Many of us want to know if cancer prevention through natural means is possible. Before we answer this question, let me briefly provide an overview of cancers.
Simply speaking, body expression is determined through proteins triggered by genes. Proteins cause an expression. Our genome can be defined as a conductor directing the players (proteins) to produce a specific musical note. This is how our body works.
Cancer cells are different from normal cells. Normal cells, for a variety of reasons, transform into cancer cells. What causes normal cells to become cancerous is widely researched and debated. Two of the triggers for cells becoming cancerous are lifestyle and environmental factors.
Cells that turn cancerous start proliferating at a fast pace. These manifest, in most cancers, in the form of tumors. These tumors, especially those present in the body in the initial stages, are not visible to the naked eye, cause no pain or other symptoms, and are more likely to go undetected.
Therefore, it is critical to periodically examine the body to identify the presence of any tumors. Mammography helps detect cancers in the breast, pap smears, cytology screening, and blood tests, including complete blood count tests to see if there is a sudden rise in white blood cells, etc., are some investigations that can help in early detection.
Plants have an important role in cancer prevention and cure. They possess immunity-building chemicals that protect us from disease. Diet and exercise are essential components of ancient medical systems. The focus is on preventive healthcare here.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, which help build body immunity. Oxidants are the most common of the cell damage-causing molecules. Oxidants are produced during healthy cellular metabolism. This help modulates inflammation, kill bacteria, detoxify toxins, and maintain good vascular (blood vessel) tone. Excess, unutilized oxidants damage cell membranes, lipids, and DNA. This damage gets repaired by antioxidants obtained from food.
We get exposed to oxidants from external sources too. Smoking, alcohol, certain drugs, deep-fried, and fatty foods are other sources. We get exposed to oxidants through radiation, UV light, heat shock, and strong sunlight. Other oxidant sources are air fresheners as well as vehicular and industrial pollutants. Oxidants interact with antioxidants, destroying these. Diet must have enough surplus antioxidants to counterbalance the loss from oxidants.
Free oxidants not neutralized by antioxidants can cause degenerative diseases such as atherosclerotic heart disease, diabetes, skin ailments, arthritis, neurodegenerative disorders, cancers, etc.
Vitamins B and D and calcium in plants and other foods have cancer-prevention properties. Dietary fiber found in whole grains, seeds, legumes, pulses, vegetables, fruit, and products made from these helps easily evacuate stool. Plant-based phytochemical-rich foods help regulate hormones such as estrogen, slow cancer cell growth, and block inflammation.
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