Epigenetics, the study of how our environment and lifestyle choices influence our genetic code, has much to teach us about disease. A study reported in the January 2010 issue of Time Magazine revealed that our genetic predisposition for cancer is lower than we think– in fact, genes account for less than 10 percent of the reason we fall prey to disease. It’s our environment and lifestyle choices that account for 90 percent of the cause. Our genes have “switches” that we can turn on and off by the lifestyle we choose. It then follows that making wise choices is essential for living a healthy life.
The list below has been designed to be a helpful guide.
Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables
More than 340 studies in the British Journal of Nutrition confirm that organic foods have more antioxidants and are more nutritious than conventionally grown foods. Fresh organic fruits and green vegetables not only provide vital enzymes and nutrients that rebuild or maintain your health, but they also will satisfy your appetite with smaller portions. Natural weight loss is typically an effortless consequence of nutritious eating. A healthy food plan, especially for those healing from disease, should include about 80 percent vegetables and fruits, and only 20 percent animal protein. If someone is battling advance stages of cancer, going completely vegan may be required, but this is a decision to be taken under the care of a reputable alternative oncologist. To obtain maximum benefits, veggies should be eaten raw or only lightly steamed (approx. 4 minutes).
Berries and Green Apples
Fruits are an important part of any healthy food plan, but for optimum health, it’s best to stick with those that are lower in fructose and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and also green apples.
According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the human brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water, the lungs about 83 percent, the skin about 64 percent, muscles and kidneys are 79 percent, and even the bones are a watery 31percent. Water is essential and allows our cells to grow, reproduce and survive; it regulates our temperature, transports and metabolizes carbohydrates and nutrients; flushes out toxins and wastes; lubricates joints; and acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord and fetus. For optimum health, drink two glasses of water with a few drops of lemon first thing in the morning about 30 minutes before breakfast. Drink two more lemon waters by mid morning, another two later in the afternoon, and finally, two more an hour after dinner and before bedtime. This intake will ensure your body’s proper hydration so it can heal and thrive.
Grains and Seeds
Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet are lesser knows grains and seeds but they’re tasty, easy to prepare, nutrient-rich, and healthier substitutes for rice, wheat and corn. They combine well with all meals, soups and stews, and can be purchased in most health food markets.
Grass Fed Beef, Pigs, Turkeys, and Chicken
Today, industrialized farms keep cows, pigs, turkeys, and chickens in crowded, unsanitary and cruel conditions. Often their cages do not allow them to even lie down and are filled with waste. The animals are fed an unnatural diet of corn and soy (often contaminated with mycotoxins), massive amounts of antibiotics, and six different types of steroidal growth hormones to make them grow faster and fatter. According to the Environmental Working Group, 87 percent of tests on industrialized beef, pork, turkey, and chicken showed contamination of at least one type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
and other carcinogenic compounds. By contrast, free range, grass fed cattle and poultry were not only healthier, leaner, and devoid of harmful substances, but their meat was lower in bad fat and calories, and rich in vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, as well as health promoting fats like omega-3. The beef also contained conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, a potent agent for combating breast, colorectal, lung, skin, and stomach cancer.
Wild Caught Smaller Fish
Studies show that farmed fish are also kept in crowded cages, given many antibiotics to stave off disease and also pesticides to combat sea lice. Their flesh has been found to contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which can lead to inflammation in our body, and even traces of harmful chemicals like PBDE (a flame retardant and endocrine disruptor), and dibutylin, a chemical used in plastics that’s been linked to allergies, asthma, obesity and immune disorders in humans. Large size fish also contain high levels of mercury. A healthier choice is eating small and medium-sized, wild caught fish such as tilapia, red snapper, salmon, sea bass, sardines, and anchovies.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that one in five Americans gets less than six hours sleep. Getting insufficient rest weakens our immune system, forcing it to become hyperactive and produce elevated levels of white blood cells—a sign of disease. It can also lead to insulin resistance, which then contributes to elevated levels of blood sugar. Depending on the individual, between 7-9 hours sleep is ideal for our bodies to rest, restore and refresh.
The benefits of regular exercise, especially as we age, are numerous. Exercise helps improve resistance to infections; lowers your risk cancer, heart disease and diabetes; helps your brain work better; aids with losing weight; reverses the effects of stress; lifts depression; builds self esteem; and helps you sleep better. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and commit to doing it on a regular basis.
Stress and Negativity
Oncologists and health experts report that there are almost always psycho spiritual causes to a patient’s disease. Deep emotional distress, negativity, bitterness, rage, resentment, broken relationships, unresolved sin, addictions, grief and trauma will all contribute to suppressing the immune system and eventually lead to sickness in the body. Healing begins with the courage to step back and ask oneself: Is my way of life literally killing me? Making an honest assessment about the cause of stress in our lives is essential. This includes a look at our emotions, attitudes, habits, relationships, work ethic, etc., and being willing to make whatever changes are necessary to facilitate the healing process. The road to recovery is never just physical, but also involves the body, mind, heart, and spirit.
The goal all integrative cancer treatment is to strengthen the immune system and help destroy cancer cells. But, many people think that eating organic foods, drinking alkaline water and avoiding environmental toxins is enough. The truth is, there are many other essentials to boosting our body’s defense mechanisms. One of the most important and frequently overlooked is the role of detoxification. Treatments like colon hydrotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen, IV hydrogen peroxide and ozone are excellent detoxification therapies and a routine part of any well designed integrative approach. Coffee enemas also deserve a mention as effective and complementary means of cleansing the system of unwanted pollutants. However, though detoxification is a key cancer-fighting strategy, it should form part of a larger comprehensive approach that must be administered under the care of a reputable alternative oncologist. Not only are there as many as 200 different kinds of cancers, but every patient’s condition is unique and deserves a personalized protocol to ensure maximum effectiveness. The beauty is that, given the right approaches, the human body will readily cooperate with healing strategies and strive to reach a full recovery.
(Please note: Do not use the information provided in this or other Healed, Healthy and Whole articles for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing yourself medication or other treatment. The articles in this blog/newsletter should never be used as a substitute for speaking with your physician or health care professional about a medical problem you may be experiencing.)