The BIG Connection – Cancer, Food and Healing

Before my wife Gayle was diagnosed with Metastatic breast cancer in May 2019, we thought we were eating a healthy diet. Were we wrong! We were eating a Standard American Diet, but very little of our diet actually supported good health.  

Food is vital to good health and it’s within your circle of influence. It provides the building blocks for growth and repair and fuel for energy.  Poor diet contributes to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases including cancer.

Since Gayle’s diagnosis, we’ve learned how eating whole, plant-based foods assists the body’s ability to heal from a cancer diagnosis.  

In six months’ time, my wife went from a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer with too many lesions in her spine and ribs to count, to no active cancer.  We believe that focusing on the power of eating real food was one of the key components in her healing.   

For us, eating the right foods meant moving away from eating a Standard American Diet.  The USDA food pyramid was thrown out the window. We ditched the convenient processed foods, all animal protein and sugar from our diet. We focused on eating whole foods we liked but only those foods that gave us the best shot to activate the body’s ability to heal.  

Here are some of the foods we incorporated or eliminated from our diet. Even if you don’t have cancer, these suggestions are super helpful in preventing problems down the road.

Sugar.  The first thing we learned is that cancer’s favorite food is processed sugar. We eliminated it from our diet but continued to consume fruit sugar in moderation. 

Animal protein. We eliminated all animal protein from our diet. Animal products provide an excess of fat, cholesterol and protein, and they often contain harmful viruses, bacteria, hormones, antibiotics and other unwanted chemicals.  Replacing animal protein with plant protein can halt liver cancer growth. Check out the book, The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell. The China Study was the largest, most comprehensive human nutrition study in history. It has compelling research to support removing animal protein from your diet to stop the promotion of cancer.

Dairy. We eliminated all dairy.  Milk, cheese and other dairy products can trigger cancer cell growth. 

Carrot juice. We drank carrot juice daily. After reading the many testimonials from cancer patients who had success adding carrot juice to their daily diet, it was a no-brainer to add it to our routine. As it turned out, there is strong scientific evidence for carrots as an anti-cancer treatment.  Check out Ann Cameron’s book, Curing Cancer with Carrots.  She talks about the science behind drinking carrot juice and her story of healing. In brief, carrot juice can help reawaken silent cancer-suppressor genes and restore the body’s capacity to regulate cell division and destroy abnormal cells. 

Apples. We added apples to our diet. A daily red apple protects you from breast, liver and colon cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables. We incorporated lots of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage into our diet. Crucifers help prevent breast, bladder, lung, prostate and other cancers. 

Flaxseed. We added flaxseed to our daily diet. Flaxseed helps slow the growth of breast and prostate cancer. An easy way to incorporate flaxseed daily is to add it to your morning oatmeal.

Mushrooms. We added 1-2 mushrooms to our daily diet. Mushrooms are a powerful immune-boosting food with powerful anti-cancer properties. 

Garlic.  We frequently ate 2-3 cloves of garlic a day, mostly steamed with vegetables, but occasionally raw in salads.  Eating garlic daily reduces the risk of breast, colon and other cancers. 

Turmeric. We added this spice to our daily routine most days.  It protects against breast, lung and prostate cancer. 

Lentils.  We added lentils to our diet.  Research shows that 2-4 servings of lentils each week can reduce breast cancer risk. 

Purple potatoes.  We have also added purple potatoes to our diet. They kill cancer stem cells in colon cancer.

These foods along with others made up the base ingredients of our new healing diet. The great news is that my wife’s healing story is not unique. Many people worldwide are incorporating cancer fighting foods into their diets to prevent and heal from cancer.  And it’s working! The book, Radical Remission, written by Kelly A. Turner, PhD., documents stories of those who have healed from Stage IV cancer diagnoses, and healthy food was a part of their healing routines.  

Food provides us hope. These stories provide us hope.  Healing can happen. 

Food choices are the most powerful changes one can make to prevent cancer, to heal from cancer and to protect you from the harsh side effects of cancer treatments. The Center for Advancement in Cancer Education believes that 90% of all cancers can be eliminated through environmental and lifestyle choices. Science agrees, and so do I. 

Healing from cancer is about healing your life.  Food plays a critical role and the good news is, it’s within your circle of influence.

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Picture of Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta is a certified functional nutrition practitioner, holistic cancer coach and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients - if you eat better, you will feel better.