Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Nuclear Problems In Japan Make Us All Worry

So, can food help prevent cancer?

Alternative medicine has long believed that the right food can protect against cancer. Research scientists around the world are now coming to the same conclusion. But what to eat to stop you getting this terrible disease is something doctors don’t tell you.

If I’d been talking about this subject 20 years ago, (and I did), the majority of scientists, most doctors and many of the public would have thought that I was totally bananas (which some of them still do). There is general agreement about the role of some foods which cause cancer including high intakes of animal fat and their link to colon cancer and the relationship between alcohol and cancer of the oesophagus.

25 years ago the late Ronnie Raven, a pioneering cancer surgeon and President of the Royal College, said on my radio programme that he believed time would reveal that the cause of most cancers was linked to food and their treatment would include appropriate nutrition. Around 70% of all deaths from cancer could be linked to diet, and there’s a vast amount of information showing the protective association between plant foods and lower rates of cancers but it’s almost universally ignored by doctors.

The old Edmundo Ross song said, "if there’s anything you like you can be certain that it’s illegal it’s immoral or it makes you fat" but that is not always true. There is little that results in more pleasure than sharing great food, a glass of good wine, real bread and time with family and friends.

And these pleasures mean better health when the foods you chose include plenty of the most protective ingredients. Vegetables and fruits contain an anti-cancer cocktail, which we abandon at our peril, but our consumption of fresh produce is desperately low in the UK. One ounce a day of salads and vegetables, and two ounces of fresh fruit is the average. Three-quarters of adults don’t eat a single piece of citrus fruit, half of them don’t eat an apple or a pear, and two thirds don’t touch a green vegetable in a whole week.

For maximum cancer protection as well as general health benefits, we should all be aiming at eating a minimum of one pound of fresh produce each day excluding potatoes. Maximum protection comes from the widest selection so don’t just eat frozen peas.

All of the fresh produce will help, but some have specific benefits:-

Lung cancer: Eating plenty of carrots and green leafy vegetables specifically reduces the risk of lung cancer.

Colon cancer: All the cruciferous vegetables - like cabbage, kale, Brussels, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, radish and Swede - Chinese cabbage and carrots, are important.

Rectal cancer: There are consistent reports of a lower incidence of rectal cancer in those eating large amounts of all vegetables and fruits.

Upper respiratory/digestive cancers: Increased consumption of fruit is linked to a lower risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus, and eating more vegetables is also particularly linked to less cancer of the larynx.

Stomach cancer: A general increase in fruit consumption and the specific vegetables, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, celery and garlic are all associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer. These benefits are especially seen when large amounts of raw produce are eaten - a high intake of canned fruit and potatoes has been shown by some studies to increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Pancreas cancer: Almost every study of this cancer has shown that eating a variety of vegetables and fruits leads to a lower risk.

Bladder cancer: Carrots in particular but plenty of all other vegetables and fruit seem to protect against this particular cancer.

Cancer of the breast and uterus: The results for these "hormone-dependant" cancers are not quite so closely linked with vegetable and fruit consumption but there is some evidence of reduction in both types of cancer where fruit and vegetables make up a sizeable proportion of the daily diet, even more so when Soya beans are a regular feature.

Everyone knows that fruits, salads and vegetables supply essentials like vitamins and minerals, but their "phyto-chemicals" play a major part in protection against cancers and other diseases. Without these essential nutrients, individual cells in the human body are not able to function properly and as a result they can lose their protective mechanisms and may become more susceptible to cancer causing substances.

 

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