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 Nutritional Medicine: Cancer Cookbook: Making It Nutritious & Delicious 
"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food."
Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, circa 400 B.C.

Nutrition and health. It makes so much sense: "You are what you eat." Veterinarians know the irreplacable link between nutrient intake and health. Actually, most of our pets eat better than most Americans. Your dog or cat probably gets a balanced formula of protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Yet, most of us eat for taste, cost, and convenience. The most commonly eaten food in America is heavily refined and nutritionally bankrupt white flour. Meanwhile, our livestock eat the more nutritious wheat germ and bran that we discard. When our crops are not doing well, we examine the soil for nutrients, fluid and pH content. Our gardens prosper when we water, fertilize, and add a little broad spectrum mineral supplement, such as Miracle Gro.

A sign posted near the junk food vending machines in a major city zoo warns: "Do not feed this food to the animals or they may get sick and die." Think about it. The food that might kill a 400 pound ape is okay for a 40 pound child who is biologically very similar? If our gardens, field crops, pets, exotic zoo creatures and every other form of life on earth are all heavily dependent on their diet for health, then what makes us think that humans have transcended this dependence?

Food is a rich tapestry of various chemicals. For some advanced cancer patients, TPN is often the only route which can provide adequate nutrient intake. However, for other patients, food can be an integral part of their recovery. Food contains anti-cancer agents that we are only beginning to understand. One third of all prescription drugs in America originated as plant products. It is food that provides macronutrients, like carbohydrate, fat and protein, that drive extremely influential hormones and prostaglandins in your body. It is food that establishes your pH balance and electrolyte "soup" that bathes every cell in your body. While supplements are valuable, they cannot replace the fundamental importance of a wholesome diet.

This chapter can make or break your cancer-fighting program. The food discussed in this chapter has been fine tuned over the years to be tasty, nutritious, inexpensive and easy to prepare. Our eating habits are all acquired. We base our current diet on what mother cooked when we were younger; what our society, ethnic and religious groups prefer; what is advertised in print and electronic media, and what is available in the local grocery store. People in the Phillipines or the Amazon are born with structurally identical taste buds to Americans, yet they eat entirely different foods.

It takes about 3 weeks to acquire new eating habits. Try this program for 3 weeks, at which time it will become easier to stay with and you may just find that the nutrient-depleted junk food of yesterday really doesn't satisfy your taste buds like the following whole foods outlined by Noreen Quillin.

True Confessions
Patrick Quillin has not always eaten as he does now. I now talk the talk and walk the walk. But I was raised in middle America, with roast beef, potatoes and gravy every Sunday afternoon; Captain Crunch for breakfast and a soda pop if you were good. White bread and bologna were the standard fare at home. My parents provided what they felt were lavish and well balanced meals to the best of their knowledge, as millions of other American families.

As I began studying nutrition in college, my eating habits improved, but were still far from enviable. I remember one semester in college while taking 19 units, 3 labs and working part time, I had no spare time to cook or even eat, so I kept a large box of Twinkies in the back of my van to provide "sustenance" when needed. For many months those Twinkies baked in the hot southern California sun and were always as fresh as the day they were bought. I began to question the shelf life of this food: "If bacteria is not interested in this food, then what makes me think that my body cells are interested in it!"

At that point in my life, my lovely and talented wife Noreen began exploring alternative cooking styles. While I was studying the lofty sciences of nutritional biochemistry, Noreen was busy making nutritious taste delicious. It was a true turning point in my life. I started eating properly, felt better, got fewer colds, and could sincerely lecture on the subject to others. Noreen got books on everything that you can do with soybeans, crockpots, pressure cookers, whole grains and vegetarian lifestyles. She bravely and diligently tried everything. We sometimes would come home with bags of food from some ethnic grocery store that we later had to re-identify in order to try some recipe. Some of it was good. Some was edible. Some we had to throw out. But we learned. And for the past 3 years, Noreen has taught cooking classes to our cancer patients. And we have all learned. What you have in this chapter is a time-tested approach to making your anti-cancer diet practical and tasty. Bon appetit!

Synegistic Forces in Foods
Although 1000 mg. daily of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk for stomach cancer, a small glass of orange juice containing only 37 mg of vitamin C is twice as likely to lower the chances for stomach cancer. Something in oranges is even more chemo-protective than vitamin C. Although most people only absorb 20-50% of their ingested calcium, the remaining calcium binds up potentially damaging fats in the intestines to provide protection against colon cancer.

In 1963, a major "player" in the American drug business, Merck, tried to patent a single antibiotic substance that was originally isolated from yogurt. But this substance did not work alone. Since then, researchers have found no less than 7 natural antibiotics that all contribute to yogurt's unique ability to protect the body from infections. There are many anti-cancer agents in plant food, including beta-carotene, chlorophyll, over 500 mixed carotenoids, over 600 various bioflavonoids, lutein, lycopenes and canthaxanthin. The point is: we can isolate and concentrate certain factors in foods for use as therapeutic supplements in cancer therapy, but we must always rely heavily on the mysterious and elegant symphony of ingredients found in wholesome food.

How do Foods Protect Us From Toxins and Cancer?

