Note: Many serious diet and nutrition programs for complementary healing
begin by detoxifying your body. The three basic concepts are : stop putting toxins into
your body, help your body release the toxins which are in it, and enhance your body's
ability to deal with toxins. The tips below will help you in this process.
1) Healing partners play a key role in using diet and nutrition in the
healing process. It is important to find an open-minded nutritionist who is familiar with
natural complementary healing. This person should be able to help guide your healing with
a diet and nutrition program which complements your traditional medical treatments. In
addition, having a partner to facilitate nutritional eating allows those diagnosed with
cancer to focus on other aspects of healing. This partner will need to find and purchase
nutritional foods, to search for recipes and cooking techniques, and to prepare the foods
in a healthy manner.
2) Drink 8-10 glasses (80-100 oz) of purified water per day, assuming you
have adequate heart and kidney function. Water helps the body's metabolism function
properly and helps flush toxins out of your system. Anyone with a compromised immune
system should filter tap water. Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation usually have
compromised immune systems.
3) Try a Vegan diet : no meat, chicken, fish, or dairy products. Many
nutritionists believe that animal products are harder for your system to digest than
fruits, vegetables, and grains. Toxin and hormone residues in meats are cited as other
4) Buy only organically grown produce. Although it is usually more
expensive, a healing body needs every advantage it can get. A food cooperative or health
food store is more likely than a large supermarket to have a wide selection of organic
foods. Otherwise, ask the supermarket produce manager to special order organic produce for
you. If you must eat non-organic produce, wash it well with filtered water and/or peel off
about 1/4 inch of the outer surface where most of the toxins will be. Although most of the
fiber and vitamins are found in the peel and outer skins of fruits and vegetables, it is
more important to eliminate as much of the pesticides and other toxins as possible. Toxins
tend to accumulate in specific areas of some fruits and vegetables, such as the bottom
inch of the tip of the carrot. Books on healthy eating can help you find this information
for your favorite produce.
5) For a powerful and delicious nutritional snack, each day try to drink a
juice made of fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables. For maximum nutritional
value, drink the juice immediately but certainly within the first 20 minutes after
preparation. Books on juiced fruit and vegetable combinations are available at most
libraries or bookstores. Inexpensive juicers (machines that turn fruits and vegetables
into juice) are available at large discount stores and heavy-use juicers are usually sold
at food cooperatives and health food stores. Prices range from $30 to $300.
6) Significantly reduce your consumption of fats, refined sugars, white
bread, and highly processed grains and other foods. Buy fresh foods instead of canned,
boxed, or frozen convenience foods. Nutritional value is highest when you stay as close as
possible to fresh, unprocessed, and organic foods.
7) Switch to soy products which have proven nutritional benefits. Soy
comes in many forms : soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and even good tasting cheese and ice cream.
Try hot soy milk with vanilla and cinnamon as a coffee substitute. Or use it as a milk
substitute on hot or cold cereal. It's great!
8) Eating healthy can be a lonely activity, and cooking tasty health food
can be challenging. Sample various dishes at a health food restaurant or food cooperative
deli to see what you like. Then, ask for recipes. Take a healthful cooking class or course
with a friend or partner. Ask friends who are familiar with health food to show you how to
9) At a minimum, supplement your diet with a good daily multi-vitamin and
extra anti-oxidants, especially vitamins A, C, and E. If you stop eating dairy products,
be sure to add a calcium and magnesium supplement. Anti-oxidants disable the free radicals
in your body, which many health professional believe to be the precursors of cancer.
Consider adding other supplements as you learn how to help your body ward off disease.
Some health practitioners advise discontinuance of vitamin supplements just before and
after a chemotherapy treatment as some research studies suggest some vitamins may reduce
the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug.
10) Educate yourself about diet, nutrition, and natural self-healing by
reading books, watching videos, and attending classes. Libraries, health food stores, and
community wellness centers are great resources of helpful information. Books by Dean
Ornish and Andrew Weil are especially helpful. Also, consider a subscription to a good
health newsletter such as Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing (1-800-523-3296). Selected
articles are on his web site at http://www.drweilwselfhealing.com.
An unofficial web site and links for Dean Ornish is http://members.aol.com/annullas.
Copyright © 2000 Jim Acee and CONVERSATIONS!, (Permission
is given to make personal copies or copies for free distribution to cancer
fighters.) Available on the web at: http://www.ovarian-news.org
under "10 Tips Series for Coping by Jim Acee."