The internet is full of claims for foods and remedies that heal cancer. Many of these claims may have some relevance, and many of these claims may be partial truths and possibly misleading.
If you are working to heal cancer from your body and are trying to figure out what is best to eat, it is important to understand that there is no single food or remedy that will heal cancer in each person. The approach with diet needs to be a complete approach. You cannot simply add one new ingredient and expect radical changes.
What Is An Ideal Dietary Approach For Healing Cancer?
There are a few basic key points to include in a diet aimed to support the healing of cancer.
The following 10 points cover some of the basics.
- Choose organic as much as possible.
- Eliminate all refined sugars (cane sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave, etc.)
- Eliminate all GMOs (genetically modified foods).
- Eliminate dairy, gluten, corn, pork, red meat, farmed fish, fried foods, fast food, processed foods, artificial ingredients, refined vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, iodized salt, and alcohol.
- Eat an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
- Use only unrefined oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
- Include plenty of omega 3 fats – avocado, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, etc.
- Limit starches and eat only whole grains (if you choose to eat grains.)
- Eat more plant-based than meat-based.
- Include plenty of superfoods and foods high in antioxidants.
Cancer Cannot Survive In A Highly Oxygenated And Alkaline Environment
There is a proportional relationship between oxygen and pH level. As the pH level lowers, the affinity of oxygen in hemoglobin molecules also decreases. Therefore as the body becomes more alkaline, more oxygen is released.
The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acid and above 7 is alkaline. The blood, lymph, and cerebral spinal fluid in the human body are designed to be slightly alkaline at a pH of 7.4.
In 1931Dr. Otto Warburg won his first Nobel Prize for proving cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen in cells. He stated:
“The cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements.”
Cancer, like other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. Poor oxygenation is usually associated with a buildup of carcinogens and toxins within and around cells, which blocks and damages cellular oxygen respiration. Clumping up of blood cells slows down in the bloodstream, and restricts flow to capillaries. The cellular mitochondria become damaged by lack of oxygen, leading to unwanted cells and ill health.
“Alkaline tissues hold 20 times more oxygen than acidic tissues.”
–Annelie Pompe (athlete)
Foods such as medicinal mushrooms, dark leafy greens, broccoli, microgreens, sprouts, spirulina, chlorella, moringa, wheatgrass, asparagus, Irish sea moss, edible seaweeds, lentils, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and water-heavy fruits are all excellent options for boosting the oxygenation of the blood and cells in the body. Raw foods, cold-pressed juices, and fresh herbs help to increase alkalinity.
Foods and beverages that are the least oxygenating and most acidic include sugar, processed grains and starches, gluten, corn, white rice, red meat, pork, processed meats (lunch meat, breakfast sausages, bacon, hot dogs, etc.), eggs, refined vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients, dairy, gluten, chocolate, peanuts, fried foods, canned foods, coffee, black tea, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.
When adopting a diet to help with healing cancer, try to eat an abundance of fresh foods. This doesn’t mean that all you eat is raw fruits, celery sticks, and salads. Your food can and should be enjoyable and diverse. Some great options include smoothies, soups, stir-fries, roasted roots and veggies, cauliflower “rice”, healthy spreads and dips, grain-free crackers and wraps, salads, whole grains, legumes, fresh cold-pressed juices, raw ferments, baked sweet potatoes, grilled veggies, spiralized veggie pasta, and nut-based creams and “cheeses”. If you choose to eat fish or meat, your best options are wild-caught fish and game and free-range organic poultry. Wild-caught salmon and sardines are high in healthy omega 3 fats and can help reduce inflammation, as well as support liver health. These are some of your best options if you choose to eat fish. Avoid factory farm-raised animals, farmed fish, processed meats, raw or undercooked fish and meats, pork, and red meat.
For those of you who really miss having sugar in your diet, you can still make things with a bit of extra sweetness without adding any cancer-feeding sugar! Monk fruit granules are an excellent way to add sweetness without the ill effects of sugar. Monk fruit (lo han guo) is an all-natural sweetener with no sugar content. It tastes much like sugar and has no strange aftertaste. Another option is stevia – a plant-based all-natural sugar-free sweetener. I like to use a few drops of liquid stevia extract to add a bit of extra sweetness to a smoothie or cup of tea. I prefer monk fruit for sweetening desserts, chia pudding, or other creations that would normally call for sugar.
Since the immune system is ultimately responsible for both preventing and healing disease, and the level of immune health depends on our level of gut health, we want to be sure we are supporting gut health with good nutrition. One of the best ways to improve gut health is to include plenty of naturally fermented foods in our diet. Examples of naturally fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut yogurt and kefir, miso, poi, raw pickles, and apple cider vinegar. It is very wise to include a small amount of fermented food or beverage with each meal. Be sure that your ferments are not pasteurized. When a ferment is pasteurized, it destroys all healthy probiotic bacteria that help support good gut health. Look for raw ferments that are sold refrigerated.
