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Nutrition

Nutritional therapist, Liz Butler, will be uploading videos and nutritional facts about cancer supporting foods and healthy recipes. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

Body Soul Nutrition

 

Right Nutrition! We’ve all been told from a young age to eat our greens and try and get as much fruit and veg down our necks as possible. But do we really know why? I must admit I thought I knew but it turns out I really didn’t have a scooby.

After being diagnosed with cancer for a second time I freaked out and started reading books on cancer and nutrition. I saw nutritional therapists and cancer experts and learned so much I almost became cross-eyed from all the information. My nutritional therapists Liz Butler put me on a great diet during chemotherapy which was designed to strengthen my immune system and to make my body a cancer-destroying machine.

My objective from doing all this was to try and make my body as inhospitable to cancer as possible. I didn’t want that bad boy returning for a third time so I started to research the likes and dislike of my old foe in the hope of getting rid of him forever.

These are just a few things that I’ve learned in the past few years and what I’ve discovered about diet isn’t just for those with cancer but anyone who wants to get well and stay well.

Cancer is basically when cells in the body go rogue and start to spread and cause damage to the body. Cancer seems to have sky rocketed in the 20th century which appears to have grown hand in hand with industrialisation. Even the most conservative of cancer expert’s state that 75% of cancers are associated with what we drink, eat and breathe. Yikes!

The World Cancer Research Fund reckons that you could cut your risk of cancer by up to 40% by adopting the right diet.

High blood sugar levels

Cancer thrives on sugar. By eating too much sweet stuff and starchy carbohydrates we can send our blood sugar levels through the roof which encourages cancer cells to grow and leads to inflammation which, apparently, is associated with all chronic diseases. A diet very low in sugar and not too much starch (from grains and potatoes) is the best way to keep the blood sugar levels under control.

It’s not what you eat it’s what you absorb

If your digestive system isn’t working properly you won’t get the full benefits of what you’re eating. And as I understand, most people with chronic diseases such as cancer have a less than perfect digestive system. Eating the right things together can make a massive difference to absorption levels for example;- If you are trying to absorb iron this can complimented by eating foods that are rich in vitamin C.

Eat Organic

Lots of fruit and veg are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides which are not particularly loved by the body. Animal products also contain traces of these compounds as well as other undesirables such as antibiotics. The best way avoid these potentially harmful chemicals is to eat organic or wash fruit and veg thoroughly when organic is not available.

Boost your antioxidant levels

We always hear this word knocked around but what exactly is an antioxidant? Basically an antioxidant is a molecule that stops the oxidation of other molecules in the body. Oxidation can produce free radicals which start chain reactions which in turn kill cells. Antioxidants stop these chain reactions by removing the free radicals. Antioxidants include vitamin C, which is also great for supporting the immune system and can be found in fruit and veg, vitamin E found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds and carotenoids found in dark leafy veg, carrots and tomatoes. Basically, when it comes to antioxidants your best bet is to load up your plate with fruit and veg! I also drink loads of white tea (similar to green tea) which is also packed full of antioxidants.

Include the healthy fats

A lot of people try to stay away from fat so they don’t put on weight but what I’ve learnt is that actually fat is really, really good for us, in fact it’s essential. But the big issue is to make sure you get the right fats, you want the ones found in nuts, seeds, oily fish and healthy oils such as olive oil. You definitely don’t want the ones found in processed foods like crisps and pies because these ramp up inflammation in the body.

Limit dairy

Dairy foods (those made from milk) may increase cancer risk, although I understand this isn’t totally certain and the jury’s still out on this one. Dairy may also be best avoided for other reasons though, as many people find it upsets digestion or causes other problems. This seems to be one of those areas where it’s very much about what’s best for an individual, like so much of nutrition. The good news is that there are loads of great dairy-free alternatives available.

Juices and smoothies

Juicing is by the far the easiest way to get your daily veg intake up without having to eat a crazy amount of stuff. I own a masticating juicer which squeezes and crushes every last drop of juice out. As the fibre is removed when you juice and fibre slows nutrient absorption, the body is then easily able to absorb all the goodness from the juice. A word of warning though, you shouldn’t juice much fruit, stick mainly to veg, otherwise the juice will be too high in sugar. My favourite Juice is beetroot, celery, cucumber and ginger, love it!

So, onto smoothies, these can include fruit because with a smoothie the whole veg or fruit is blended and the fibre that’s present will slow down sugar absorption. Because smoothies are blended they are easy to digest and you can add loads of extras to tailor them to specific needs such as weight loss. They also make a great sweet but healthy snack. I usually pack in lots of mixed berries, water, protein powder, fish oil and wheatgrass and take my smoothie to work ready for snack time.

Wheatgrass

Now this stuff is amazing, most definitely a super food! It’s packed full of nutrients and the life giving molecule Chlorophyll and it’s known for it’s nourishing and energising properties. Also, wheatgrass is very good indeed for encouraging a healthy immune system which is a great benefit during times of compromised health. I buy my wheatgrass from the Internet and it arrives at my doorstep frozen. I then stick it in the freezer and take one or two out a day and add it to my juice. It tastes great too!

Further Reading

Healthy Eating Guidelines from Body Soul Nutrition

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