Tuesday, October 19, 2010

InspireHealth - Nutritional Tips for Optimal Health

  • Eat more vegetables and fruits. Ideally, 8 to 10 servings daily.  Choose fresh, local, organic (when possible) and eat a variety of bright colours. For those living with cancer or trying to prevent it from returning, eat something from the broccoli family every day. Eat a pomegranate or drink some pomegranate juice every day. 
    • Eat more Omega-3 fats and less of the other fats, while eliminating trans and hydrogenated fats. Read food labels to know what you're getting.
    • Avoid refined sugars. That would be white, brown, corn syrup, glucose and fructose. Avoid artificial sweeteners.  Instead eat sweet foods like whole fruit, sweet potatoes and winter squash. Try stevia, raw honey, and maple syrup. A little bit of dark chocolate (70% - 90%) is good to have every day.  
    • Eliminate chemical / toxic ingredients. Avoid food with ingredients you can't pronounce - those ones that sound scientific. Avoid processed, packaged foods. Avoid non-stick (teflon) and aluminum cookware. Limit plastics in the kitchen and NEVER microwave in plastics or add hot foods to plastics.  Use glass, ceramic, enamel, cast iron, and stainless steel cookware. Only use microwaves for reheating - not for cooking. 
    • Replace white with brown, such as brown rice and pasta instead of white. Brown basmati rice was recommended for making the adjustment from white to brown. Add grains such as quinoa and other ancient grains that are nutritionally dense. Eat 100% whole wheat breads and try sprouted breads. Avoid most commercial baked "treats".
    • Cook beans and lentils.  Cook large batches and freeze. Soak beans and lentils for 12 hours, bring to a boil, skim off foam, and simmer until soft. Limit soy consumption to tofu, tempeh and miso. These are non-processed soy foods. Avoid processed soy foods, including soy milk and meat/cheese substitutes. Use organic tamari instead of soya sauce.
    • Eat clean animal foods. Use free-range, omega-3, and organic eggs. Choose wild over farmed salmon. Choose organic and grass-fed, non-medicated dairy and meats. Limit cows' milk consumption and avoid processed cheeses. Milk has growth factors intended for babies, not adults. Use almond milk on cereal instead of regular milk. A calcium supplement is recommended. Eat non-homogonized, organic yogurt, which has anti-cancer benefits.
    • Add cancer-and-other-disease fighting superfoods. Drink green tea, eat blueberries (and other berries - they're all very good for us), ground flax seeds (2 Tbsp per day), try shitake muschrooms. Use green superfoods like chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, or greens powders. Try bee pollen, royal jelly, and adaptogenic superfoods (I don't remember what "adaptogenic" means - I'll have to look it up).
    • Drink and cook with quality, filtered water. Drink adequate amounts of filtered water. Don't drink chlorinated water. Store water in glass or stainless steel, not plastic. The research on wine is conflicting but generally, if you're going to indulge, choose organic red wines because it's the only wine with reversitol, which is a cancer suppressant.  
    • Drink green tea everyday.  Drink it often.  It is a known cancer suppressant. 
    • Be happy and practice the 80/20 rule: be good 80% of the time and don't beat yourself about the other 20%. If you intake enough of the good, safe, health-promoting nutrients, it should counter any effects of the occasional less-nutritious indulgences. 
    At the InspireHealth session, several people asked about taking supplements and vitamins during chemo and radiation. Most of us have been told not to take anything. I was told not to eat too many blueberries, not to drink green tea - to just eat "normally" with no supplements or vitamins. This is contrary to the research that proves that many supplements and vitamins not only help chemo do it's job better but can also provide some protection for your body ... your immune system and organs ... while reducing the severity of side effects. I wish I'd had the help of these doctors when I was going through my treatments. The doctor cited the study, "Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic efficacy: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials", by Block, Koch, Mead, Tothy, Newman, Gyllenhaal (Cancer Treat Rev. 2007 Aug;33(5):407-18). PDF.


    1. I find it odd that we had the same oncologist and he told me I could eat and drink whatever I could eat and drink. The pharmacist approved my Shaklee vitamins but when it came down to it I just couldn't stomach them during chemo.
      Much of this information is in the Anti Cancer - A New Way Of Life book I was telling you about. It is written by David Servan-Schreiber M.D., PH.D It is a very informative book.

    2. That is still a puzzle to me, Berny! It's not like our time on chemo was so far apart that he would likely have changed his protocol either. I don't get it.

      Thanks for reminding me about that book. I must dig it up. I, of course, completely forgot about it. I still haven't found an ideal system of keeping the things I want to remember at the forefront somehow. I'm a bit beyond needing a few notes and reminders and yet some things I remember much better. I think it depends on the type of information and the way it comes to me. I'm not as likely to remember something I hear or read unless I go so far as to engage a pen and actually write it down. That's how it seems to me, anyway.


    Sorry for the word verification thing. Without the comment spammers are relentless!

    Thanks for commenting!