Blog

Foods that You Can Add to Your Diet to Prevent Cancer

shutterstock_210994498

The cancer awareness calendar was developed to help doctors, patients and the general public gain a better understanding of the different cancers that have affected so many peoples’ lives. The goal is to not only bring awareness to different symptoms and the proper healthcare treatments of various cancers, but also to provide information on preventative measures to help individuals avoid risk factors for specific cancers. The month of March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and it is also National Nutrition Month, which makes sense given the relationship between food and cancer development.

As we learn more about how cancer manifests in the first place, we are beginning to learn that a cancer diagnosis can’t just be attributed to genes. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that at least 20% of all cancer cases are related to poor nutrition decisions and lack of exercise. We’ve all heard the Hippocrates quote, “Let food by thyne medicine.” If processed foods, excess alcohol, and red meat could increase the risk factors of certain cancers, could the inverse be true too? Here are a few foods that have shown to decrease or manage tumor growth.

  • Coffee: Colon cancer survivors who drank four or more cups of coffee were 42% less likely to see their cancer return. In a similar study, breast cancer survivors who drank 2-5 cups of coffee saw recurrence drop by half.
  • Foods with Fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains): Women who ate a high fiber diet early in adulthood lowered their risk of breast cancer by as much as 19%.
  • White Vegetables: According to one study, a diet heavy in cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, celery and other vegetables reduced the risk of stomach cancer by a third.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli contains a heavy amount of phytochemicals, especially glucosinolates, which can be protective against mouth, esophagus, and stomach cancer. Other cruciferous vegetables that have similar protective qualities include cabbage, kale, and cauliflower.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has stopped breast, lung, prostate, and endometrial cancer cells from forming in lab tests. Also, be sure to load up on the tomato sauce for dinner. Cooked and processed tomatoes contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

Nutrition is one of the key principles for cancer treatment at the Hope4Cancer® Institute because food plays a powerful part in cancer prevention and care. Some of the components of the nutrition program at the cancer clinic in Baja California and Cancun, Mexico include a vegetarian diet, alkalized water, personalized meal plans based off the cancer and its stage, organic juicing, and more.  Given the high costs of cancer care and horrible side effects that come from conventional medicine, food might be our best defense against cancers of all kinds.

The WHO Report and Why Red and Processed Meat Increases the Risk of Mortality

meat

There has been a lot of news of late about whether or not meat is good for you. This is mainly due to a controversial WHO report that linked some forms of meat consumption with cancer. In October, the WHO issued a report that placed processed meat into its Group 1 category, which means there is “sufficient evidence” that it could potentially cause cancer. It suggested that red meat “probably” caused cancer as well. The report was issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of WHO, which consisted of 22 experts who looked at 800 studies on cancer in humans.

 

What Should You Know about the Report?

 

For the purposes of the report, the WHO defined red meat as “all mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.” Processed meat was defined as “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes”

 

It should be noted that it is nowhere near the risk level of smoking and other known carcinogens. The rate of colon cancer is increased by a factor of about 1.1 or 1.2 for every serving of processed meat consumed per day. In comparison, smoking increases the likelihood of lung cancer 20-fold.

 

However, this is not the only study that has linked meat consumption with cancer. According to one Harvard study, where researchers tracked the food choices of 121,000 adults for 28 years, they found that those who consumed at least 3 oz. of red meat a day were 13% more likely to die from heart disease or cancer. If they had daily servings of bacon or other processed meats, their risk went up to 20%.

 

Researchers believe that there are several potential reasons for the increased risk. Red and processed meats have high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. Preparation could be a factor as well. For example, cured meats and salt have been linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. It’s for this reason why the Hope4Cancer® Institute in Tijuana focuses on nutrition in treatment and recovery. The nutrition principle of its Seven Key Cancer Treatment Principles includes a diet devoid mostly of meat that instead focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables along with alkalinized water.

 

For the purposes of the WHO report, the results are significant. Colorectal cancer was the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women in the United States, so even a small reduction in red and processed meats could potentially improve cancer mortality rates and healthcare costs.

Five Health Myths You May Still Believe

shutterstock_118658323

It’s flu season, so it’s likely that you or someone you know is currently suffering from the flu. There are countless tips out there about how to deal with the flu. One of the most common ideas that have been passed around is the idea of feeding a cold and starving a fever. The idea is to focus your body’s strength on fighting the virus. However, this couldn’t be further from the ideal treatment plan. In fact, doctors recommend that you attempt to eat something even if you don’t want to (like chicken soup), so you preserve your strength.

Why Do We Buy Into Some Common Health Myths?

