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Cancer: Food Alternatives
Food Alternatives

What you eat can have a profound effect on your immune system, cholesterol level and blood pressure, and can even affect your heart.  If you are just trying to boost your immune system and prevent or fight cancer, you want to eat foods high in vitamins A, C, E, B, calcium, zinc and selenium.  Some holistic people would recommend a macrobiotic diet for a minimum of three to six at the first sign of cancer because macrobiotic diets are:

  • Low-fat foods
  • Non-mucous-forming
  • Alkalizing
  • High in potassium, iodine, and other minerals

Best anti-cancer foods are:

  Apricots Blueberries
  Broccoli Brussels sprouts
  Cabbage Carrots
  Cauliflower Eggplant
  Fish Flax seed
  Garlic Ginger
  Grapefruit Grapes
  Green beans  Kale
  Lemons Mangoes
  Oranges Papayas
  Peaches Persimmons
  Red onions Radishes
  Strawberries Unprocessed soy foods
  Soybeans Sweet potatoes
  Tangerines Whole grains – millet, wheat, oat bran
  Almonds Walnuts

Calcium-rich foods are also good for fighting cancer:

  Broccoli Perch
  Turnip greens Tofu
  Cheese – but only low-fat cheeses Salmon
  Dairy products – only low-fat Almonds
  Barley Bran
  Brazil nuts Brown rice
  Brussel sprouts Cabbage
  Carrots Cauliflower
  Coconut Corn meal
  Egg yolks ( no more than 1-2 only per week) Figs
  Hazelnuts (filberts) Leafy greens
  Kelp Lentils
  Millet Oats
  Prunes Rye seeds
  Sesame seeds soy milk
  Watercress Whole wheat

Selenium-rich foods are good for fighting cancer:

  Asparagus Garlic
  Seafood – some fish   

Usually, people with cancer have other health issues.  Here are some food strategies to improve:

Immune system and reduce your blood pressure

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted research called “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)”, which tested the effects of nutrients in food and how they relate to blood pressure.  This diet included fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts, as well as reduced amounts of fats, red meats and refined foods.  DASH is a popular diet with many nutritional experts.
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet includes:

  • Eating a variety of whole vegetables and fruits
  • Eating colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Choosing whole fruits over juices
  • At least half your grain intake from whole foods
  • Reducing your intake of any beverages and foods with added sugars

Avoid the following foods:

  • Red meat
  • High-fat dairy
  • Any foods with salt, soda, sodium or MSG
  • Refined or processed foods
  • Toothpaste containing saccharin or baking soda
  • Sodas
  • Sugar and sugar substitutes
  • Fast food
  • Peanuts

If you are just trying to boost your immune system:

 Eat the following zinc-rich foods:

  Lentils Oatmeal
  Yogurt (low-fat to no-fat only) Whole wheat bread
  Lima beans Turkey
  Baked potato Low-fat milk
  Crab Pork (rarely)
  Salmon (often) Clams
  Lobster Peas
  Beef (rarely)  Lamb (rarely)
  Brown rice Cremini mushrooms

Eat the following potassium-rich foods:

  Honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon Apricots
  Prunes Banana 
  Lean veal Pumpkin
  Lima Beans Spinach
  Sardines Cod – not processed
  Milk – low-fat Stewed tomatoes
  Peas Orange juice
  Sweet potatoes Flounder
  Peaches Green beans
  Squash – winter is best Potatoes
  Yogurt – low-fat  

Eat the following magnesium-rich foods:

  Beans and legumes Okra
  Broccoli  Oysters
  Spinach Chard
  Tofu Croaker
  Scallops Whole grains
  Mackerel Nuts & Seeds

Eat the following vitamin A-rich foods:

  Apricots Broccoli
   Collard greens Chard
  Mustard greens Beet greens
  Kale Bok Choy
  Cantaloupe Mango
  Peaches Spinach
  Carrots Sweet potato
  Red bell pepper Brussels sprouts
  Peas Tomato
  Romaine lettuce Parsley
  Watermelon Acorn squash
  Papaya Some cold cereals

Eat the following vitamin B-rich foods:

  Cremini mushrooms Red bell peppers

Eat the following vitamin C-rich foods:

