It starts with one lifestyle change.

Reducing Cancer Risk with Plants

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

According the the World Health Organization, 8.2 million people worldwide die from cancer. That number is expected to increase by 70% within the next two decades. Why is this ? It is because cancer causing agents are in the food we eat, the air we breath and it is even in the medications we take. Macha & Mcdonough (2012) tells us "Food is designed with the addition of colors, additives, and preservatives. Human exposure to chemical in food, teratogenic drugs, common household products, and toxic environmental contaminants may cause epigenetic changes that negatively impact health" .


Florida is second behind California with over 121,000 estimated cases of new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. during the year 2016. What if I told you we can split this number in half by changing a few bad habits and living a healthier lifestyle? Would you accept the challenge ?


How Cancer Affects Us

Cancer is not one stand alone condition, it is a collection of different diseases. In healthy cell function, old (bad) cells tend to die, so new (good) cells may grow and take their place. Cancerous cell function is different. Bad cells do not die. Bad cells live and grow. These cells expand and create tumors while new cells form in places they are not needed, creating more inflammation and dysfunction.


To learn more in depth information about cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute web page on understanding cancer.


Reducing Cancer Risk

Research has revealed several lifestyle habits, that reduce risk of cancer growing and living in your body.  These lifestyle habits include: exercising, reducing toxin exposure, and consuming a healthy diet. Additionally, epidemiological studies have consistently shown that the regular consumption of fruits, herbs, and vegetables are strongly associated with reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease .


Fight Back with Plants, Herbs, and Spices

Foods high in antioxidants are demonstrated to protect cells in the body from free radicals, chemical that cause destruction the the cells, and it also destroys tumor growth . Being that inflammation in a cell is often credited to higher cancer risk, decreasing inflammation also plays a huge role in cancer prevention. There are many herbs, spices, and plants that have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Turmeric (curcumin) - a powerful antioxidant that fights tumor growth & reduces the number of precancerous glands

  • Garlic- (allium)- an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant

  • Ginger-(zingerone) an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant

  • Cayenne Pepper(capsaicin)- an antioxidant that may inhibits tumor growth

  • Black Pepper (piperine)- an antioxidant that may inhibits tumor growth

  • Oregano (carcacrol)- a natural disinfectant

These are great additions to any meal. You will be satisfied with the natural flavor enhancing capabilities and the possible cancer preventing benefit. 


Fight Back with These Nutrients and Fruits

  • Fruit high in vitamin C builds immunity and helps the body kill cancer cells naturally. They include guava, citrus fruits, papaya, berries, and pineapple just to name a few.

  • Fruit high in antioxidants have shown to reduce the damage created by free radicals, which are chemicals that cause harm to cells. This includes seeded Grapes, wild blueberries and raspberries.

  • Fruit high in phytochemicals contain natural plant chemicals that works to stimulate immune processes, block carcinogens from producing, slow cancer cells growth, regulate hormones, and destroy damaged cells. These fruit include: tomatoes, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon.


Avoid Cancer Causing Agents

In order to facilitate a healthy and healing environment within your body, it is imperative that you avoid food items with added hormones, artificial additives, genetically modified organisms, pesticides, processed foods, and preservatives.  Unnatural grade D meat is full of added hormones that are destructive to the body. Additives, such a food coloring (especially Red 3 being that it is proven to be a carcinogen) and flavor enhancers cause genetic mutations in the DNA.   Additionally, Inorganic fruit may be full of pesticides used to enhance appearance and taste. I know it may be a little more costly to have organic and all natural foods, but it is an investment in your health.



References

[1] What Is Cancer?. (2017). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 2 January 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer

[2] Liu, R. (2004). Potential Synergy of Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention: Mechanism of Action. Journal Of Nutrition, 134(12). 

[3] Kushi, L., Doyle, C., McCullough, M., Rock, C., Demark-Wahnefried, W., & Bandera, E. et al. (2012). American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention. CA: A Cancer Journal For Clinicians, 62(1), 30-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.3322/caac.20140

[4] Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention. (2017). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 29 January 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet

About Me

Hi I am Dr. MIG, the family nurse practitioner, health coach student, fitness enthusiast, herbal counselor and wellness motivator and I am happy you landed here !

 

Check out the rest of Rooted Vigor's content as I encourage a whole mind, body, and soul approach to disease prevention and lifestyle modification.

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