 

Old wives tales have been around since before modern medicine. Some of the most common ones like the aforementioned flu treatment myth have been repeated so many times that people assume that they’re true. There are various reasons why these myths become truths in our society. Some are passed on from generation to generation.  Others are half-truths that might have some merit but can’t be proven. Doctors and nurses may even still believe some of these tales. Whatever the origin of the myth, it is still a myth, so it’s important to be aware of them as you try to maintain your best health.

Common Health Myths that Many People Still Believe

 

You have probably heard all of these health myths before. One of them was actually the basis for a movie and current television show. If you have any questions about your health, it’s best to consult with your primary care provider instead of following what you may have heard from a family member, friend, or through the media. Here are several common health myths to be aware of:

 

  • You should drink eight cups of water a day. Hydration is important, but there isn’t a set amount of water that you should be drinking every day. However, you should be aware of your hydration levels. The more accepted metric today is to drink half the number of ounces per day as your body weight in pounds. People should also be aware of their environment-based water needs, as well as their activity level based needs.  Sedentary individuals may be more at risk because their body does not perceive the need for water; however, because of their low levels of activity, the body stagnates more and results in higher levels of toxins … that only a replenishment of clean water can help clear out on a regular basis.
  • Cold weather can cause a cold. You may stay indoors due to the cold where more germs could be. This is not to say that you should go outside in a blizzard wearing shorts. You are still susceptible to hyperthermia, frostbite, and other dangerous conditions.
  • You lose most of body heat from your head. Any exposed skin or body part will cause you to lose body heat.
  • Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. It doesn’t, but research suggests that you might impair your hand function if you crack your knuckles too much.
  • You only use ten percent of your brain. This is probably not true. CT scans and MRIs have shown that most of our brain is being used at all times.

While these are myths that have been passed down, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that some ideas that have been dismissed as myths may have some merit. For example, there have been significant advancements in alternative cancer treatments, like those found at the Hope4Cancer® Institute in Tijuana, that have shown to treat certain cancers without the side effects of conventional cancer therapies. Therefore, it’s important to always ask questions about where these ideas are coming from.

Five Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

growingfood

In the United States and other countries around the world, households are celebrating fall harvest. This is the time of year when many fruits and vegetables ripen, so growers can enjoy an abundance of fresh produce in preparation for the winter months. Unfortunately, though, the practice of growing your own food has vanquished for the convenience of picking fruits and veggies from the aisles of your local supermarket.

However, what many of us don’t know is that those same fruits and veggies that you get from the grocery store may not be as fresh or as natural as we might think. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know where our food comes from or how it was grown, which makes growing your own food even more enticing. If you have ever thought about growing your own food but were either intimidated about the work involved or not sure if the nutritional benefits were even worth it, here are several points that might change your mind

  • You’ll know where your food comes from. The average meal in the United States travels about 1500 miles. Therefore, when you do grow your own food, you’ll lower your carbon footprint and have more transparency with what you put in your mouth.
  • You’ll have complete control over whether or not you want to use any pesticides or fertilizers on your crops. Some pesticides have been linked with some forms of cancer.
  • You’ll eat healthier. Fruits and vegetables in grocery stores are picked before they ripen to enhance their shelf life. Fruits and vegetables that are picked when they are as ripe as they would be in a garden have more nutrients.
  • It can help you de-stress. You’ll get a little bit of exercise and have the chance to spend some time outdoors. Did you know that Coach K from Duke University gardens to deal with the stress of being the head of a premier college basketball program?
  • It’s something you can do as a family. Growing a garden is very easy, and you can pass healthy habits down to your children.

The Hope4Cancer® Institute incorporates organic vegetables and fruits in its nutritional program to support its treatments for a reason. Locally grown produce can help you maximize the nutrients you get when eating fruits and veggies. If you’re looking for a way to get healthier, get more exercise, and spend time with your family, growing your own food is a good way to get started.

Five Ways to Curb Your Smoking Habit Today

curb-smokingMost ex-smokers will tell you that one of the hardest things that they had to do in their lives was quit. Almost all of us know that smoking is bad for our health, but nearly 1 in 5 Americans smoke. Across the globe, that number goes up to 21%. Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and a number of other chronic conditions. The Hope4Cancer® Institute and other cancer clinics will tell you that smoking raises the risk of many different cancers as well. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, six million people die each year from the effects of smoking. This includes 5 million who will die from direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 who die are nonsmokers who succumb to second-hand smoke exposure. Nearly half of all people who smoke will die from a smoking-related disease.

Why Is It So Hard to Quit Smoking?

