Posted by: TTCLauren | August 4, 2011

Cancer and Nutrition

What we eat daily can affect our health and quality of life.  Although cancer can affect many different parts of the body, the foods that prevent cancer and deter cancer growth are generally the same.   For example:

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes all have important nutrients. 
  • Phytochemicals are said to be a cancer-fighting substance.
  • Pectin is known to boost the immune system and and pro-actively destroy cancer-causing substances.

Research reports that people who eat a diet free of animal products, high in plant foods, and low in fat have a much lower risk of developing cancer.  So vegeterians typically have a stronger immune system.

As oxygen (which we need to live) is used in the body, some of the molecules become unstable. These unstable oxygen molecules, called free radicals, can attack cell membranes and even damage the DNA  in the cell. Damage to DNA is the beginning of cancer.

Fortunately, the foods we eat can help protect our bodies. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and others, can neutralize the damaging effects of oxygen. These powerful, natural chemicals come to us in vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans. People who include fruits and vegetables in their daily diets have lower rates of many forms of cancer.

Smokers have provided dramatic demonstrations of the power of vegetables and fruits. A 55-year-old male smoker whose diet is low in vitamin C has a one-in-four risk of dying of lung cancer in the next 25 years. But if the smoker has a high intake of vitamin C, either through diet or supplements, his risk drops to 7 percent.   (Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, article “Essential micronutrients in relation to carcinogenesis”)

Effects of antioxidants have even been seen in childhood. When children with brain tumors were studied, it was found that their mothers consumed less vitamin C during pregnancy, compared to other women.  (Source:  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, article “Epidemiologic evidence regarding vitamin C and cancer”)

Like it or not, we are all exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. We are all exposed to chemicals in the air, in water, in food, and in household products, not to mention the carcinogens produced within our bodies as a part of our metabolic processes. While trying to minimize our exposure to carcinogens, we can also shore up our defenses against these assaults by including generous amounts of vegetables and fruits in our diet. A plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and unprocessed cereals is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. (Source:  Recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research as written by A. Chavez  article “Diet that prevents cancer.”)

Healthy diet choices are within YOUR control.  Wildtree’s all natural cooking products are nutritionally dense whole foods–meaning that beyond great taste, our ingredients offer a specific health benefit in every delicious bite!   Our products can add endless variety of flavors to your vegetables, chicken, seafood and other protein… even kids can learn healthy habits while they will love choosing their favorite spice blend for their chicken, or to season their veggies!    Some of my personal healthy (and easy) favorites to make with my Wildtree pantry products are:

  • Lemon grapeseed oil and dill blend on my steamed carrots; 
  • Rancher steak rub (a monterey style seasoning without the MSG) on my sauteed sliced zucchini & summer squash; 
  • 5 calorie (and 10 minute) chicken picatta
  • Chipotle Lime Rub on baked Tilapia
  • Garlic & Herb blend in mashed potatoes
  • Smoked Tomato & Mozzarella blend filling for celery sticks
  • Smoked Tomato & Mozzarella mixed with spinach & feta to make stuffed boneless chicken breasts
  • Smoky Bacon flavor (vegeterian) grapeseed oil (no sodium, no cholesterol, no trans fat) instead of butter, to scramble eggs
  • Apple cranberry jam  (45 calories) as a glaze for baked chicken
  • Pacific fusion sauce (no MSG, great kick) as a substitute for “A1” sauce on my chicken or steaktips
  • Pacific fusion as a substitute for soy sauce in my Wildtree meatloaf mix (that has no added gluten)

Anyway, you get the idea!   Have fun with your food!  Eat more veggies!  If you need more ideas for using your Wildtree faves, just let me know!  Bon Appetit!

To your health,

Lauren

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