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Foods That Really Do Fight Cancer
James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP
In case you haven’t seen the book, Foods That Fight Cancer: Preventing cancer through diet, I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy. The book is authored by two leading Canadian cancer researchers, Drs Richard Beliveau and Denis Gringas.
As stated in their book, “Nature supplies us with an abundance of foods rich in molecules with powerful anti-cancer properties, capable of engaging with the disease (cancer) without causing any harmful side effects. In many respects, these foods possess therapeutic properties on par with those of synthetic drugs”. In a very precise but understandable manner, the book outlines the many biological targets that are affected by various naturally-occurring constituents that are present in many protective. In their book they clearly illustrate how these foods that can help prevent cancer and, in some cases, be used in the adjunctive management of cancer.
They go on to show how research in their own lab (the Nutrinome Project) has shown that raw extracts from certain fruits and vegetables could inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells to varying degrees. Using medulloblastoma cancer cells (a very aggressive brain tumor), they showed that extracts of certain fruits and vegetables could inhibit the growth of these cancer cells in the following order, from most effective to least effective: garlic, beet, kale, red cabbage, onion, turnip, cranberry, carrot, potato, squash, cabbage, tomato.
As for specific dietary advice to prevent cancer Drs Beliveau and Gringas suggest that there is a daily preventive threshold level of cancer-fighting foods that each of us should strive to attain. Their suggestions include the daily consumption of:
- Brussels sprouts – ½ cup
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage – ½ cup
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Onions, shallots – ½ cup
- Spinach, watercress – ½ cup
- Soy (edamame, dry roasted beans) – ½ cup
- Freshly ground flaxseeds – 1 tablespoon
- Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric – 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper – ½ teaspoon
- Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – ½ cup
- Dried cranberries – ½ cup
- Grapes – ½ cup
- Dark chocolate (70% cocao) – 40 gms
- Citrus Juice – ½ cup
- Green tea – 3 servings of 250 ml serving
- Red Wine – 1 glass (5 ounces)
On the subject of nutritional supplements the authours suggest that there is no evidence that supplements play a meaningful role in cancer prevention or treatment. Unfortunately these researchers have failed to examine the scientific literature closely in this regard, as numerous research papers over the past 20 years have shown that targeted nutritional supplements can affect many important biological targets in cancer prevention and management. As the Director of Nutritional Therapies at a medical cancer treatment facility we follow this research very closely and utilize specific nutritional supplement strategies and dietary practices to enhance the effects of standard and other leading edge medical treatments in the management of a variety of cancers cases. However, other than this one over sight, the book, Foods That Fight Cancer is a must read for anyone who is interested in the real facts about how food can help prevent cancer.