As most of you who follow me on Instagram know (I’m @actively.balanced if you were wondering) a little while ago I read a book called “Anticancer” which was absolutely incredible and gave me the push I needed to really think about mine and my family’s lives and how can I protect them further. Here are some of the key points based on the following premise:
“You can prevent your likelihood of having cancer or prevent the likelihood of cancer returning by changing what you eat
- Cut down on the amount of refined sugar that we consume. I mean we all know this right? But the statistics on how much we eat are truly terrifying between 1830 and the end of the 20th century, our consumption of sugar rose from 5kg to 70kg! Interestingly there is such a strong link between how much sugar we consume and our propensity for developing cancer that a German biologist Otto Heinrich Warburg won a Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery that the metabolism (development) of malignant tumours is largely dependant on glucose consumption!
The science behind it (in summary) suggests that with a spike in insulin that comes with eating sugar, another molecule also releases, and this one is called IGF which stands for insulin like growth factor -1. It is this which increases inflammation in the body which consequently stimulates cell growth and encourages tumours to form.
So in the day we try and eat healthier snacks which are made with less refined sugars, and if in doubt, just having some fruit or something to keep us going. Yes, sometimes its not quite the same, but you do get used to it!
- Reduce the amount of animal products that you eat. For me this was less of a problem as I had recently watched a horrendous video by accident which has led me to really feel queasy whenever I have to eat, buy or cook meat now, but for John and Rupert this would be a big change for them.
Why should you reduce the amount of meat that you eat? It was the study by Gerard Ailhaud and Phillppe Guesnet who challenged that surely children who are overweight from six months old can’t be like that due to snacking, TV and lack of physical exercise; there must be another reason. That reason was the composition of food, and in particular milk, has changed and this change acts on the growth of adipose fats (fats stored in the body’s tissue) and cancer cells.
Food’s composition has changed dramatically due to the sheer demand that is placed on it nowadays. Animals are now given corn, soy and wheat as their main diet now as it is cheaper and less cyclical, but it means that the food that we get from them, whether it is meat, milk or eggs now contains little, or no omega 3 which is essential to keeping our cells flexible and reducing inflammation in our bodies. Omega 6, of which these animal products now have in abundance promote cell rigidity and inflammation.
Therefore, for us it is now so important for me to buy not only organic foods, but foods from sources where the animals are grass fed. I hope that this will start to rebalance our omega 3 and 6 stores in our body.
- The final, and probably most interesting change that I have made in my life, and hopefully I will be passing this on to John and Rupert by default is regarding my mental health. I will also be careful how I word this section, as like in the book, it is so important for me to tell you that:
“No psychological factor by itself has ever been identified as being capable of creating that bad seed (cancer)”
Although I actually internally cringe `at the thought of animal testing, there have been some amazing studies done on mice which show the effects of “helplessness”. It is this feeling of “helplessness” in the mice that actually reduced their ability to fight off cancer – I have reduced this study down to its simplest detail in order that I don’t upset anyone.
There has also been a study on young men who were initially healthy which showed that, 6 years later, those patients who responded “true” to the following statements had a mortality rate that was 3 times higher than those that responded “false”. They also developed 160% more fatal cancers.
– I feel that it is impossible to reach the goals I would like to strive for
– The future seems to me to be hopeless, and I can’t believe that things are going to change for the better
When I was 18 I was diagnosed with a prolactinoma (benign tumour in my pituitary gland) and I lived with this for almost 10 years before, when I was pregnant, it completely regressed. 2 months ago, after thinking I was pregnant, I found out that my tumour had come back hence all the pregnancy symptoms! It was actually after reading this book and in particular details about “helplessness” that made me think it had come back. I wondered whether it was my postnatal depression that had lower my ability for my body to fight against the tumour returning. Of course I don’t know whether this was the case, but it definitely made me think that something should change.
Although I still get low, I do try and think more in the “present” – not worrying too much about the future and trying not to over think the past. I practice regular meditation and yoga and I do generally feel more calm. Although this won’t get rid of my tumour, I do hope that it will lower my propensity for other tumours or cancers later in life.
I really hope that this has been interesting for you. I will do further posts on this as I have been reading so much material lately which I am 100% compelled to tell you about! So watch this space!