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.

 

 



Exploring the types of Hepatitis; A-E

With August being National Immunization month we are going to explore all the different types of Hepatitis and prevention and which types can be prevented through vaccines.  There are safe and effective vaccines that can prevent hepatitis A and B, which you get from a viral infection (but not for types C, D, or E). There is also a combination vaccine that guards against hep A and B.
Each of those viruses is different. But the diseases they cause are similar. Hepatitis brings liver inflammation, and it can be serious or even life-threatening.First, what is Hepatitis? Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.  We will delve into the differences in all the types of hepatitis throughout August.

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HOW YOU CAN CONTRACT HEPATITIS A AND THE CAUSES

People develop hepatitis A infection after contracting HAV. This virus is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with fecal matter that contains the virus. Once transmitted, the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the liver, where it causes inflammation and swelling.

In addition to transmission from eating food or drinking water containing HAV, the virus can also be spread by close personal contact with an infected person. HAV is contagious, and a person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others living in the same household.

You can contract hepatitis A by:

  • eating food prepared by someone with the hepatitis A virus
  • eating food handled by preparers who don’t follow strict hand-washing routines before touching food that you eat
  • eating sewage-contaminated raw shellfish
  • not using condoms when having sex with someone who has the hepatitis A virus
  • drinking polluted water
  • coming in contact with hepatitis A-infected fecal matter

If you contract the virus, you will be contagious two weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period will end about one week after symptoms appear.

HOW TO PREVENT HEPATITIS A 

The No. 1 way to avoid getting hepatitis A is by getting the hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of two injections, 6 to 12 months apart.

If you’re traveling to a country where hepatitis A transmission is more common, get your vaccination at least two weeks before traveling. It usually takes two weeks after the first injection for your body to start building immunity to hepatitis A. If you’re not traveling for at least a year, it’s best to get both injections before leaving.

Check your destination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site to see if you should get a hepatitis A vaccination.

To limit your chance of contracting hepatitis A, you should also:

  • thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before eating or drinking, and after using the restroom
  • drink bottled water rather than local water in developing countries, or in countries where there’s a high risk of contracting hepatitis A
  • dine at established, reputable restaurants, rather than from street vendors
  • avoid eating peeled or raw fruit and vegetables in an area with low sanitation or hygienic standards

Who Should Get the Hepatitis A Vaccine?

The CDC recommends that all children between ages 12 months and 23 months get this vaccine.

The following people are also at risk for the disease and should be vaccinated:

  • Children and teens through age 18 who live in states or communities that have made this vaccination routine because of a high rate of disease
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Anyone who uses illegal drugs
  • People with chronic (long-term) liver disease
  • Anyone treated with blood clotting drugs, such as people with hemophilia
  • People who work with HAV-infected primates or in HAV research laboratories. (HAV is like HIV in animals.)
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common. A good source to check is the CDC’s travelers’ health website, which you can search by the country you’re going to.
  • People adopting or close to a child adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common

You should not get the vaccine if you’re allergic to any ingredients in it or if you had a severe allergic reaction to an earlier dose of it. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have.

If you’re pregnant, let your doctor know. The safety of this vaccine for pregnant women is unknown, although the risk is considered to be very low.

Resources: Graphics by Kyle Berard with Plasma Med Research, healthline.com, webmd.com

12 Healthy Diet Tips for Hepatitis C and Liver Disease

Dealing with liver disease or any chronic illness can be challenging enough and can bring an out of control feeling. Your diet is something you can control. It gives you a sense of being behind the wheel with your health.

The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is true.  What we eat affects our entire body, especially our liver.  The liver is the powerhouse of the body.  It is the second largest organ and helps with many vital functions.  When our liver is unhealthy, it affects our entire body, even your immune system, which helps you fight disease.

Think of your liver in terms of a highly efficient engine and filter.  What you eat, drink and expose to your body is chemically broken down by your liver and affects your immune system and many other functions of your body.

 

It’s important to eat and drink the right fuel in order to operate effectively. With having Hep C, I learned 12 healthy diet tips for Hepatitis C or any liver disease that help the liver do its jobs and help repair some liver damage.

The American Liver Foundation states that eating an unhealthy diet can even lead to liver disease.  For example, a person who eats a lot of fatty foods is at higher risk of being overweight and having (NAFLD) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

An unhealthy diet and exposure to dangerous chemicals can do damage to your liver and cause it not to function properly.  Like ‘sludge’ in your gas tank an unhealthy diet can slow down or worse, lead to compromised liver function.

When I was first diagnosed with Hep C over twenty years ago, along with seeing my liver specialist, I saw a registered dietitian for nutritional counseling.  I wanted to know from having Hepatitis C what kind of diet was best.

12 Healthy Diet Tips for Hepatitis C and any liver disease is:

  1.  Eating foods from all food groups in healthy portions such as whole grains, lean proteins, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Eating foods with high fiber such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains are liver healthy foods.  Fiber it up, it’s nature’s broom to help eliminate toxins from the body.
  3.  Eat a well balanced diet, but eat lean proteins from poultry, fish, and plant based proteins.
  4. Limit red meat due to this is harder and takes longer for your system to break it down, plus it can contribute to bloating.
  5. Avoid uncooked shellfish such as oysters and clams or other uncooked meats.
  6. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and salt.
  7. Limit eating high fatty foods.
  8. Limit eating fried or processed foods.
  9. Stay within a healthy weight range because the liver can function better than if we’re over or under weight.
  10. Eating smaller meals throughout the day is also better than large meals.  Your liver has to work harder to break down high fat and larger meals.  This will also help stabilize blood sugar, cravings, and the bloated, sleepy feeling that can come from eating larger meals.
  11. It is best to limit foods that have a lot of sugar and high sodium (salt). High sodium foods and eating too much protein will make you retain fluid and can lead to excess toxins in your blood stream.   Be careful not to limit your protein too much because it can result in a lack of certain amino acids that is essential for your body to function properly.
  12. Drink plenty of pure water, filtered if possible.  Drink at least 64 ounces a day.  Avoid Alcohol.  Alcohol is like throwing gas on a fire with liver disease and increases damage.

 

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Always consult your physician before beginning any treatment program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment plan.

Article Source:  https://www.lifebeyondhepatitisc.com/2015/06/ten-healthy-diet-tips-hepatitis-c-liver-disease-2/