How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Vegetables, Fruits and Mushrooms

Updated: Mar 19




Everybody can likely agree, that cancer is a life changing disease you wouldn't wish upon anyone. Standard cancer treatments can frequently not guarantee a positive outcome...


Fortunately, there is more you can do:


There are scientifically proven ways of increasing the chances of success of current cancer treatments.


That's not all...


Cancer research shows there are ways to increase the quality of life and increase the chances of survival.


Finally:


In most cases we can even prevent cancer from happening in the first place.


In this article we are going to cover 3 out of 14 science based essentials, that help prevent cancer and increase your chances of survival:


  • The Most Powerful Vegetables

  • The Healthiest Fruits

  • Immune Enhancing Mushrooms


The main focus will be on pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers.



14 Key Points to Prevent Cancer and Increase the Success of Cancer Treatment:


  1. The Most Powerful Vegetables

  2. The Healthiest Fruits

  3. Immune Enhancing Mushrooms

  4. Intense Herbs & Spices

  5. The Surprising Role of Phytates

  6. Energetic Nut bombs

  7. Long Live Legumes

  8. Grains: Don't Drop Your Soap

  9. Microbiome: The Deciding Factor

  10. Heavy weight or Fly weight?

  11. Exercise: the Couch Potato's Best Friend

  12. Synergy & The Success of Mixed Treatments

  13. The Smokey Flavor of Smoking

  14. Foods that increase your risk



Treating Cancer


Cancer can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and other therapies or combinations of these.


But:


Chemotherapy is involved in most treatments and is the standard of care for pancreatic cancer. (1)


How effective is it?


That depends on the type of cancer.

In regard to pancreatic cancer, it's not effective at all:


Less than 10% of people make past 5 years.



Alex Trebek and Pancreatic Cancer


Alex Trebek, the host of the famous "Jeopardy!" , was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and has recently marked his 1-year.


Trebek said:


'I joked with friends that the cancer won't kill me, the chemo treatments will.'

He also talked of the pain and depression:


'that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on.'

Alex Trebek is optimistic though.


Now:


Although this is a powerful motivator and an admirable state of mind to have, only optimism is not enough.


So:


Let's start being proactive right now and make a change for the better.



Before addressing the first key points in the battle against cancer, it is necessary to know what they are based on...


Therefore, two main pillars need to be explained first:


  1. Diet

  2. Immune system


1. Diet

Diet is an important risk factor for cancer. (2) Even in respect to the deadlier and hard to treat pancreatic cancer.


Here's why:


According to some research, approximately 50% of pancreatic cancer cases are caused by diet. (3)

This doesn't include weight problems though.


That matters, because...


Obesity is a well-known risk factor for (pancreatic) cancer and weight and diet are immensely close connected. (3)


That means:


This number is actually higher.


Many pharmaceutical companies are increasingly interested in developing multi-targeted therapies, to increase the effectiveness of current cancer treatments.


However:


Many natural, plant-based products multi-target naturally, but because pharmaceutical companies are not usually able to secure intellectual property rights to plant-based products, the development of plant-based anticancer therapies has not been prioritized in cancer research. (4)


You may be wondering:


"How is that relevant?"


That means that the focus in medicine and healthcare is not on natural products and food.


That also means:


The science on plant-based products doesn't get as much attention, both in the media and the doctor's office.


But the good thing is...


We don't have to wait around. There is enough science on the role of diet in cancer:


To prevent or treat.



2. Immune system

Another key factor in the development of cancer is the link between cancer and the immune system.


It's been widely accepted and it was first mentioned already 150 years ago by Rudolph Virchow. (5)


Here's the deal:


A good functioning immune system is ESSENTIAL in preventing and treating cancer.


The irony of chemotherapy though, is that it can can worsen immune function for a significant amount of time, and be a cause of innumerable side effects decreasing the quality of life for many cancer patients.


Want to know the worst part?


Many people don't survive chemotherapy as well. (6), (7)


That doesn't mean chemotherapy or other therapies don't have their place.


This will be explained further down.



The Key Takeaway

Considering the importance of diet and immune system:

We are going to take a scientific look at the promising anticancer and immune enhancing properties of certain foods that are beneficial in cancer prevention and beneficial to a more successful cancer treatment.

As opposed to...

Just chemotherapy or other treatments on their own.

What else?

On the other side, we are going to look at foods that can actually increase your risk, and likely affecting the development and prognosis of the cancer.

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3 Key Points to Prevent Cancer and Increase the Success of Cancer Treatment


1. The Most Powerful Vegetables


Scientists say that diets high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains and sufficient in calories could prove a valuable tool in cancer prevention, like breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer and many more. (8)


There's a catch though:


When it comes to pancreatic cancer, there are mixed results on the normally protective effects of fruits and, more so, vegetables. (9)


Pancreatic cancer seems to be the odd one in the bunch.


