Every one of us is born with a unique genetic blueprint that defines our sensitivities to certain diseases such as cancer. But the latest research indicates it\’s not our genes that control whether we will experience diseases like cancer; it is the actual instructions those genes receive daily.
Every one of us is born with a unique genetic blueprint that defines our sensitivities to certain diseases such as cancer. But the latest research indicates it’s not our genes that control whether we will experience diseases like cancer; it is the actual instructions those genes receive daily.
DNA is basically the blueprint of the human body, but in order for DNA to carry out its instructions, it must first use the aid of specialized proteins that reside on the DNA itself. These proteins, known as epigenetic switches, are ultimately responsible for switching the expression of our genes on or off. The amazing thing is that the expression of our genes is largely controlled by our diet, which makes a lot of sense since more than 80 percent of cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
Positive Effects of a Proper Diet
To test this theory, researchers from Duke University took a strain of obese yellow mice (known for their high susceptibility to cancer, diabetes, and early death), and completely altered the genetic destiny of their offspring. After altering the mothers’ diets by adding specialized nutrients found in many vegetables, especially onions and garlic, researchers observed that the mothers were able to produce brown slender mice that lived long healthy lives in the rodent world with almost no susceptibility to cancer or diabetes.
The good news is you don’t have to be a rodent to take advantage of the positive effects that a proper diet has on both a healthy metabolism and a cancer-free life. Studies show that xenoestrogens–substances found in pesticides, plastics, food supplies, and our environment–cause a disruption in the way our bodies meta-bolize important biochemicals. Xenoestrogens increase risk of cancer and create an enhanced environment for our bodies to store fat, while making it extremely difficult to lose it.
Studies have suggested that excess body fat in both men and women, especially in the abdominal area, is associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from hormonally sensitive cancers of the breast and prostate. The increase in hormonal cancers in connection with the excess body fat is often directly associated with an increase in growth-promoting hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which can cause uncontrolled cell division. With the help of excess body fat, uncontrolled growth-inducing hormones also have the ability to inhibit apoptosis (cancer cell death), while helping to create new blood vessels that bring a constant supply of fresh nutrients to growing tumours.
Thankfully, there are scientifically proven nutrients available to us that have shown a positive effect on hormone metabolism (or perhaps turn the good genes on and keep the bad ones off), ultimately helping us lose excess body fat and reducing our risk of coming face to face with the big C.
The Best Anticancer Foods and Their Nutrients:
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates (think indole-3-carbinol) that help boost the body’s immunity and help it detoxify endocrine disrupters. These vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, and Chinese cabbage.
Berries, especially blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that may protect against cancer.
Garlic contains allyl sulphur compounds, documented in numerous studies to be effective inhibitors of the cancer process.
Spices, especially turmeric and rosemary, contain powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients that help neutralize cancer risk.
Spicy vegetables such as chili peppers and jalapenos contain capsaicin that helps neutralize cancer-causing nitrosamines.
Nuts, especially Brazil nuts, contain high levels of antioxidants such as quercetin and kampferol and the mineral selenium–all helping suppress cancer activity.