March is National Nutrition Month, so it seems fitting that we should talk a little about how food fits in to your health picture. In fact, what you put in your mouth may affect your body and your mind in more ways that you know. When you are on a healing journey with any dis-ease, eating in a way that promotes healing is vital.
Food Changes Gene Expression
I never recommend a “one diet fits all” regime for anyone who is looking to improve their health. Each person is unique and, thus, each person’s health condition will be, even if you are “diagnosed” with the same condition as your neighbor.
That being said, whether you are struggling with breast cancer or want to prevent it, there are some guidelines that you may choose to follow. They are based on clear science and on the principals of epigenetics.
In simple terms, epigenetics refers to how external factors such as what you eat can affect health at the level of genetic expression. A 2016 Cambridge University study that focused on the metabolic system discovered that how we eat alters how proteins are produced in “almost every gene in our body.”
The most important thing to remember about epigenetic factors for disease is that you are not born with them. Currently there are roughly 117 million Americans who are suffering from some form of chronic disease, including cancer. Ninety-five percent of these conditions are epigenetic in nature. This is actually great news because it means that if you are not in the best health, you can do something about it!
6 Ways You Can Help Your Body After Cancer
If you are on a healing journey, consider these tips for supporting your body whether you decide to use traditional therapies such as chemo and radiation, natural modalities or a little of both:
- Avoid sugar. The first thing you can do to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and do your part to starve cancer cells is to avoid all foods that contain sugar, including simple carbs like pastas. Did you know that cancer cells love sugar 44 times more than healthy cells? When you abstain from sugary foods, you are helping your body heal more than you know.
- Get some greens in every day. The best way to do this in a way that is easy to digest is to mix up either a gentle green juice or smoothie to drink every day. Greens contain dozens of vitamins and minerals as well as chlorophyll, which research has connected to chronic disease prevention. Some great ingredients for your juice or smoothie can be leafy greens like kale, green apple, lemon, ginger and cucumber.
- Boost Your Immune System. Some supplements which can significantly help the immune system (including your body’s ability to produce Natural Killer Cells) include sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts, beta glucans (best obtained from certain kinds of mushrooms), Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) and hyperthermia modalities. According to some health experts, an increase in body temperature by just 1 degree is equal to a 40% increase in immune function.
- Consider targeted cancer-healing substances. Sulforaphane, as well as curcumin (which comes from the Indian spice turmeric), can be considered “heavy hitters” when it comes to substances which studies have shown target cancer tumors and even cancer stem cells. If you consume curcumin for healing, however, be sure to couple it with peperine from black pepper. Studies show that peperine enhances the bioavailability of curcumin by as much as 2,000%.
- Elicit the Relaxation Response. Do something every day that will calm your body and mind and activate the healing mechanisms of the parasympathetic nervous system. Studies show that stress can actually encourage cancer cells to grow and reproduce. Meditation or meditative practices like tai chi, walking in nature or doing something you enjoy are great ways to reduce stress and kick start the “relaxation response.”
- Strengthen Your Detoxification Pathways. There is no sense doing all the “good things” mentioned above without helping your body get rid of all the “bad stuff” as your body begins to detoxify. Your detoxification pathways include not just the liver but also the kidneys, the pancreas and the lymphatic pathways. Doing coffee enemas on a regular basis, ingesting detoxifiers like chlorophyll and spirulina, drinking lots of filtered water and practicing exercises that help your lymphatic system are great ways to help these pathways.
So there you have it– scientific proof that you have more control over your health than you know as well as six things you can to “kick start” your health. With a change of the season can come a new commitment to your health. Why not leap into Spring with vibrant health created naturally?