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.
 What Is Cancer?. (2017). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 2 January 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer
 Liu, R. (2004). Potential Synergy of Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention: Mechanism of Action. Journal Of Nutrition, 134(12).
 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
 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