For decades naturopaths have toted the health benefits of a plant-based diet as a pinnacle of healthful pursuits. Vegetarian or plant-based diet are low in harmful fats and other toxins as well as high in fiber. An increasing number of scientific studies has shown that a vegetarian or plant-based diet can help in the prevention of cancer-causing cells. It can also assist the body in recovery in combination with chemotherapy or radiation treatment and potential side effects.
There is much controversy around using a vegetarian or plant-based diet as an alternative to conventional forms of treatment. Although you should not disregard professional medical advice, you need to make your own decisions using your best judgement with the resources you have at your disposal in regards to treatment plans and your healing process.
Having said that, there are many benefits to consuming a vegetarian or plant-based diet in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments. A diet that is high in natural fruits, vegetables, and their juices provides important nutrients to the body to assist in the healing process.
Consuming a nutrient rich diet can also improve the patient’s general outlook and attitude about the disease. So often those suffering from cancer can feel a loss of control due to complex treatment plans and what seems like countless appointments. Consuming a nutrient rich diet not only can improve the patient’s physical state, but also their mental functioning and overall outlook. When patents are taking their diets into their own hands, they can regain that sense of control they may feel they had lost.
The effects of psychology on fighting disease should not be underestimated. The power of the mind is a strong component in assisting the fight against cancer. It is not uncommon for patients to feel better during treatments with a simple change in mindset and or diet, even while undergoing intense therapies.
However, the benefits of a vegetarian or plant-based diet are well documented in the prevention of disease.
It is well known that countries that have a lower intake of animal-based products have lower rates of diseases of affluence. A wonderful and in-depth book to read on this is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. It has been shown that a diet low in animal products and high in plant products can significantly decrease the risk of diseases of affluence, in particular cancer.
It has been shown that diet particularly high in red meats, such as beef, have higher instances of cancer, specifically colon cancer. Diets higher in animal fat have also shown higher instances of breast cancer in young women. As well, dairy products have been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Although it cannot be said with certainty that a vegetarian diet alone will completely eliminate the risk of cancer, as there are numerous other environmental and genetic factors to take into consideration. A plant based diet can, however, reduce the risk as fruits and vegetables are high in flavonoids and other good for your antioxidants that fight cancer causing free radicals.
Free radicals are tiny, molecular substances that damage the DNA of human cells. We are exposed to free radicals on a daily basis through pollution, diet, water, and other environmental toxins. By consuming a vegetarian diet high in fresh, organic fruits and vegetables we are giving our bodies the benefit of resisting the side effects of free radicals.
For more information: National Cancer Institutite