Or could it be that people just don't eat enough of the right 'anticancer vegetables'?


The most commonly consumed vegetables in Western countries, where pancreatic and other cancers are most common, (10) are potato, carrot, lettuce and tomato. In the U.S. they account for about 60% of total vegetable intake. (11)



Want to know the worst part?


On average, they have little power to stop the growth of cancer cells, ESPECIALLY

pancreatic cancer cells. (11)


A look at the graph below shows you precisely how little power they have.

The higher the column, the less power they have to kill harmful tumor cells.

The lower the columns, the more power they have to kill harmful tumor cells.



As you can see, compared to the vegetables on the right side, they have little to offer to pancreatic cancer cells.


But:


We measured all of this from within a Petri dish, which is a disadvantage, because it doesn't always directly translate into humans directly.


What makes this interesting nonetheless:


Different cancer cells appear to generally react differently to the same vegetables, BUT there are vegetables that almost always have the ability to kill off tumor cells efficiently.


As you can see from the image below, the vegetables that do best are:


Leek, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beet root, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and spinach. As you can see, they were tested on breast cancer cells, stomach cancer cells, prostate cancer cells and brain cancer cells:



With the exception of cauliflower and red cabbage, they all showed their strength against pancreatic cancer cells as well.


All of the vegetables tested did NOT harm normal cells.


That's like taking out the kidnapper, while keeping the hostage alive.

Sort of the thing you're going for.


Chemotherapy doesn't employ the same tactics as vegetables...


Chemo takes out the kidnapper by blasting through the hostage. This creates a messy situation and a big trauma for the poor concierge, who needs to clean up afterwards.


This will be discussed further down below.

The chemo side effects will be discussed, not the concierge. That would just be awkward.

Considering the similar properties these particular vegetables possess, implementing plenty of these highlighted vegetables would appear a good strategy, not only for the prevention of (pancreatic) cancer, but also as a dietary treatment.


There is another reason though:


If you look closely, the vegetables that do the best are the ones from the allium and cruciferous family (except for beetroot). Allium vegetables like garlic, leek and onion and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale.


Here comes the best part:


They can also strengthen your immune system. (12), (13), (14), (15), (16)


In The Best Ways to Protect Yourself Against Virus Infections Part 2 we have previously described how cruciferous vegetables exactly apply their magic to caress your immune system into states of arousal.


This is of major importance:


Cancer, as described earlier, is able to grow because of a 'malfunctioned' immune system and a good immune system is necessary to restore order.


That's also the reason more and more studies on immunotherapy are being conducted. (17)



Summary

The most powerful vegetables tested on killing cancer cells are:

Leek, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beet root, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and spinach.

These are mostly allium and cruciferous vegetables.

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2. The Healthiest Fruits


Like mentioned earlier, the effect of fruit on pancreatic cancer in specific, has shown mixed results.


Want to know the interesting part?


Fruit may still be beneficial, but from what we know a few types of fruit seem to stand out. One of them is citrus fruit. (18), (19)


It is associated with reduced risks in several cancers, like stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer (20), (21), (22) and pancreatic cancer. (23)


What's surprising:


Dried fruit may work better than regular fresh fruit.


There are only a few studies of dried fruit and pancreatic cancer, but they showed up to a 65% decrease in risk of getting pancreatic cancer. (24)


Considering the significance for only 3 or more servings of dried fruit a week, it seems well worth the addition to your diet.


And...


That's one of the reasons we use dried fruit in our baking instead of sugar;


We are going to release a FREE mini baking course soon for healthy baking, so stay tuned and sign up here to get notified.


Dried fruit also seemed to lower risk of other cancers more than fresh fruit, perhaps due to being more concentrated.


The exact reason, however, remains a mystery. (24)



Why have there been mixed results then?


One reason for some studies having shown mixed results on fruits and pancreatic cancer, could be that they didn't create separate categories. (25)


Here's why that matters:


(Cavendish) bananas for example are the most popular fruit consumed in many countries. (26) Their antioxidant content is relatively low for fruit.


When it was tested on some cancer cells it didn't do great.

The researchers noted that the higher the antioxidant content of the fruit was, the better it was to kill off cancer cells. (27)


That means:


If you group 'lower cancer killing potential' fruit together with 'higher cancer killing potential' fruit, it could result in a misleading outcome. (25)


What high antioxidant fruit are we talking about?

Berries


Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, etc.


That's a shame, because berries are believed to be able to modulate immunity to at least slow down cancer growth. (28)


Although they have shown direct benefit in people with cancer, we technically only know they are great at bullying pancreatic cancer cells in test tubes and animals, because that's all the data we have. (28), (29), (30)


But here's the kicker:


Even if we didn't have any of this research, berries would still be a valuable source of food, regardless of your current physical health.


