Scientific research continues to bring new insights on the surprising links between nutrition and cancer. In research studies, scientists help people change their diets and then measure how nutrients enter their bloodstreams and power up anticancer defenses. Other researchers examine cancer-fighting immune cells under the microscope and see how various nutrients help or hinder them. Almost daily, we learn more about how to knock out the free radicals that can cause the cancer, how to readjust the hormones that can affect cancer risk, and how to strengthen our resistance.
At present, we already know more than enough to get started. At first, the basic principles seem simple—cut the fat, boost the fiber, bring in the antioxidant vitamins, be careful about alcohol. But we have applied these and other principles in a way that is much more effective than you may have imagined. As you’ll see in the recipes that follow, we have taken humble foods—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes—and allowed their full healing powers to blossom.
Incorporated into wonderful recipes, they are a delight for your taste buds. And a cancer-fighting menu has other benefits you may not have expected. It will likely give you extra energy, trim your waistline, and lower your cholesterol level—by a great deal. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, the same foods that fight cancer will do wonders for these problems, too.
A dietary approach has one other vitally important advantage. Unlike a radiation beam that only affects the organ it is focused upon, or surgery that benefits only one patient at a time, a diet change helps the whole family. As everyone joins together to enjoy a hearty meal, they are also getting healthier—whether they are aware of it or not. And, as healthy foods are placed on the lunch or dinner table, parents give their children—and each other—a wonderful gift that will literally last a lifetime.
Let me encourage you to venture into a menu change with the sense that you really are trying some new things. As you experiment with recipes or perhaps new menu items at restaurants, you’ll find some winners, some exotic tastes, and even the occasional dud. That’s what experimenting is all about. When you find the foods you really love, you’ll soon become fast friends. And please share your new knowledge with others. They’ll profit, just as you have.