Cervical Cancer Prevention: 10 Diet Tips for Susceptible Women

cervical cancer diet

In this section of our Guide to Cervical Cancer Prevention, you will find a collection of diet tips that may help women reduce their risk of getting cervical cancer. However, before getting into the tips, let’s take a quick look at what cervical cancer is:

Cervical cancer (cancer of the cervix) is the second most common cancer in women. In 2009, an estimated 11,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 4,000 women will die from this slow- growing cancer. The cervix is the narrow part of the uterus through which babies are born. Cervical cells can go through many types of changes, most of which are harmless and not related to cancer. These changes can be caused by a number of factors, including HPV infection. HPVs (human papillomaviruses) are a group of more than 100 related viruses, many of which can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. About 15 types of the 100 types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.

In most cases, however, HPV infections go away on their own. But sometimes, especially when the levels of the female hormone estrogen are abnormally high, cells infected with HPV turn into precancerous cells, which can become cancer. Instead of dying, the cervical cancer cells outlive normal cells, invade adjacent tissues, and sometimes spread to other parts of the body via lymph or blood (process called metastasis). So-called pap tests are performed by health care professionals to identify abnormal changes in the cervical cells.

Although a HPV infection is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer, it is not the only one. Research suggests that other factors, such as smoking and having given birth to many children, may also increase the risk of cervical cancer. Furthermore, certain dietary factors, described below, may influence the risk of cervical cancer. The paragraphs below describe 10 great diet tips that can help reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

Important notice: The information on this page and elsewhere on this website has not been reviewed by dieticians or medical professionals, and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.

 

#1: Choose Low Glycemic Foods

Low GI foods form the basis of all anti-cancer diets.

Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of the ability of carbohydrate-rich foods to raise blood sugar (glucose). Foods that are slowly digested — such as most non-starchy vegetables, legumes and fruit — encourage stable blood glucose levels and have a low Glycemic Index rating. Foods that break down quickly, including most refined carbohydrate-rich foods and potatoes, cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels and are rated high on the Glycemic Index. Diets rich in high-Gi carbohydrates have been associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. This link is likely to be related to the ability of high-GI foods to stimulate the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), two hormones that have been shown to promote tumor proliferation, progression, and spreading within the body.

 

#2: Avoid Excess Protein

Already at the beginning of the 20th century, John Beard, a Scottish cancer researcher, proposed that the body’s primary defense against proliferating cancer cells is pancreatin. Pancreatin is essentially a mix of protein-digesting enzymes, but these enzymes also have another purpose: the eradication of cancer. Diets that are extremely rich in protein keep the pancreatic emzymes busy digesting protein, which means that little time is left for these enzymes to fight cervical cancer. Experts suggest that the body needs a protein-free period of approximately 12 hours a day in order to combat cancer efficiently.

 

Broccoli

I3C in cruciferous vegetables may help guard against cervical cancer.

#3: Eat Foods That Deliver I3C

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts have long been touted for their ability to prevent cancer, including cervical cancer. The cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables largely attributable to indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables when they are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to promote the detoxification of many harmful substances, including carcinogens, and to have strong antioxidant properties. Moreover, indole-3-carbinol appears have anti-estrogenic activitieswhich may provide additional protection against cervical cancer.

 

#4: Count on Curcumin

Curcumin, a phytochemical that gives turmeric its bright yellow color, has been shown to be capable of fighting almost any type of cancer. Researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) near New Nelhi in India recently discovered that curcumin can also help fight cervical cancer by protecting the body from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the main cause of uterine and cervical cancer. Curcumin appears to arrest the development of cervical cancer by inactivating the HPV that lurks inside cervical cancer cells.

 

#5: Consume Foods That Provide Ellagic Acid

Raspberries

Raspberries are the best dietary source of ellagic acid.

In the battle against cervical cancer, ellagic acid may well be your best weapon. Scientific evidence suggests that ellagic acid can effectively eliminate cervical cancer causing substances by activating certain detoxifying enzymes in the body. Ellagic acid also seems to be able to prevent carcinogens from attaching to cellular DNA. Furthermore, ellagic acid has been shown to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancerous cells and to induce normal self-destruction of human cancer cells. Ellagitannin — which is converted into ellagic acid by the body — is found in a number of red fruits and berries, raspberries being one of the best dietary sources of this extraordinary cervical cancer fighting phytochemical. Also some nuts, such as walnuts and pecans, contain ellagic acid.