  • By spurring on the body to produce more toxin scavengers, like glutathione peroxidase from indoles in cabbage.
  • By bolstering the immune system. Once the external therapies of chemo, radiation and surgery have eliminated the visible tumor, then the real and final cancer battle is totally dependent on the immune factors. Many foods and individual nutrients are influential here.
  • By stimulating certain detoxifying enzyme systems, like the liver's cytochrome P450.1 Selenium, vitamin C and milk thistle help here.
  • By shutting down the oncogene in human cells, that acts like a traitor to participate in cancer growth. Soybeans, vitamin A and D help here.
  • By directly killing tumor cells. The bioflavonoid quercetin, vitamin C, B-12, K, and garlic help here.
  • By directly killing bacteria or viruses that may cause cancer.
  • By binding up substances, like bile acids, that can decay into a carcinogenic substance. Fiber is a champion here.
  • By caging carcinogenic heavy metals, in a process called chelation (say 'key-lay-shun'), and carrying these toxic minerals out of the body. Bioflavonoids, vitamin C and garlic help this way.
  • By attaching to fats, to stop the carcinogenic fat "rusting" process. Calcium, vitamin E and fiber use this method.
  • By providing the known essential and unknown important nutrients that the body needs to better defend itself against pollutants.2 A well-nourished body is better able to detoxify, neutralize and excrete the ubiquitous poisons of the 20th century.

Using Guidelines That are Universal
There have been a number of diets developed for the cancer patient: Drs. Moerman3, Livingston4, Gerson5, and the macrobiotic6 diets to mention a few. Each of these visionaries was a physician who spent at least several decades ministering to cancer patients. While there are some differences in these diets, there is also some common ground. Peculariarities about each program include:

Dr. Moerman recommends supplements of iron for cancer patients, yet other data shows that elemental iron may accelerate cancer growth. He allows the yolk of the egg, but not the white part.

Macrobiotics allow liberal amounts of soy sauce and pickles, yet restrict intake of fruit and fish.

Dr. Gerson used to encourage raw pureed calf's liver, which can contain a number of dangerous bacteria.

Dr. Livingston prohibits any chicken intake, since a cancer-causing organism thrives in chicken.

The points just mentioned are the oddities about each program which lack a good explanation. Yet, we don't want to throw out the "baby with the bath water". Each of these programs embraces a common thread, which includes a number of explanable nutrition principles. They all provide a diet that:

  • uses only unprocessed foods, nothing in a package with a label
  • uses high amounts of fresh vegetables
  • employs a low fat diet
  • emphasizes the importance of regularity
  • uses little or no dairy products, with yogurt as the preferred dairy selection
  • stabilizes blood sugar levels with no sweets and never eat something sweet by itself
  • increases potassium and reduces sodium intake
Though there are many nourishing foods, there are only a few superfoods that contain such a potent collection of protective factors that they deserve regular inclusion in most diets.

Yogurt. While dairy products are the world's most common allergenic food, for 1/2 to 2/3 of the population, yogurt can provide some dramatic immune stimulation. On the surface, yogurt appears to be nothing more than a fermented dairy product. Yet, modern scientists find that the active culture of bacteria in yogurt (Lactobacillus) can fortify the immune system. Yogurt is an impressive immune stimulant.7 In both humans and animals, yogurt in the diet tripled the internal production of interferon (a powerful weapon of the immune system against tumor cells) while also raising the level of natural killer cells. Yogurt has been shown to slow down the growth of tumor cells in the GI tract while improving the ability of the immune system to destroy active tumor cells.8 Yogurt can block the production of carcinogenic agents in the colon. When scientists looked at the diet of 1010 women with breast cancer and compared them to an equally matched group without breast cancer, they found an inverse dose-dependent relationship: the more yogurt consumed, the lower the risk for breast cancer.9

In several European studies, yogurt in animal studies was able to reverse tumor progress. A 1962 study found that 59 percent of 258 mice implanted with sarcoma cells were cured through yogurt. A more recent American study found a 30 percent cure rate through yogurt.10 While it is doubtful that yogurt is going to cure advanced human cancer, it is likely that yogurt can better fortify the cancer patient's immune system.

Garlic. This stinky little vegetable has been used for 5000 years in various healing formulas. Pasteur noted that garlic killed all of the bacteria in his petri dishes. More importantly, garlic has been found to stimulate natural protection against tumor cells. Tarig Abdullah, MD of Florida found that white blood cells from garlic-fed people were able to kill 139% more tumor cells than white cells from non-garlic eaters.11 Garlic and onions fed to lab animals helped to decrease the number of skin tumors.12 Researchers found that onions provided major protection against expected tumors from DMBA in test animals.13 Mice with a genetic weakness toward cancer were fed raw garlic with a lower-than-expected tumor incidence.14

(Excerpted from Beating Cancer with Nutrition: Clinically Proven and Easy-To-Follow Strategies to Dramatically Improve Quality and Quantity of L ISBN: 0963837281)
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 About The Author
Patrick Quillin PhD, RDDr. Patrick Quillin, an internationally respected expert in the area of nutrition and cancer, has served as the Director of Nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (800-577-1255) for the past ten years.......more
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