In this third series on cancer prevention , we will focus on Eating from the Four Kingdoms. (See articles #1 Promoting Nature’s Rhythms in your Body and #2 A Critical Factor: Managing Stress). A recent article on the GreenMed Info website tells us “Plants cure cancer, not chemicals”. The well-referenced article explains how phytocompounds affect cancer stem cells’ self-renewal, metabolism and microenvironment. In other words, real foods regulate our cells on a daily basis. Choosing the right foods greatly increases our chances of not getting cancer. Nature (Holistic natural medicine) offers us many choices of foods which have intrinsic cancer-fighting and immune-boosting properties.
THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM
Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale, to name a few, are some of the most powerful cancer fighting foods on the planet. Not only are these vegetables high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, they are also important antioxidants which help us fight free radicals and contain phytochemicals which help break down potential carcinogens. These vegetables are not the only cancer fighters in our food supply. Beets also fight cancer, specifically cancer of the liver or cirrhosis. However, eat them raw for the full benefit. Shred some on your salad, or add a slice to your smoothie!
Asparagus is considered the #1 cancer fighter since it is high in glutathione which is important in Phase 2 detoxification. It aids in cleansing the liver of toxins. Artichokes and avocados also contain this important phytochemical. Therefore, as we try to eat healthy we must also be aware of toxins occurring in our environment. Fighting the battle is not always easy, however eating these detoxing foods will assist in staying healthy. Grapefruit is another cancer fighter which actually causes apoptosis (cancer cell death)! The medicine is in the white pith of the citrus, so add the pith to your smoothie! Any cancer patient would benefit by having a grapefruit smoothie–with pith–daily!
Curcumin is the spice of life. U.S. researchers evaluated the primary polyphenol in the Indian spice “curcumin” (turmeric) for its ability to target cancer stem cells, which are the “mother” cells and are believed to be the root cause of tumor formation and malignancy. Curcumin has shown great potential to inhibit CSCs in several types of cancer including breast, colorectal, pancreatic, brain, and esophageal. All of these foods, and more, are cancer prevention tools.
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
Salmon is the #1 cancer fighter in the animal kingdom. Highest in Omega 3 fatty acids which starve tumor cells and help fight cancer. Omega 3’s may alter colon cell function reducing the risk of colon and breast cancer. Research shows people who eat a moderate amount of fish a few times a week have a lower risk of cancer and other diseases and enjoy a longer life. Eat fish with asparagus and cilantro to help detox the mercury out of your system.
THE FERMENTED KINGDOM
No paper about eating for cancer prevention is complete without the fermented food kingdom. Fermented foods contain billions of good bacteria which are needed to balance our microbiome and boost our immune system and thus help fight cancer. We start our day with a good probiotic capsule, then continue the day sampling various probiotic fermented foods such as fermented cabbage, pickles, goat kefir, kombucha, kimchi and some apple cider vinegar. Varying your fermented foods allows you to ingest different types of strains of good bacteria, thus keeping your gut healthy.
Kombucha resists the unhealthy effects of antibiotics and kills candida. This delicious tea helps prevent/kill cancer cells and detoxes the liver and aids in digestion and weight loss. Fermented cabbage also helps with digestion, and pickles kills breast cancer cells! Apple cider vinegar corrects your gut pH level and helps with gout and GERD.
My favorite of all the fermented kingdom is goat kefir. It is a fierce cancer fighter, as per recent research. The kefir is also an immunity builder, a hormone balancer, it detoxes us, and has B12 and other B vitamins along with vitamin C. Goat kefir contains between 35-50 different strains of bacteria and once ingested, stays and takes up residence in the gut waiting to attack any pathogen that invades our gut. Other probiotic foods do not have this level of staying power.
THE FUNGAL KINGDOM – MUSHROOMS
I call this kingdom “The Magic of Mushrooms” because mushrooms are truly magical and also miraculous in how they help boost our immune system and fight and kill cancer cells. They have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and AHCC (a specific blend of mushrooms) is the number one choice for fighting cancer in Japan. This blend contains Maitake and Shitake mushrooms. Maitake Gold actually has received a U.S. patent!
Another powerful mushroom is Turkey Tail. MD Anderson in Texas, known for their innovative cancer research, uses Turkey Tail mushroom in conjunction with chemo to treat prostate cancer. Turkey Tail is also the mushroom which is used for breast cancer since it increases natural killer cells. I have seen amazing results with breast cancer patients using Turkey Tail. These are powerful cancer prevention tools.
The unusual looking Cordyceps mushroom is shown to cause apoptosis (cancer cell death) and is used for lung/ liver / kidney cancers. Chaga mushroom, King of Mushrooms, not only fights cancer but, if you have had cancer and radiation, it helps eliminate the radiation from your system. Where Chaga is the King, his Queen is Reishi mushroom. Not only does Reishi fight cancer, it boosts and modulates the immune system. This is beneficial for those with auto immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis. The miracle of mushrooms and how they benefit so many areas of our health is being researched constantly.
What you need to know when purchasing a mushroom supplement is that the hot water extraction is most effective in extracting all the beta glucans and polysaccharides from the hard cell wall (the chitin) of the mushroom which is indigestible in humans. Simply grinding up the entire mushroom does not contain the same benefit. We carry mushroom supplements here at the clinic which have been heat extracted.
I have been using mushroom supplements with my clients for years with good results. From shingles to cancer to heart disease, mushrooms are the “go to” supplement for immune boosting. Getting to the root cause of a health issue is our goal at Lotus Blossom, not just treating the symptoms. Mushrooms reach the root cause of the health issue……boost that immune system!
Choosing wisely from the 4 Food Kingdoms can give you a real edge on cancer prevention. Practices of awareness and targeted choices of self-care including stress management and the foods with which we nourish our bodies, and other choices which prevent cancer can also be used to treat cancer.
Call us to learn more about how our 12+ Practitioner-Providers at Lotus Blossom Clinic can help you stay healthy and live a long life with purpose and pleasure. (239) 277-1399
Other Articles in this Series:
Live Well, Be Well,
Vickie Gelardi, Medicinal Food Consultant
Dr. David Martin and our clinic’s Providers