 

#6: Avoid Foods That Contain Nitrates

Nitrates are natural substances found in the air, surface water, ground water, soil, and plants. Food manufacturers also use nitrates are also to give processed and cured meat a deep red color. Once consumed, the body can convert nitrates into nitrites, which can turn into nitrosamines. Scientific evidence suggests that nitrosamines can cause cancer in humans. However, certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, have been shown to effectively inhibit nitrosamine formation. As vegetables usually contain large amounts of antioxidant substances, nitrosamine formation is usually not a concern when you eat vegetables and other plant foods. This is supported by epidemiological studies of human populations which show no link between a high consumption of nitrate-containing vegetables and cancer, but which indicate that diets rich in nitrate-containing processed foods can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

 

#7: Avoid Foods That May Be Contaminated with Aflatoxin

Select Fresh Grains, Nuts and Legumes. Some fungi that grow on food can produce carcinogenic substances during processing, storage, and transport. These substances include aflatoxin, a poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavusAflatoxin may cause cervical cancer due to its ability to damage DNA. Peanuts are particularly susceptible to aflatoxin invasion, but also many other foods, including whole grains, legumes, and nuts may be contaminated. Aflatoxin is resistant to cooking and freezing, but you can greatly reduce your risk of exposure by:

only consuming fresh seeds, nuts and grains (or at least you should avoid nuts and grains from last year’s harvest)
looking for signs of proper storage and avoiding foods from countries that have substandard storage requirements
discarding nuts that look or taste suspicious
eating green vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll — chlorophyll has been shown to reduce aflatoxins levels

 

Kiwi_fruit

Vitamin C, abundant in kiwis, has numerous health promoting properties.

#8:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C and vitamin E have strong antioxidant powers and properties that help boost the immune system. Therefore, a diet rich in vitamin C and vitamin E may help reduce your odds of developing cervical cancer. In addition to their antioxidant and immune sytem boosting activities, vitamin C and vitamin E can inhibit the formation of nitrosamine, a potentially carcinogenic substance. However, the impact of vitamin C on nitrosamine formation might be relevant only if there is no fat in the stomach: A group of researches replicated the chemical conditions of the upper stomach and measured the impact of vitamin C on the production of nitrosamines, both when fat was present in the stomach and when it was absent. In the absence of fat, vitamin C decreased the levels of nitrosamines, but when some fat was added, vitamin C actually boosted the formation of nitrosamines.

 

#9:  Reduce Fat Intake, Especially From Animal Fat

Rich in arachidonic acid, animal fat has been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Arachidonic acid has been shown to enhance cancer growth and to facilitate its spread, and some studies suggest that arachidonic acid may also destroy immune cellsinvolved in the protection against cervical cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts, are believed to have a protective effect against cervical cancer. However, even then you might want to limit the total intake of fat to approximately 20% of total caloric intake because all fatty acids stimulate the production of bile which may be converted into apocholic acid, a proven carcinogen, if a lot of fat stagnates in the gut for too long.

 

#10:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral vital to the production of more than 200 essential enzymes in the body, one of them being superoxide dismutase (SOD). The role of SOD in the antioxidant system of the body is well documented, indicating that this powerful enzyme may provide protection against cervical cancer by destroying harmful free radicals. In addition, zinc may also reduce the risk of cervical cancer by helping the immune system to eliminate abnormal or worn out cells before they multiply themselves and become potentially cancerous.

 

 



10 Crohn’s Friendly Recipes

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

Cooking-With-Crohns-Recipes-04-1440x810

While what you eat isn’t a surefire way to cause, or cure, Crohn’s disease, certain foods may trigger a flare or make your symptoms worse. Eating a healthy diet can help you manage your nutrition intake, which is especially important during a flare-up. However, knowing which foods to eat or avoid isn’t always easy. Crohn’s disease affects everyone differently, and you’ll need to figure out what works — or doesn’t work — for you. Some common food triggers include spicy, fatty, and gas-producing foods, and many people with Crohn’s need to limit dairy products and high-fiber foods such as whole grains and beans. But that doesn’t mean your diet needs to be bland. Try the following recipes to spice up your meals. If any of the ingredients are known problem foods for you, you can get creative with substitutions.

Click the link below to be transfered to the Everyday Health recipes!

https://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease/diet/crohns-friendly-recipes/#01

SLMA September – Cholesterol Awareness

Article Source: https://www.houmatimes.com/health_and_wellness/slma-september—cholesterol-awareness/article_93f7e882-9242-11e7-9f9b-b337abd6dd90.html

 

Back to school is just around the corner, but September is about more than just new books and school clothes, it’s also Cholesterol Awareness Month. Celebrate the start of fall by learning more about cholesterol and how you can help keep your body healthy.

