As we promised in our most recent blog, today we begin to give you a more information on the Four Pillars of Integrative Oncology. In our most recent blog, we explained the concept of integrative oncology as the blending of nutrition, exercise, stress-reduction, and spirituality with the accepted traditional treatments for cancer. These four pillars support the integrative way of treating cancer, as opposed to the purely traditional ways of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. In integrative oncology, traditional ways are not ignored; they are combined with the four pillars, to treat a total person and prevent the recurrence of cancer.
The first of the four pillars of integrative oncology is “nutrition.” You have probably heard that nutrition is one of the keys to cancer treatment and survival. Did you also know that many “naturally occurring compounds” in plant foods possess strong cancer fighting properties?
Ammunition For The Cancer Fight: Phytonutrients
Amazingly, some of the ingredients in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, herbs, spices, and mushrooms have cancer-fighting effects identical to some oncology drugs. These compounds “are thought to halt the development and spread of cancer cells.” They are called phytonutrients, and they destroy cancer two ways:
1…by encouraging the cancer cells to self-destruct. This process is called “apoptosis,”
2…by blocking the growth of new blood vessels, to feed growing tumors. This excellent process is termed “angiogenesis.”
Pre-emptive Strike Against Cancer With A Food Schedule: Nutrient Synergy
Experts say that a variety of these foods is very important to a cancer patient, and to good nutrition in general. Not only are the foods themselves important, but the order in which they are consumed makes a difference in their disease fighting capabilities. Scientists explain, “Eating a wide variety of foods containing these compounds is likely to be more protective than eating a lot of just one type. ” For example, although broccoli contains several anti-cancer actions, eating it every day does not give us as much cancer protection as eating a special variety.
The cancer fighting dietician’s plan will arrange broccoli one day, peppers the next, tomatoes and onions the day after that. Here is why: “Different plant foods also reinforce each other’s effects; for instance, the antioxidant lycopene in tomato skins is absorbed better when the tomatoes have been cooked with olive oil and garlic than when eaten on their own. This is called “nutrient synergy” and is an important concept to remember when planning menus. To learn more, the Center for Integrative and Natural Medicine recommends that you read Conner Middelmann-Whitney’s cancer-prevention cookbook, Zest for Life, The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet.
Combating The Carbohydrate Level
Most people know some types of carbohydrate “are more beneficial than others, and some are downright unhealthy.” When vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and are whole and unprocessed, they also have nutrients to maintain our health as well as guard us against cancer. This is not true of the refined sugars and processed carbohydrate foods, which are nothing more than empty calories. They can do worse than make us fat. It is well known that processed foods, and especially processed carbohydrates, can increase our cancer risk. Such substances actually appear to encourage cancer to thrive.
Dr. Frank Lipman has condensed a great deal of nutrient based anti-cancer information in his short list of recommended eating behaviors :
1. Delete the Sweet Tooth: Decrease consumption of sugars, starches and refined carbohydrates.
2. Cook With Less Oil: Vegetable oils are high in inflammatory omega-6s.
3. Discover Anti Cancer Foods: Eat foods such as turmeric, cruciferous veggies, dark leafy greens, garlic, onions and
4. Switch Out Those Non-organics: Replace non-organic animal products, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, with grass-fed organic
animal products. (Do you really want all the hormones and antibiotics eaten by that cage-grown chicken?)
5. Hold The Steak: Limit your intake of red meat.
6. Get Fishy: Increase your omega-3 intake with salmon, sardines and mackerel. Add also some grass-fed animal products, and flaxseeds.
7. Drink Up: Get Addicted to Water. Filtered tap water, mineral water or spring water are all much better for you than soda.
8. Limit Your Toasts: Reduce your alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine with a meal.
You can read about more of Dr. Frank Lipman’s helpful anti-cancer diet hints at this informative source. Next week we will bring you more information about the other Pillars of Integrative Oncology.
The Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine Brings You warm hearted wishes for the Season Of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day.
As we hurry with our holiday shopping, plans and preparations, we remember: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Quotation By Hamilton Wright Mabie