Sharing 3 Steps in Cancer Advancement:
- One of the most common causes of “Initiation” is free radical damage/oxidants, which cause cell damage. Oxidants cause oxidation, which is damaging to DNA – the instructions that tell cells what to do when. To wrap your head around oxidation, think of it like you do of rusting.
Nutrition Can Change This!!! Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds – plant foods – are loaded with antioxidants. Beyond vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are hundreds, even thousands of antioxidants in plant foods. It’s these thousands of antioxidants that work together to prevent oxidation in our bodies.
- The second step of the cancer development process, called “Promotion”, doesn’t happen to just any cell. It happens to cells that already are initiated. We know plant foods limit the number of initiated cells but not all.
If a cell becomes damaged, it goes through a programmed cell death. This prevents it from multiplying and creating more damaged cells. In promotion, damaged cells ignore the chemical messages of the normal cells around them. The damaged cell might be getting ready to multiply and grow. The normal cells in the neighbourhood send chemical messages to prevent this. These messages say, “stop, wait, don’t go there.” Promotion allows damaged cells to tune out the “stop” messages.
Here’s where plant foods come to the rescue again. Among the thousands of nutrients found in plants are many that can help damaged cells hear the messages. These nutrients can, quite literally, act as little messengers. They make damaged cells sit up and take notice. Eg. Dark purple and red foods seem to be especially adept at improving cellular communication. Think blackberries, blueberries, dark red cherries, grape juice, and red wine. Soy foods, such as tofu and tempeh, often touted for their possible effects on regulating female hormones such as estrogen, have some anti-promotion tricks up their sleeves as well.
Promotion is reversible. It’s one of the only parts of cancer development that can actually be turned back!
- This brings us to “Progression,” the third step in cancer development. In progression, damaged cells take the communication problem one step further. Now, these cells not only ignore messages. They begin to create their own messages. They try to influence the cells around them. It’s like negative peer pressure.
This is the damaged cells’ attempt to get normal cells to cooperate so they can grow and spread beyond the original site of cancer. This step is a key to metastasis – when cancer cells spread to distant parts of the body. This is important because it’s only after cancer cells have spread that treating cancer becomes so difficult.
Once again plant foods have a role to play in blocking progression too. Just as the thousands of naturally occurring phytonutrients in plants help damaged cells hear, they also help block unhealthy messages from damaged cells.
Many plant nutrients can act as roadblocks of a sort. They make it harder for damaged cells to influence the cells around them to misbehave too. Several nutrients have been studied for their effects on preventing or slowing progression.
Resveratrol, found in red wine and grape juice; lycopene, found in cooked tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit; and quercetin found in apples, tea, and onions all seem particularly well-suited for minimizing cancer cells’ ability to go through the progression phase of cancer development.
Knowing that plants contain nutrients that can slow down and impede the cancer process is pretty motivating. Every time you put a healthy plant food on your plate, you’ll feel good knowing you’re giving your body the tools to keep cancer at bay. And it doesn’t hurt that these same foods help prevent other diseases as well. For preventing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, you name it … plants in the diet are nothing but helpful.
Every chance you get, throw in a plant food. You’ll be on your way to better health. We cannot over emphasize the advantage of plant foods as opposed to a plate full of processed ‘anythings’ ; you are what you eat and can determine your own genetic coding for generations to come. The Imsyser team are here to share, help where possible and make a difference. Visit our website at www.imsyser.co.za for more or call our offices at 086 010 3859.