Fruits and vegetables of all kinds should be in a cancer patient’s diet. Really, it should be in everyone’s diet for the great beneﬁts of the nutritional value they provide. It’s like having God over-the-counter pharmacy in your kitchen pantry.
I recently read an interesting article that interviewed Richard Beliveau, PhD, from the University of Montreal, University of Quebec at Montreal, and McGill University in Quebec. He must be a busy man working at all three universities.
Beliveau made some interesting points that I had never exactly heard in the way he put them. He explained that a key promoter of certain cancers is an unhealthy diet. He was mostly talking about a deﬁciency associated with fruit and vegetables. That part we know but it gets better.
Dr. Beliveau explained, “Plants do not produce chemicals to help us ﬁght cancer, essentially, plants produce an arsenal of toxic chemicals that kill yeast, bacteria, and insects. Out of this huge chemo-diversity, research has shown that some of these chemicals have potent anticancer properties.”
Now, putting it in a different way than I had ever heard plant medicine describe. I had always been taught how the vitamin A, vitamin C, etc in plants did the job. Beliveau puts it in a simple way that the plant chemicals are toxic to the things that can allow our bodies to form tumors or abnormal cells. This is an interesting concept.
He went on to give some examples of how these toxic phytochemicals work. He gave the example of curcumin. Curcumin and turmeric have really been in the news lately due to the science behind the studies. Curcumin is a potent anti-inﬂammatory phytochemical. Turmeric is the most powerful source of curcumin. Many mornings, I will put about one half tablespoon of curcumin in my breakfast shake. You really get used to the taste after a while.
Mom always said, “Eat your broccoli, it’s good for you.” I bet she never really knew how good it really was for us. Broccoli contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane which is believed to kill cancer cells directly.
There are many studies proving that green tea is beneﬁcial for ﬁghting cancer. It’s the phytochemical called epigallocatechin gallate in the green tea that is the active compound that targets tumor invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis.
There has been hundreds of good sound studies proving that Resveratrol found in grapes, possess a good apoptotic activity against abnormal cells for a variety of tumors. This correlates with the inhibition, or stopping, of tumor growth.
Tomatoes have been in the news about how the consumption has been associated with a 25% reduction in prostate cancer. That’s pretty
strong. Instead of an “apple a day keeps the doctor away”, maybe it should be, “ a tomato a day keeps the prostate healthy”.
For years it has been known that eating leafy green vegetables that contain a lot of dietary folate have been shown to reduce the risk for pancreatic cancer by a whopping 75%. Keep putting the kale in your smoothies.
Dr. Beliveau stated, “There is robust evidence that speciﬁc phytochemicals targeting carcinogenic pathways lead to signiﬁcant reductions in speciﬁc types of cancer. For example, in prospective studies done with tens of thousands of participants, researchers have linked the consumption of cruciferous vegetables (cauliﬂower, broccoli, kale) to reductions of approximately 50% in both bladder and prostate cancer, and of about 30% in lung cancer.”
Maybe from now on, if we are trying to beat cancer or just trying to stay healthy, let’s look at those nasty tasting vegetables in a different way. Preventive medicine is very important and I do not feel we hear enough about how important it is. If by just eating simple vegetables, we can reduce our risk for certain cancers by anywhere from 25 to 75%, this should be a part of mainstream medicine.
So for me, I will no longer hate broccoli. I will learn to tolerate it and ﬁnd some good spices or herbs to go on top of it.
Keep eating your veggies (or start).