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Cancer.org states that nicotine is actually as addictive as other serious drugs like heroin and cocaine. When you smoke, you inhale nicotine, and it gets absorbed into your bloodstream much quicker than if it was taken by IV. The nicotine affects your heart rate and can improve mood and alleviate stress. However, these pleasures are short-lived, and the smoker will build a tolerance to nicotine. Therefore, he or she will require more nicotine to get the same effects as when he or she first started.

When you go through a period without nicotine, you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Many people who relapse do so because of these unwelcome physical and psychological symptoms. Common symptoms of withdrawal include irritation, anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, flu-like symptoms, and others. These symptoms will usually go away in a few weeks, but your cravings may linger for a few months after that. It may be a good idea to speak with your physician before your quit date, so he or she can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.

Five Ways to Quit Smoking for Good

Withdrawal symptoms are not the only reason why people relapse. Many smokers use cigarettes as a stress release tool, so an adverse event may cause relapse. For others, smoking is so ingrained into their daily rituals that they don’t know how to live day to day without smoking. Here are several tips to help you mitigate these risks and increase your chances of quitting for good:

  • A combination of phone hotline use and online cessation services can greatly improve a person’s chances of quitting.
  • Set a quit date and tell your friends and family about it so they can support you and not smoke around you.
  • Exercise more and practice other stress relief techniques.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and other common triggers.
  • Speak with a behavioral therapist who may be able to recommend lifestyle changes to improve the likelihood of complete cessation.

If you’re looking to quit, speak with a doctor, get support from your friends and family, and compile all of the tools you’ll need to help you succeed. While it may be difficult in the beginning, you may end up saving your life.

Routine Changes for Better Sleep

hope4cancerAre we sleeping enough for optimal health? The answer to this question is a resounding no. Unfortunately, too many of us prioritize work, family, school, and other responsibilities over sleep in the name of greater productivity. Additionally, many of are also stressed out, too connected to our mobile devices, and engage in poor lifestyle choices that affect our ability to sleep. In fact, 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. One CDC Study determined that, among 74,571 adult respondents in 12 states, 35.3% reported less than seven hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period, 48.0% reported snoring, Even more scary, 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month, and 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Nodding off is not the only danger that you can face by not getting the eight hours of sleep you need for optimal health. A lack of sleep can cause restlessness, mood changes, difficulty concentrating on things, impaired reaction time, and poor memory. It also increases the likelihood of mortality of all kinds. You’re more likely to have high blood pressure, cardiac issues, metabolic syndrome, a variety of cancers, and diabetes. Individuals who want to minimize their chances of dealing with these consequences of short sleep can start with changing how they prepare for sleep.

How Can We Get Better Sleep by Changing our Routine?

  • Practice good sleep behavior. We are connected to our telephones, watch television, and work too late into the night. The blue light emitted from electronic devices throws your circadian rhythm off, making a sleep disorder more likely. Therefore, turn off electronics an hour before bedtime and don’t watch television in bed. Additionally, be sure to get up and go to bed at the same time, so your body knows when it is time to sleep. In regard to your bedroom, create the right sleep environment. A cool dark room is optimal for sleep.
  • Exercise more. This not only helps to tire your body and mind for a better night’s sleep; it can also improve how you react to stress, making it easier to sleep at night. Meditation may also reduce your stress levels and improve how quickly you’re able to fall and stay asleep.
  • Avoid spicy foods or a heavy meal right before bed. Eating these foods late at night can increase the risk of getting heartburn and may provide unwanted energy that will only keep you up longer. Obviously, it’s also a good idea to avoid caffeine before bed. Opt instead for herbal teas that can calm your nerves and help you fall asleep.

The Hope4Cancer®Institute incorporates a whole body treatment customized program that treats the underlying condition and not just the symptoms. Combining alternative cancer treatments that have shown successful results with lifestyle modifications, the Hope4Cancer® Institute helps patients heal. Sleep and rest are major factors in how well the body heals. If you find that you are always tired or stressed, take a look at your sleep. It might lead to improved mood, more energy, and better overall health.

Beta-carotene: Friend or Foe to Your Body

beta-carotene-friend-or-foeBeta-carotene is a carotenoid that gives carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich colors. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is a crucial nutrient for the body. Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy skin, hair, mucus membranes, and soft tissue.According to the Mayo Clinic, several studies have shown beta-carotene’s promise in treating oral lesions and sun burn. You can find beta-carotene in a number of plants, including sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins. You can also take beta-carotene supplements.

The Controversies Associated with Beta-carotene

There has been some controversy due to several studies that have shown adverse effects with beta-carotene intake. Some studies, including the famous Finland study in 1994, have indicated that a high intake of beta carotene could be linked with an increased risk of lung cancer for current and former smokers and those exposed to asbestos.

