By the time you’re done reading this, another victim will fall to cancer’s triumph. For decades (especially this past decade) a battle has raged against cancer.
By the time you’re done reading this, another victim will fall to cancer’s triumph. For decades (especially this past decade) a battle has raged against cancer. The disease has marked its scoreboard with more lives than any other disease- besides those of the heart. But, like anything, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowledge and its application are the keys to decreasing ones risk of cancer. But since western doctors are not required to take nutrition in medical-school, the optimum disease-fighting diet is all-too-often neglected in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
“For decades (especially this past decade) a battle has raged against cancer. The disease has marked its scoreboard with more lives than any other disease- besides those of the heart”
Cancer And Diet?
A friend of mine used to be, in his own words, a “hard-core carnivore”. After serious intestinal troubles, the doctors told him he had a terminal case of colon cancer and that they’d have to abbreviate his colon. Much to my friend’s dismay, even this drastic measure would not guarantee him any longer than the 6 months doctors predicted he had left.
Refusing surgery, he fervently studied and applied all he learned about nutrition and natural (mostly Eastern) medical treatments and turned to spiritual life. A reformed vegetarian with an attitude, he eliminated alcohol, hanky-panky, smoking, and all the supposed “good things in life”. It’s been 11 years since that ominous diagnosis-still no surgery, no cancer… rarely does he catch cold. Obviously, cancer cells prosper or perish in your choice of diet and lifestyle, a fact proven a looong time ago…
Back in 1978, the American Senate, alarmed at the steady rise of cancer deaths, took a closer look at the modern-day diet vis-a-vis cancer. The then Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute(NCI) and head of its Nutrition and Cancer program disclosed that the dietary factors responsible for cardiovascular disease and cancer are principally meat and fat intake. They admitted that since their inception, they and their allied agencies have been sorry losers in the cancer battle, with casualties unabated and mounting. This, despite billions of dollars spent and being spent for the “cure search”.
(It’s interesting to note that it was the first time the public was informed of this, even if researches and experiments had long rendered these findings as early as the ’50’s—shades of the cigarettes-cause-cancer story.)
To date, world-wide medical associations continue the same probing. Where diet is concerned, their findings remain unchanged:
- Populations with a high meat intake return high rates of colon, breast, ovarian, cervical and prostate cancers.
- Those who consume meat daily almost quadruple their chances of developing cancer than those who ate little or no meat.
“A friend of mine used to be, in his own words, a “hard-core carnivore”. After serious intestinal troubles, the doctors told him he had a terminal case of colon cancer and that they’d have to abbreviate his colon”
The Special Forces Group
Many of us develop cancer cells at one time or another in our bodies. Freaky, isn’t it? But… Mother Nature has equipped our bodies with an extraordinary task force, the Special Forces Group(SFG), also known as the Immune System. Its members, the soldier/killer cells or antibodies, avow to destroy cancer cells before the nasty suckers know what hit them.
Here are some factors of meat consumption and why it weakens our immune systems:
1. Fats. One of the more menacing components of flesh fare, fats deliver the cancer gremlins right into the bloodstream to spread. Fats support propagation of female sex hormones, particularly one Estradiol, whose talent includes causing cancer. Estrogen, its close relative, also thrives on high-fats. In perfect balance, they’re a plus; in excess, this dynamic duo answers to high rates of female cancers, particularly of the breast. It is also widely-known in the meat industry that many of the animals have cancer and leukemia. The estimate is that 90% of factory-farm chickens have a form of cancer called Reuse’s Sarcoma or leukosis (exactly the same disease as leukemia in humans). Inspectors in slaughterhouses cut cancers the size of grapefruits out of dead cows and pass the rest of the body for human consumption. I know I wouldn’t want to be metabolizing cancerous tissue into my body!
2. Putrefaction. Because human colons stretch from here to eternity, it takes four times longer to digest meat than plant foods. Watch how quickly meat putrefies outside the freezer. That’s what extended time in the body does to it. Toxins intrinsic to the meat have time to be absorbed into the body. Bacteria grows and multiplies, thus weakening the immune system. It’s no surprise then that the highest instance of prostate cancer is found in those who consume the most red meat. It’s certainly had sufficient time to putrefy by the time it gets all the way down there!
3. No Fiber. Meat has no fiber, so it cannot clean out your system¼ only pollute it. See the streets of Manila with garbage untended and yet ever-increasing, blocking sewage, stinking up the place… In time, the inside of your body will look just like Manila.
4. Built-In Carcinogens. A farmed animal’s daily fare consists of overdoses of antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, and pesticides (and still disease is tough to contain.) Dead, the animal is sprayed with a plethora of preservatives all the way till the supermarket shelf. More. Methylcholanthrene, a confirmed carcinogenic, develops in meat at high (cooking) temperatures, particularly char-broiled.
“A farmed animal’s daily fare consists of overdoses of antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, and pesticides (and still disease is tough to contain.)”
The Vegetarian Edge
A healthful, low-fat vegetable diet, on the other hand, does not make fertile ground for cancer cells to multiply. Here’s why:
1. Carotene (beta, alpha, et al). Beta carotene is built into yellow and dark green veggies. These vegetables are Special Agents of the immune system called antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals (alien aggressors that feed on and weaken healthy cells). Free radicals inevitably form in the body from our toxic environments, food additives, etc. Antioxidants also empower our white blood cells by enabling them to terminate cancer and virus-infected cells. White blood cells also reject foreign tissues like free radicals.
2. Vitamin C. Bounteous in fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is another valued weapon in the vegetarian armed forces. This famous antioxidant expands the antibody population, guards against suspicious bacteria, reduces stress, and accelerates the healing process. Vitamin C fights infection with a vengeance.
3. Mr. E, the vitamin present in whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and certain fruits, amplifies the power of carotene, aligns with and boosts C and A (carotene). Vitamin E is a great warrior in the fight against free-radicals.
4. Mr. B And Family (B1, B2, B12, etc.). The B vitamins are plentiful in all plant foods. They keep healthy cells in shape, purify the bloodstream, maintain and clean the system, controls stress, another major cancer ally.
5. Minerals, particularly, Selenium, Copper, Iron, and Zinc, that abound in whole foods, especially deep green and leafy veggies (kale, collard greens, spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard), oats, dried fruits, legumes, whole grains, mushrooms and nuts. Their specialties vary; some are stronger against certain types of cancers. Broccoli and cauliflower are also particularly rich in most of these nutrients- they are also amazing anti-oxidants if regularly included in your diet (make sure they’re uncooked or- at the very most- lightly cooked).
6. Fiber. The most effective fibers collect and take out the dangerous toxins that accumulate in our bodies- pesticides, pollution, parasites¼ you name it. By having a fiber-rich diet, toxins and bacteria are regularly flushed from our systems thus diminishing our chances for disease (not to mention fatigue and constipation). Two of the best sources are psyllium and fresh-ground flax-seed. Both are fiber-rich and absorb toxins in the colon before they make their way out of the body.
Being vegetarian DOES NOT automatically save anyone from cancer. But studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk cancer (namely breast cancer and prostate cancer) by four times. It remains an indisputable fact that a HEALTHFUL meatless regimen, rich with organic fruits, veggies, and legumes, lessens the odds against disease. Such a diet optimizes our energy, our immune system, and our metabolism. All of these favorable effects give us a more productive and less painful life, so that we may use our bodies to serve a higher purpose.
“Being vegetarian DOES NOT automatically save anyone from cancer. But studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk cancer (namely breast cancer and prostate cancer) by four times”