  Cabbage Broccoli
  Collard greens  Cantaloupe
  Mustard greens Beet greens
  Turnip Greens Bok choy
  Grapefruit Mango
  Peaches Spinach
  Carrots Sweet potato
  Green beans Brussels sprouts
  Peas Tomato
  Romaine lettuce  Parsley
  Pineapple Strawberries
  Raspberries Blackberries
  Blueberries  Orange
  Tangerine Sour cherries
  Rhubarb  Kale
  Red,yellow & green peppers Beets

Eat the following vitamin E-rich foods:

  Broccoli Kiwi
  Turnip greens Spinach
  Mango Avocado
  Wheat germ Whole grain bread

Other good foods to help lower your blood pressure:

  Asparagus Celery
  Currants Chocolate
  Dandelion  Garlic
  Onion Kiwi

If you have diabetes or any diabetic symptoms and you want to improve your immune system, add chromium-rich foods to your diet:

  Romaine lettuce Onions
  Tomatoes Potatoes
  Oysters Liver

Eat fruits and vegetables that help balance sugar:

  Apples  Pumpkin
  Onions Leeks
  Garlic Berries
  Cabbages Dandelions
  Artichokes   Carrots

Eat low-glycemic fruits and vegetables (partial list):

   Apples Artichokes
  Asparagus Avocado
  Broccoli Cauliflower
  Celery Cucumber
  Eggplant Lettuce
  Summer squash Zucchini
  Tomatoes Cherries
  Grapefruit Peach
  Peanuts Peppers
  Pear Spinach

Life is about making choices.  Even though meat might be good for its vitamin or mineral content, you probably don’t want to eat red meat more than once every two weeks if you really want to maintain or improve your immune system.  Poultry, fish, vegetable or soy protein is probably better for you in most cases.

If you have heart problems, bad cholesterol, or high blood pressure, the best way to improve your health is to change your lifestyle, lose weight, increase your physical activity and eat healthier.  A great way to do this is by avoiding fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, refined and processed foods, salt and sugar. Also, you must make sure to eat more fruits and vegetables grains and whole foods.

If you are trying to avoid meats, you can find soy-based meats for almost any kind of meat including hotdogs, ribs, burgers, chicken wings, turkey and even duck.  Some of them taste pretty good, especially if you prepare them like you would a regular meat product, but always check the sodium content.  For an entire day, you never want to consume more than 2,400 mg of sodium.

If you are trying to avoid refined and processed snacks, there are dozens of products that are made with whole grains and taste like the original product without the extra fat, sugar and salt.  Many of them even come organic.

If you are trying to avoid traditional dairy products, try products made from almonds, grains, or soy.  Whole Foods, Trader Joes and most health food stores have a wide variety of products, ranging from vegetarian milks to cheese, to choose from.

If you are trying to avoid eggs, whether they are for eating or baking, you’ve got many choices.  They include:

  • Applesauce for baking (3 tablespoons applesauce = 1 egg)
  • Bananas for baking (1/2 banana blended or well mashed = 1 egg)
  • Egg substitutes such as Orgran’s ‘Egg substitute mix’
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer - by Ener-G Foods; free of gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, egg, yeast, soy, nuts and rice,  is an excellent choice for baking
  • Tofu (1/4 cup blended soft or silken tofu = 1 egg).  You can also scramble tofu, which has its own unique flavor and texture (depending upon spices and preparation) that might even exceed your expectations.

Here are some of my favorite food alternatives:

  • Milk:  Try rice or soy milk (SILK brand is delicious!)
  • Butter:  Try Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • Ice Cream:  Try Rice Divine rice ice cream
  • Cheese:  Try FYH Mozzarella (non-dairy)
  • Yogurt:  Try Non-fat Greek plain yogurt or plain soy yogurt
  • Meat:  Try baked tofu or seitan
  • Oils: Replace saturated and trans-fats with olive, canola and other natural oils
  • Eggs: Try egg substitutes or egg whites for eating and “Egg Replacer” for baking
  • Sugar: Try Stevia for coffee and for baking replace conventional white sugar with maple sugar or a  natural sugar brand such as SUCUNAT.
  • Mayonnaise: Try FYH Vegenaise.  You won’t know the difference!
Everything is about eating in balance.

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