This is due to higher cell proliferation, which can cause lung cancer. However, the increased risk for lung cancer only occurred in patients who were taking beta-carotene supplements. Ingesting beta-carotene from whole foods did not cause any further lung damage.

Another study from Ohio State University actually may have provided evidence on why heavy smokers saw an increased risk of lung cancer when taking beta-carotene supplements. Researchers determined that molecules derived from the beta-carotene supplements were actually blocking the formation of Vitamin A.

Additionally, there were several flaws with these studies. For example, in the study carried out in Finland and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants were given only 1/8th to 1/40th the dosage of Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps lower lung cancer risk. Finally, the study took place soon after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and Finland experienced heavy fallout.
So Is Beta-carotene Safe?

Unless taken at the level tested in the aforementioned studies, then yes. Beta-carotene derived from whole plant foods combines with other carotenoids and phytochemicals to protect the body against cancer. You should aim to get your beta-carotene from real foods and not supplements.

The Hope4Cancer® Institute uses juicing as part of its nutritional and detoxification program. Organic raw carrot and apple juices give the body the easiest way to digest and absorb important nutrients as it fights the disease. Therefore, when taken from natural sources and not the pharmacy, beta-carotene is very safe.

Can Meditation Aid in Cancer Recovery?

For thousands of years, people have used meditation to heal a number of ailments. Meditation is a very important part of many Eastern religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as Christianity. There are multiple forms of meditation, but the two that are most well-known are mindful meditation and transcendental meditation. While mindful meditation consists of focusing on your breath and thoughts, transcendental meditation requires those who practice to focus on a word, mantra, or image. Meditation can also be guided or unguided depending on the practice.aid-cancer-recovery

Regular meditation has been linked with a number of health benefits, such as lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety and stress, and improved sleep. It has also been shown to help in cancer treatments. According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, breast cancer survivors who meditated regularly reported positive effects. They were calmer, happier, and better able to deal with stress. Some researchers have compared the effects of meditation to taking an antidepressant.

Meditation does not just help with mood. It may actually improve the chances of long-term recovery. In a joint study by Alberta Health Services’ Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the University of Calgary, breast cancer survivors who meditated or participated in a support group had longer telomeres than those who did not. Longer telomeres are associated with better overall health as they may protect against some diseases and are also considered an index of longevity.

As more research comes out linking meditation with improved cancer treatment recovery, more oncologists may recommend meditation to their patients.The Hope4Cancer® Institute, for example, expanded in 2015 to include more space for meditation. The Garden of Hope is a soothing indoor garden where patients can relax and meditate in a peaceful environment. The Hope4Cancer® Institute has created a positive, relaxing environment to synergize and improve the chances of long-time recovery.

If you are new to meditation but want to get started, there are a number of ways to begin practicing. You can do a Google search in your local area to see if there are teachers nearby. You can also purchase guided meditations or listen to them for free on YouTube. You can even start meditating with an app. HeadSpace, for example, offers many guided meditations, provides reminders so you know when to meditate, and has a built-in community for users to ask questions, socialize, etc.

Those who are suffering from a chronic condition like cancer or feel over-stressed, depressed, etc. may benefit from starting a meditation practice. Have you meditated before? Tell us your stories in the comment section below.

How Can Alternative Cancer Medications Treatments Help You Fight Your Disease?

As cancer research and technologies improve, the efficacy of alternative treatment programs for cancer have seen a boost. Pharmaceutical companies and cancer researchers are now looking into viruses that can fight cancer, light and soundwave therapy to target cancer cells, and a variety of other alternative methods. Hope4Cancer Institute is proud to be the only cancer clinic in Mexico to offer RIGVIR® virotherapy along with a number of other alternative cancer medications that aren’t found elsewhere in North America.

The reasons why many cancer patients and their families search for alternative methods for cancer treatments are numerous. First and foremost, many of the traditional methods of cancer treatment are very invasive and can ravage the body. Chemotherapy can destory the immune system and have a variety of side effects, including nausea and lethargy. This is because chemotherapy is a highly toxic poison. Radiation isn’t mut better. In addition, surgery can cause permanent, life-altering damage to the body.

image of patient receiving cancer treatment

There’s even some questions of how effective these types of treatments can be. For example, in one study of almost 155,000 Americans and Australians with cancer, less than 3% with a five year survival rate could credit it to chemotherapy. Although there are some individuals who do respond well to conventional treatments, many more suffer through the side effects without much progress on healing the disease.

The alternative treatment options available at Hope4Cancer Institute are non-invasive and do not cause the severe side effects that are seen with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. These treatments are only improving as more research comes out, and Hope4Cancer Institute remains on the forefront of this new and exciting time in cancer treatment.