What Cancer Patients Should Eat and Stay Away From

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(hla)  WITH the widespread exposure of radiation and proliferating stress levels in our busy society today, more people are diagnosed with cancer. The Leukemia Research Foundation claims that someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every four minutes and is expecting more than 201,870 new cases this year in the United States. Leukaemia is a group of cancers that result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells  count. Sufferers are prone to bleeding, bruising, fatigue, fever and an increased risk of infections. It is conventionally treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and bone marrow transplant.

This is only the statistics for blood cancer alone. Imagine the statistics for all types of cancers combined.

It is important to note that both conventional and natural medicine proponents are of the view that cancer can depend on the genetic codes and also the exposure to radiation and chemicals. Diet therefore plays an extremely important role during a cancer treatment and should not be taken lightly of because "You are what you eat!"

What to avoid?
1)  Stay away from radiation as much as possible. This includes your mobile phones, wireless internet connection, nuclear power plant etc.
2)  Limit your consumption of processed food. Eat as much natural organic foods as possible. Many chemicals are used these days in order to preserve food items. Go organic.
3)  Reduce stress and unhealthy practices. Stress is the breaking link that causes all diseases. Regulate your lifestyle so that you face life with a relaxed and open mind. Stay away from smoking and alcohol.

The recommended diet for Leukaemia patients

Alkaline Diet
Former Professor of Chemical Pathology at South Africa's University of Pretoria Serfontein is of the opinion that it is important for any cancer patient to maintain an alkaline diet as cancers cannot survive in an alkaline environment with an average pH of 7.8 or higher.

While many conventional medicine supporters are ready to debunk his theory, many have tried the alkaline method and succeeded in beating cancer. In his own words, an alkaline diet is "better than any treatment" in stopping the spread of cancer.

Although it is scientifically impossible for the body to be completely alkaline as the body requires some levels of acidity to digest food and perform other functions, maintaining a diet as alkaline as possible would probably reduce the levels of acidity to its minimum so that it can no longer feed cancer cells.

In order to do so, people have resorted to drinking a teaspoon of baking soda in the morning or in the night, drinking water from alkaline filters and started the habit of drinking lemon water throughout the day.

Although lemons are a citrus fruit, it has an alkalising effect once it has been fully metabolised in the body and its minerals dissociated in the blood stream, thus raising the pH of the body tissue above 7 (alkaline).

An interview with former breast cancer patient, Patty Kizar from San Diego, is one of the many evidences that an alkaline diet helps curb the spread of cancer cells.

Food recommended for cancer patients
Apples, pears, papaya and melons are deemed excellent anti-cancer fruits as they are low in acid. Citrus fruit are generally not recommended except for lemon (as it has an alkalising effect on the body).

The research at Cornell University in the United States discovered that apples have inhibited mammary tumours in rats.  One or two apples should therefore be consumed every day if possible along with the peel as it is rich in quercitin, which is a plant flavonoid with potent antioxidant action. Remember to wash the apples thoroughly however to clear the wax and any traces of chemicals on the peel. If possible, always opt for vegetables and fruits that are grown organically.

Curcumin (or generally known as Turmeric) however is known for its anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Researchers who published their findings in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that the compound decreased brain tumours in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81%. Cancer Research UK agrees the early research trials surrounding Curcumin is showing some promising results. (Click here to read more about the health benefits that Turmeric offers).

Cancer patients are best served warm and fresh food. Green leafy vegetable soup is highly recommended. Nutrients are most rich in unprocessed food. While cancer patients may consume potatoes, they are best taken steamed and not fried.

Ayurveda highly recommends the consumption of Ghee for all types of blood cancers (e.g. Leukaemia). Leukaemia patients often have their tridoshas (Kapha, Pitta and Vata - the 3 types of energies that circulate within the body that govern physiological activities) vitiated. Ghee is therefore excellent to pacify both the Pitta and Vata doshas as it eliminates the heat and dryness, improves digestion and nourishes the tissues.

Coconut water should also be regularly consumed to help reduce the body heat. This is particularly useful for patients who have undergone or are undergoing chemotherapy. Ayurveda also suggests that cancer patients do their best to maintain a vegetarian diet. Non-vegetarian patients are however allowed to drink chicken soup with small chicken chunks if the patient is very weak. Otherwise, excessive consumption of meat will increase the Pitta level, which is deemed the root cause of the disease.

Cancer patients are also recommended in Ayurveda to choose wheat and a mixture of grain breads (or chapatti) over rice.

Food to be avoided by cancer patients
As per Ayurveda (Traditional Indian Medicine), cancer patients should consume both nuts and dates in moderate quantities. Patients should also avoid chillies and take other spices in moderation. It is also recommended that cancer patients stay away from greasy and sticky food such as bananas, yoghurt, lady's finger, cheese, sweets, milk, processed food, noodles, pasta, and preserved and canned food. Although mushrooms are rich in protein, it increases the fire element in the body and should be taken very sparingly. If the patient is not protein deficient, it is best to avoid mushrooms altogether and find better alternatives.

Cancer patients should avoid alcohol at all cost.

Fasting for cancer patients
The benefits of fasting are uncountable. There are many therapeutic benefits to be derived from the act of fasting.

Father of Medicine Hippocrates believed that "everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work.  The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.  Our food should be our medicine.  Our medicine should be our food.  But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness." The philosopher also said that "to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness."

Ayurveda is also a strong proponent of fasting. When a patient has no or low appetite, it is best not to force feed the individual as when there is no food, the digestive fire will burn the toxins. Fasting is therefore beneficial in stimulating the digestive fire, which will in turn improve one's appetite.

The effects of Vitamin C on cancer
Although most would recommend the daily intake of only 1000mg of Vitamin C a day for human beings, American chemist Linus Pauling believed otherwise. 

The common notion is that excessive intake of Vitamin C can damage the kidneys as it increases the amount of aluminium absorbed from aluminium compounds. Linus Pauling however has raised the controversial argument about the many health benefits that high doses of Vitamin C can offer. 

It was Irwin Stone, an American biochemist and author, who introduced Pauling to Vitamin C. They claim that most animals produce their own Vitamin C in large amounts. The gene for this ability however has mutated and no longer works properly in human beings. According to Stone, Vitamin C is not really a Vitamin at all but an essential substance that human beings can no longer produce in our bodies. 

Pauling did not only stop at Vitamin C having the ability to prevent the common cold, but brought it further by proposing that high doses of Vitamin C can kill cancer cells. Although at the time of Pauling's death, he was branded a 'quack' by the medical establishment, more people are now believing that his claims were probably true.

Dr. Julian Whitaker, founder of the Whitaker Wellness Institute, supports Pauling's theory, saying that Vitamin C, when administered in very high doses by intravenous (IV) infusions (can) kill cancer cells. He claims that such therapy is effective against many types of cancer and highlighted that when human cancers are grafted into animals in lab studies, a high-dose of IV Vitamin C decreases the tumour size by 41 to 53 percent.

It was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that early clinical studies have also highlighted that high-dose vitamin C, given either intravenously or orally, may improve the symptoms and prolong a terminal cancer patient's life.

By Genevieve Tan Shu Thung

Copyright © 2015 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (SEPTEMBER 2015)

2 Responses for “ What Cancer Patients Should Eat and Stay Away From”

  1. Revati Balakrishnan says:

    It was very useful for me. Thanks.

  2. Joey says:

    Excellent article on a cancer diet. Quite detailed information here. Definitely can use for my friend's condition. Thanks!


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