How come?


Because of their sheer anti-inflammatory effects.

There are not many foods that have more antioxidants than berries. (31)


Why does that matter?

Some scientists made a nice graph so we can cut straight to the point: (32)




As you can see, inflammation is a big player in the development of cancer.

That means anti-inflammatory foods, can reduce cancer risk by lowering inflammation and oxidative stress.


Sounds complicated?


Let's make it more digestable:


Basically, officer Berry uses his special police powers to neutralize the troublemakers that can lead to cancer. Just for good measure, he releases some toxic gas.



Summary

The healthiest fruits for cancer are:

Citrus fruits: oranges, lemon, grapefruit, tangerines, pomelo etc.

Dried fruit: raisins, figs, dates, berries, etc.

Berries: blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, etc.

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3. Immune Enhancing Mushrooms


Are there any other foods that have this double whammy ability of killing off cancer cells and boosting your immune system at the same time?


Mushrooms can certainly improve immune function, although it does it in different ways than cruciferous and allium vegetables as we've also described clearly in The Best Ways to Protect Yourself Against Virus Infections Part 2.


Cancer fungotherapy is a promising scientific field.


Our fungi friends have shown to contain a host of different anticancer compounds. (33)

And we're not talking about fungi you find in between sweaty toes in the locker room.


One of these compounds has been used for cancer treatment in Japan since the mid 70's! (34)


The latest research on this compound, which is a kind of sugar called PSK, showed that it enhanced chemotherapy treatment significantly among pancreatic cancer patients.


That's not all...


In addition, a lower dose of the chemo agent was needed to be effective, which makes it even more remarkable. (35)


Considering the composition and properties of mushrooms, they surely seem an indispensable part of the diet.



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This covers the first 3 out of the 14 Key Points to Prevent Cancer and Increase the Success of Cancer Treatment.


The next article is going to cover Herbs & Spices to prevent cancer and increase chances to cure from cancer.


How to find out when the next article is released?


Subscribe and immediately get notified when new articles and healthy recipes are released.



The other essential key points:


  1. The Most Powerful Vegetables

  2. The Healthiest Fruits

  3. Immune Enhancing Mushrooms

  4. Intense Herbs & Spices

  5. The Surprising Role of Phytates

  6. Energetic Nut bombs

  7. Long Live Legumes

  8. Grains: Don't Drop Your Soap

  9. Microbiome: The Deciding Factor

  10. Heavy weight or Fly weight?

  11. Exercise: the Couch Potato's Best Friend

  12. Synergy & The Success of Mixed Treatments

  13. The Smokey Flavor of Smoking

  14. Foods that increase your risk



References:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122094/

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31360907-preventable-cancer-burden-associated-with-poor-diet-in-the-united-states/

  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29764623-pancreatic-cancer-a-critical-review-of-dietary-risk/

  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18462866

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220497/

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2777669/

  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6530042/#CR90

  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695892/

  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295082/

  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396775/

  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222543469_Antiproliferative_and_antioxidant_activities_of_common_vegetables_A_comparative_study

  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26764326-garlic-lowers-blood-pressure-in-hypertensive-individuals-regulates-serum-cholesterol-and-stimulates-immunity-an-updated-meta-analysis-and-review/

  13. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.4161/cc.11.3.19163

  14. https://sci-hub.tw/10.1016/j.cell.2011.10.004

  15. https://sci-hub.tw/10.1111/j.0105-2896.2005.00284.x

  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22036556-you-ahr-what-you-eat-linking-diet-and-immunity/

  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6169832/

  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24403441-nutrition-and-pancreatic-cancer/

  19. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-011-9838-0

  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18373174-citrus-fruit-intake-and-stomach-cancer-risk-a-quantitative-systematic-review/

  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29595629-intakes-of-citrus-fruit-and-risk-of-esophageal-cancer-a-meta-analysis/

  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24932663-citrus-fruit-intake-and-bladder-cancer-risk-a-meta-analysis-of-observational-studies/

  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18824947-citrus-fruit-intake-and-pancreatic-cancer-risk-a-quantitative-systematic-review/

  24. https://academic.oup.com/advances/advance-article/doi/10.1093/advances/nmz085/555477

  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6110394/

  26. https://www.hortidaily.com/article/6042033/tomatoes-most-popular-vegetable-bananas-most-loved-fruit/

  27. https://sci-hub.tw/10.1021/jf0207530

  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6110394/

  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187535/

  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329469/

  31. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-3

  32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6110394/

  33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044372/

  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK401261/

  35. https://www.nature.com/articles/1206310


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