Sunday, January 29, 2012

Revving up for the Cancer Fight...

Mission Possible: Research Cancer Fighting Foods That Help Reduce the Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation.

In an effort to assist with Mom’s cancer diagnosis, I’ve been researching cancer fighting foods and foods that can help ease side effects due to radiation therapy.

It is interesting to note that side effects vary from patient to patient, so it can be a bit difficult to determine which foods may assist and which are ineffective.  It is also important to note, radiations effects build up gradually over time.  Initially, there may not be any side effects, but in time, any number of discomforts could possibly arise, most commonly, fatigue and skin irritation.

Noting these, based on my research, I was able to gather the following:

Eating foods high in vitamin B, calcium and iron – almonds, beans, whole grains and dark leafy vegetables all fall in this category. These prove to be important as test have shown they are thought to suppress tumor growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets.

Eating cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are all fabulous for their antioxidant boosting characteristics. Various components in cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower cancer risks. Some have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining (endometrium), lung, colon, liver, and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Eating antioxidant rich foods – fruits like blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries as well as veggies like tomatoes, peppers, carrots and garlic are all powerhouses in strengthening the immune system and preventing cardiovascular diseases.

 Avoiding refined foods - white breads, flours, pastas, and sugars, are not only void of any nutritional value that are eliminated during the processing, but they also cause spikes in blood sugar levels causing the body to feel unsatisfied, causing over eating.

Eating lean meats - like fish, tofu, and poultry contain an abundance of protein, which is critical the efficacy of the immune system and many other important physiological functions. It has also been demonstrated that protein promotes a feeling of fullness and suppresses appetite, which might form a bulwark against the tendency to overeat every meal. Protein-rich foods tend to have vital nutrients such as iron and vitamin B. If you eat seafood, you will also consume omega-3 fatty acids, which are fats that are essential for cellular activity.

Eating healthy oils – omega – 3 fatty acids, in addition to olive, canola and other plant based oils, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer's disease.

Already for 2012, the American Cancer Society has estimated over 1,638,910 new cancer cases in the United States alone. Whether it's breast, colon, lung or some other form, cancer appears to have touched all of our lives in one way or another.  Perhaps you have been personally effected, or know someone who has.  For more information on this and other cancer fighting methods, please share this blog with your cancer heroes and check out the following links:

Perhaps together we can make a difference!

Next up... Addressing Skin Care Needs for My Cancer Hero!

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