Diet is the foundation of any anticancer program. And I often tell people to think of their food as a daily dose of low dose medicine.
Whether you’re talking about health supporting fats, or anticancer plant compounds… a well structured diet can have a variety of anticancer effects.
But more and more researchers are revealing HOW all of this works… the mechanisms by which your diet can help your body fight cancer.
And knowing this helps us better understand, and better implement these anticancer strategies into our lives. It also gives us a better idea of just how important these anticancer foods can be.
SO one of the most recent studies in this area reveals how fruits and veggies work to help us against colon cancer.
Gut Bacteria Turns Plant Nutrients Into Anticancer Compounds
At first, researchers at South Dakota State University were looking into benefits of aspirin against colon cancer.
Now, when aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) gets into the body, it is converted into salicylic acid. And many foods including, including a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices contain salicylic acid also. Then the salicylic acid can get converted in the body into other related chemicals.
So these researchers were testing these “salicylic acid metabolites” to see which one of them had anticancer properties. And they found a substance called “2,4,6-THBA” was able to slow the growth of cancer cells.
These researchers also looked to see where the “2,4,6-THBA” was coming from. And they realized that your gut bacteria can actually digest the salicylic acid and turn it into “2,4,6-THBA.”
Then compounds like 2,4,6-THBA are reabsorbed back into the body, and hit the colon again on it’s way out of the body.
So every time you eat fruits and vegetables, you’re basically bathing your in colon in 2,4,6-THBA to control the growth of cancer cells in the area.
But Gut Bacteria Imbalance Could Affect This Process And Promote Cancer
Now, when you’re looking at the body as an “integrated whole,” you have to look at the different situations that could be happening in the body.
Because the body is like a chain. Just one weak link can affect the whole chain.
And when you’re talking about your gut bacteria, and how they can convert plant nutrients into anticancer compounds, you have to wonder…
What if you have problems with your gut bacteria? How would this affect the process?
Because, your gut bacteria can get thrown out of balance by a variety of factors. This includes:
- Medications… especially antibiotics
- Dietary imbalance… especially a lack of fiber in the diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Chronic stress
And when your gut bacteria is out of balance, it leads to a condition called “dysbiosis.”
Now… researchers in Germany have looked into various species of gut bacteria. And they found that certain types are involved in breaking down certain nutrients in your foods.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin also found that the types of bacteria in the gut can affect the amounts of anticancer nutrients derived from you food. And they really emphasize the importance of fiber to feed the friendly bacteria.
So, having an imbalance in your gut bacteria could affect your ability to get the anticancer plant nutrients from your foods.
And even worse… imbalance in your gut bacteria itself can promote the risk of colon cancer. Because the wrong types of bacteria can generate more cancer causing chemicals in your gut.
Plant Nutrients Also Feed Your Gut Bacteria
So as you can see… it’s not as simple as “fruits and veggies prevent colon cancer.” Because in order to get the most benefits from your fruits and vegetables, your gut bacteria population has to be healthy.
But fortunately, the fiber that comes with these anticancer fruits and veggies will help support the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Researchers have also shown that the plant nutrients themselves also feed the friendly bacteria… the same bacteria that convert nutrients into other anticancer compounds.
And even a few days of not eating these plant nutrients in your diet could cause their population to dwindle.
So the KEY is to eat these anticancer plant foods REGULARLY… to MAINTAIN the population of friendly bacteria in your gut.
That way the healthy bacteria are present in sufficient amounts to convert these plant nutrients into anticancer compounds when you eat them.
Because if you only eat these anticancer foods intermittently… you may not be getting the full anticancer effects.
So Here’s What You Should Do…
So, in order to maximize the anticancer effects of your foods… make sure to:
- Include a significant amount of fiber in every meal. This should come mostly from fruits, vegetables, and legumes… but also some whole grains if you tolerate them well.
- Eat more anticancer plant foods in every meal. This should include lots of cruciferous vegetables, apples, dark berries, and colorful foods in general.
- Eat more fermented foods. This can include things like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
- Take a high quality probiotic supplement. This is especially important after taking a round of antibiotic medications.
These things will ensure that your gut bacteria is healthy and well maintained. That way you can reap the benefits of the anticancer foods in your diet.
So as you can see… when it comes to maximizing your anticancer defenses… there are some simple but important factors that you have to get right.
One person may eat a moderate amount of anticancer foods regularly … while another may generally neglect this, and eat a bunch of anticancer foods here and there.
But as you can see from today’s article… these two people may not be getting the same effect. And there are many examples like this when it comes to anticancer strategies in general. So it’s important that you “cover all your bases.”
Your body is literally an ecosystem… a garden that needs to be tended to on a regular basis. If you tend to your garden, you’ll get beautiful flowers, vegetables, and fruits. If you neglect it… weeds will take over. And that’s how we look at cancer.
So make sure to eat more of these anticancer foods on a regular basis, and your body will thank you for it.
Gene Wei is a Board Certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine in the state of Florida, and the founder of AntiCancer360. He’s also a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, and East West College of Natural Medicine.
His practice is focused on integrative and natural anticancer strategies. Over the years, he’s helped many people overcome difficult cancers… including some cases of “terminal cancer” which were able to be reversed with an “Aggressive Integrative Approach.”