What is Cholesterol?

We often hear and talk about cholesterol but may not know exactly what it means. Cholesterol actually isn’t a bad thing; it’s a waxy, soft, fat-like substance that our bodies need to produce cell membranes and other important substances. The liver produces the cholesterol needed by the body to function properly. But cholesterol also comes from the food we eat, specifically food from animals, like meat and full-fat dairy. These foods also contain saturated and trans fats which signal your liver to produce more cholesterol. This can result in levels that are too high. Nearly one-third of adults in the United States have high cholesterol levels.

Types of Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as bad cholesterol because it carries particles of cholesterol around your body in the bloodstream and leaves them on the walls of your arteries. This results in build up along the artery walls so they become hard and narrow. On the other hand, HDL is known as good cholesterol because it works to remove cholesterol from your bloodstream, taking it to the liver so it can be broken down. Having high levels of HDL and low levels of LDL is ideal.

Causes of High Cholesterol

A number of factors can influence your cholesterol levels, including the following:

● Obesity – Extra weight increases LDL levels

● Inactivity – Regular physical activity helps lower LDL and increase HDL

● Poor diet – Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol increase the level of LDL in the bloodstream

● Family genetics – Your genes can impact how much cholesterol your body produces

● Age – Cholesterol levels rise with age

● Gender – Men often have higher cholesterol levels than women before menopause; after menopause, the levels tend to even out

Managing Cholesterol

Whether you have high cholesterol and want to lower your levels or you just want to prevent high cholesterol from developing, it’s important to focus on lifestyle changes. What you eat is an important part of fighting cholesterol, so work toward consuming a heart-healthy diet. Well-balanced diets focused on fiber-rich foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains are key. You should also minimize the amount saturated and trans fats you consume, which are found in foods like meat, full-fat dairy, fried food and store-bought baked goods. Here are some examples of heart-healthy foods to include in your diet:

● Barley

● Oatmeal

● Leafy greens

● Avocado

● Nuts

● Salmon

● Beans

● Eggplant

● Soybeans

● Black tea

● Garlic

Regular physical activity is also important. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days week. Other lifestyle changes can also help lower cholesterol, including reducing stress, losing weight and quitting smoking.

Cholesterol Medication

Managing cholesterol should focus on making lifestyle changes. However, if you are working on changing your lifestyle and are struggling to bring down your cholesterol levels, then talk to your doctor. They may prescribe certain medications, including fibrates, statins and niacin, to help lower cholesterol. These medications may be taken individually or in combination; your doctor will determine what is appropriate for you.

Test Your Cholesterol

Having your cholesterol tested is the only way to know what your levels are like. A simple blood test determines your current levels. The most common cholesterol screening is a lipid profile; it measures the level of fats in your blood, including cholesterol. It’s recommended that people over age 20 get a cholesterol screening at least once every five years, but certain factors make it better for some people to get tested more often. Optimal cholesterol levels are as follows:

● Total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL

● HDL at 60 mg/dL or above

● LDL below 100 mg/dL

Dangers of High Cholesterol

Although it’s usually impossible to determine if you have high cholesterol without a blood test, that doesn’t mean it isn’t impacting your body and health. If left unchecked, high cholesterol can contribute to a number of health problems. The biggest problem is a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries that combines with other substances and leads to the formation of plaque. This buildup of plaque in your arteries is known as atherosclerosis. As the plaque deposits continue to grow, they narrow the space inside your arteries. This restricts the flow of blood. A clot that develops in your bloodstream can easily become stuck in an area where the arteries are narrowed, completely blocking the flow of blood. If your blood can’t carry oxygen to your heart or brain, then a heart attack or stroke will occur.

When to See Your Doctor

It’s important to talk to your doctor about testing your cholesterol levels. Many times you won’t notice high cholesterol until it’s too late. Regular screenings can determine your cholesterol levels so you can take appropriate action if necessary. In addition, if you notice chest pain it’s important to see your doctor right away. This can be a sign that the blood flow to your heart is restricted.

Managing your cholesterol levels is an important part of overall health, particularly heart health. Celebrate Cholesterol Awareness Month by talking to your doctor about getting a cholesterol screening. Then choose a lifestyle change to work on for better heart health.