts and seeds as salt contributes to inflammation and water retention. I suggest adding them to salads for an added healthy crunch!
3. Mushrooms – A study published in the international Journal of Cancer showed women who regularly consumed mushrooms are 64% less likely to develop breast cancer. That was about 10 g of mushrooms daily. The study also showed that the women who consumed 10 g of mushrooms and simultaneously consumed green tea had 89% less likely to develop breast cancer.
4. Vitamin D - This fat-soluble vitamin has been shown to prevent numerous chronic diseases including, but limited to: heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer. The first signs of deficiency in the vitamin are changes in mood, fatigue and feeling tired all the time.
5. Berries & Beans - These foods are high in antioxidants, which help to scavenge free radicals (cancer causing agents caused by stress, lack of sleep, environmental pollution, excessive exercise, etc.). The antioxidants in these foods are anti-aging, protect your cells and promote healthy brain function.
6. Dark Leafy Greens – Green vegetables contain nutrients that act to put a silicone like slippery coating on the inside of your blood vessels. They activate the Nrf2 mechanism inside your blood vessels, which prevents plaque from binding to blood vessels and accelerates the rate at which fat melts away from the inside of the blood vessel. Wow!
*Read Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman for more detailed information on how to protect yourself.
* Watch this great "Just Eat Organic" video from Stonyfield
We all have the choice to eat foods containing cancer causing chemicals or to eat foods that will prevent disease. Do your best to choose organic most often, which will help to nourish and protect every cell in your body and prevent the onset of unwanted diseases.