Tuesday, June 28, 2011


FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER: Preventing Cancer Through Diet by Richard Beliveau, Ph.D., and Denis Gingras, Ph.D.
There is an amazing secret. An answer to a long-sought mystery and it lurks in your refrigerator, your cupboards, and your local supermarket. The response to the age-old mystery in which billions of research, trillions of dollars in medical procedures, treatments, and millions who get diagnosed annually... what causes cancer? According to Beliveau, Gingras, and his research team, preventable factors and 30% of the time it is poor dietary habits. When I learned about this news, I wondered why there were no protests, riots in the street, or wars between fast food restaurants, agricultural and meat industries, and the general public. The information suggests that sometimes we are responsible for our cancer diagnoses. Louise Hay and Carolyn Myss, Ph.D. suggest that cancer is caused by psychosocial and emotional issues. And now this? On the pie chart on Page 19, there is a pie chart that displays RISK FACTORS FOR CANCER. Hereditary factors (15%), workplace-related exposure (5%), infection (5%), and other environmental only account for a combined 30%. Other factors such as smoking (30%), , alcohol (3%), obesity and lack of exercise (5%), UV-ray exposure (2%), drugs (2%), pollution (2%), other (1%), plus the poor dietary habits account for the other 70% are considered preventable factors. I have to ask some questions since I realize that drugs, UV-ray exposure, and pollution may be considered both within control or beyond the immediate control of the individual. For example, if a child had melanoma and was administered radiation therapy to treat and later grew up and developed thyroid cancer as a latent side-effect of the treatment that was administered years prior, this is not within his immediate control. If one chooses to ignore the warnings about UV-ray exposure from the sun by not applying sunscreen for example, she increases the risk for skin cancer. The lines can be blurred sometimes.

The answer to the question about what causes cancer is so complex and I am quite fascinated to know all of the theories. In practice, I have mentioned in my book reviews that there is a lot to learn with theories such as Beliveau/Gingras so I will share with you the things that I did. These researchers found that the most effective way to prevent the start of a cancer and slow down cancer cell growths is by preventing angiogenesis, the formation of blood vessels which provide the necessary nutrients and oxygen to a tumour. The researchers suggest that food is most effective in blocking the formation of these tumour-feeding blood vessels in ways that the more conventional treatments of cancer such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are not. The way I look at it is that in addition to the conventional treatments (I have had both surgery and radiation), food is my most potent plan of defence. First, I am in control of what I eat and second, there are no side effects except a full belly. (Or anaphylactic allergic side effects if I eat the fish which I can't and won't anyway.)

I learned about this book in a Vegetarian Cooking Class and Workshop offered at Wellspring Cancer support centre. The dietician who presented this workshop focused on the FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER (but included a few others she added as well). These FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER are:
1) Cabbage family which includes all cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, collard greens, turnip, watercress
2) Garlic and onions also includes such things as leeks, shallots, and chives
3) Soy also includes edamame, dry roasted soybeans, miso, soya sauce, tofu, soy milk
4) Turmeric
5) Green Tea
6) Berriesincludes strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries
7) Fish for their Omega 3 fatty acids but if you are vegan and/or anaphylactic like me you can get the same benefits in flax seed, soy, and nuts
8) Tomatoes are here because of their lycopene but so are watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit
9) Citrus Fruit includes oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and mandarins (clementines, tangerines)
10) Red wine but you can get some of these benefits in grapes
and my favourite
11) Chocolate but not the milk kind that I love but dark chocolate

There are other plant-based foods, fruits, and vegetables that could be added to the list such as eggplant, celery, spinach, apples, mushrooms, and algae.

And it's not because these foods contain a lot of vitamins and minerals (although these help), it's that they contain phytochemicals which actually slow the growth of these cancer cells. Isn't that exciting???

I love books like this because they give me such a sense of hope. A hope that cancer fighting is in the hands of the patient and not only in the hands of the medical establishment. There are things we can do!

So whether you have been diagnosed with cancer or not, I recommend this book. Beyond cancer, it provides a lot of healthy suggestions for diet which can help prevent other diseases and illnesses as well. I think our ancestors knew it best since many of them ate these foods readily. The ancient Japanese first drank green tea for healing and now it is quite integrated in their culture. The same goes for garlic and onions in southern European and Asian cuisines. Indians ate turmeric and black pepper in combination to increase their healing potential. Isn't this amazing???

So before you think I'm a lunatic, read this book!!!!

NOTE: Shout out to Gingras and Beliveau, my new French-Canadian research homeboys!!!

Coming next: THE CHINA STUDY


Anonymous said...

I love this book, I read it cover to cover right after my diagnosis - it is well researched and very easy to understand. David Servan-Schreiber's book "Anticancer" also references Beliveau's research and touches on the many levels of healing: body, mind and spirit: a must read for anyone with cancer.

www.carbohealth.com said...

The cancer society has acknowledged a link between unhealthy lifestyle choices and higher cancer risk. Two significant ways to reduce the risk of cancer are through exercise and diet. Healthy dietary choices include eating a plant based diet.