I was in the process of doing a series of posts based on something entirely different. I became sidetracked by my own thoughts I guess. I began to think about cell growth and how your diet can feed the cells. Certain foods such as bok choy, asparagus, cauliflower, strawberries, broccoli, and ginger root are just a few of the foods that are excellent for cell growth and regeneration.
With that I began to wonder about cancer cells also. I had already learned that we all carry cancer cells. So if there is food that stimulates the health of the cells that make up our organ systems, is there food that feeds the growth of cancer cells.
Not only is there food that feeds cancer cells, but there are also foods that starve cancer cells. The American Cancer Society, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation provide great information on feeding and starving cancer cells. So lets look at some information provided by the American Cancer Society.
Again, we all carry cancer cells. However, these cancer cells will not appear on a standard cancer exam until the cell count reaches a few billion. We develop cancer cells from 6 to 10 times during our lifetime. When our immune system is functioning properly our body will terminate the cancer cells and prevent tumor formation. When cancer develops it’s an indication that numerous nutritional deficiencies are present, and could be due to environmental, food, genetic, or lifestyle factors.
Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common treatments for cancer. Chemotherapy is a process that involves poisoning the rapidly growing cancer cells. However, it also destroys our healthy cells in the bone marrow and gastrointestinal tract. It’s also linked to different forms of organ damage.
Radiation is a process of using high energy waves to kill tumor cells while trying to reduce the destruction of healthy cells. However, side effects usually involve the destruction of healthy cells, tissue, and organs. When the body has become heavily burdened of toxins from the radiation and chemotherapy treatment the immune system is either compromised or destroyed. This allows for infections to become fatal. Cancer cells have also been known to mutate with the exposure to chemotherapy and radiation making the cells difficult to terminate.
Now that we have a foundation, let’s look at foods that feed these cancer cells. According to Oncologists nutritionists, the infamous sugar is a huge culprit in feeding cancer cells. The irony of this is that I made a post a few weeks ago discussing the health dangers associated with sugar. The elevated insulin levels and growth factors are what gives the influence to increase cancer cell growth and other chronic diseases. Cancer cells have numerous insulin receptors that respond more than normal cells to the insulin’s ability to promote growth.
Here is a list of the top ten foods associated with feeding cancer cells provided by Dr. Ty Bollinger
Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs): The rapidly growing industry of genetically modified crops are infiltrating our food supply at an alarming rate. More than 90% of our corn and soy are now genetically modified. This fairly new practice is the source of many debates. Experts agree that adequate testing was not done before GMO foods were added to the ingredient listing of thousands of products. In other words, no one – including the growers and manufacturers of GMO foods – knows the long-term effect they will have on human health. Look for GMO-free labels whenever possible or buy organic (which always means a product is not genetically modified).
Microwave Popcorn: From the chemically-lined bag to the actual contents, microwave popcorn is at the center of lung cancer debates around the world. Not only are the kernels and oil likely GMO (which the manufacturer does not have to disclose) unless organic, the fumes released from artificial butter flavoring contain diacetyl, which is toxic to humans. Make your own organic popcorn the old-fashioned way – it tastes better, doesn’t release toxic fumes, and is a healthier choice for you.
Canned Goods: Most cans are lined with a product called bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats. Many plastic goods, thermal paper, water lines, and many dental composites also contain BPA. Help protect your DNA by sticking to fresh or frozen vegetables that have no added ingredients for your family’s table! These are better for you and available year-round.
Grilled Red Meat: While grilled food can taste delicious, scientists have discovered that preparing meats in this way – especially processed meats like hot dogs – releases a carcinogen called heterocyclic aromatic amines. When you grill red meat to the point of well-done, it changes the chemical and molecular structure of the meat. You’re better off baking, broiling, or preparing meat in a skillet than on the grill.
Refined Sugar: The biggest cancer causing food (by far) is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other refined sugars. Even brown sugar is highly refined white sugar with some of the removed molasses added back in for flavor and color. Refined sugars (and foods made with them) are the source of major insulin spikes and feed the growth of cancer cells. Since the majority of the sugar supply in the U.S. is made using genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets, a healthier option is organic honey, coconut sugar, or maple sugar. Now that oncologists are using diabetes medication to fight cancer cells, there’s no doubt (finally) that those mutated cancer cells love sugar.
Salted, Pickled, and Smoked Foods: These products typically contain preservatives, such as nitrates, which are intended to prolong shelf life. The additives used in processed foods can accumulate in your body over time. Eventually, such toxins cause damage at the cellular level and lead to diseases like cancer. When smoked foods are cooked at high temperatures, the nitrates are converted to the much more dangerous nitrites. (Note: By pickled foods we don’t mean the fermented foods you make at home.)
Soda and Carbonated Beverages: Sodas have been at the center of the health debate for two decades as a major cancer causing food. Filled with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dyes, and a host of other chemicals, they are very bad for every aspect of your health. They provide zero nutritional value and rob your body of the nutrients you get from other foods. Adding “diet” to the label means you’re also likely consuming aspartame – which is no better than rat poison to human cells.
White Flour: When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed. Then it’s bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers. The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel. Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance. Simple sugars (like refined carbohydrates) are the preferred fuel source for cancer.
Farmed Fish: Commercial fish farming involves raising an incredible number of fish (such as salmon), in a crowded environment. More than 60% of the salmon consumed in the United States comes from a farming operation where they are treated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals to try and control the bacterial, viral, and parasitic outbreaks that result from cramming so many fish in a small space. Farmed fish also don’t have as much omega-3 as wild salmon.
Hydrogenated Oils: Vegetable oils are chemically extracted from their source, chemically treated, and more chemicals are added to change the smell and taste. They’re packed with unhealthy omega-6 fats (that Americans already consume way too much of) and have been proven to alter the structure of our cell membranes.
My next post will focus on foods and diets that will starve out cancer cells.