Along with adding more fermented foods to your diet, another way to help increase gut health is to limit starches, This means no carb-loading. Overeating starches and sugars will seriously deplete gut health, can actually feed cancer, and can contribute to issues such as SIBO, candida, biofilms, and other issues related to poor gut health. It is okay to have some grains and tubers, just be sure to use whole grains and to keep the amount of grains or tubers less than your amounts of veggies, fruits, and proteins. The best whole grains and tubers to include in a diet aimed to help heal cancer include wild rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, and taro root.
If you really want to amp up your cancer healing power and improve gut health, consider practicingintermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a great way to help accelerate healing in the body as well as to help boost both gut and immune health. There are different ways to practice intermittent fasting. The way that I personally prefer is to stop eating by 7 PM and to wait to have your first meal until 11 AM the next day. You can enjoy herbal teas, green tea, and lemon water before 11 AM, just no food or beverages with calories.
My Personal Cancer-Healing Diet
When I was healing my body of cancer 12 years ago, I took a very radical approach with my diet. I am sharing this for reference, yet am not suggesting this is the absolute best approach or the right diet for everyone – it is simply what I did and what helped me succeed at healing cancer. I did a lot more than just dietary therapies. I also included many natural remedies and therapies, which I will share more about in future articles.
As for my diet, I followed a mostly raw and plant-based diet that included an abundance of cold-pressed juices, superfoods, and foods shown to be helpful for healing cancer. I excluded both salt and sugar from my diet. Each day I started my day with fresh juices and herbal teas. The juices included a variety of ingredients such as organic beets, carrots, apples, celery, kale, moringa, cabbage, cilantro, ginger, lemons, grapefruits, berries, wheatgrass, and turmeric. I drank about 32-48 ounces of juices until about noon. Other foods I ate often included organic papaya blended with lime juice and fresh peeled aloe vera leaf, coconut yogurt, flaxseed oil, miso broth, raw dehydrated seed crackers, veggie soup with seaweed and mushrooms, shiitake mushroom gravy, cauliflower rice, poi, sprouted chickpea hummus, sprouts, green salads, dehydrated kale chips, homemade golden milk made with homemade almond milk, sprouted lentils, fresh fruits and veggies, chia pudding, baked asparagus, cashew “cheese”, nut milk, and plenty of raw ferments.
No two bodies are exactly the same, and that is why there is no one diet that will suit each body in the best way. This is where it can become confusing for people who are not familiar with dietary therapies and healing with nutrition. Most people just want to know what will work and what they should be eating. In my nutritional consulting practice, I always tell people that if they know a specific food does not work well for them, then definitely exclude it. I like to do a full intake and assessment to learn what each person’s unique body type and health issues are to help design a very personalized diet plan that will bring them the best results. If you are interested in receiving personalized help and guidance as you navigate your healing journey, please visit my website to schedule a consultation.
Before you go, check out the recipe below for delicious Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Plant-Based Banana Pancakes.
Yours In Health ~ Zahrah Sita
GRAIN-FREE, SUGAR-FREE, PLANT-BASED BANANA PANCAKES
- 1 very ripe banana (about ½ cup), peeled
- ½ – ¾ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup green plantain flour (substitute with oat flour if you can’t find plantain flour)
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil for the skillet/griddle
Preheat griddle according to manufactures instructions.
Mix: In a medium bowl, mash the banana until creamy, add the almond milk and vanilla, mix well. Add the flours, baking powder, and pinch of salt, mix until combined. The batter should be on the thicker side.
Cook: Add oil to the griddle, using a ¼ measuring cup, scoop and pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook until nicely golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes on each side.
Serve with monk fruit syrup, banana slices, and walnuts. Makes 6 pancakes.
This post is brought to you by: Zahrah Sita
Zahrah Sita is a passionate health enthusiast who has chosen to dedicate her professional career to helping people achieve healing and empowerment in their lives.
Zahrah is professionally trained in several modalities of the healing arts, which includes Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Herbalism, Nutrition and Dietary Therapies, Holistic Detoxification, Neurofeedback, and Life Coaching.
Zahrah has been passionate about holistic health and natural living for much of her adult life. A series of health issues in her early 20’s led her away from a career in the performing arts to learn more about caring for and healing her body. She faced a number of serious health issues, all of which she was able to heal using natural and holistic approaches. Zahrah has healed herself of severe ovarian cysts, chronic fatigue, allergies, a range of metabolic and autoimmune issues, as well as cancer.
In 2005, along with her two children, Zahrah moved to Costa Rica and resided there until 2018. While living in Costa Rica, she had the opportunity to apprentice with master herbalists and many indigenous healers from Central and South America. While living in Costa Rica,
she helped create two holistic healing centers, managed a permaculture education center, was a contributing writer for The Costa Rica News, founded and directed a small business that offered herbal extracts and medicinal mushrooms formulas, co-founded and ran an internship program dedicated to healing and empowerment, and managed a very active spiritual healing retreat center.
Zahrah is currently living in the US, yet keeps close ties to Costa Rica. She works in a Functional Medicine clinic providing Neurofeedback services, as well as offers her services as a Health Coach and Consultant via her website – www.zahrahsita.com. Zahrah also helps organize healing retreats a few times each year, leads a holistic Full Body Cleanse program, continues to provide Acupuncture and Shiatsu, and is a contributing writer to several blogs and publications.