FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you. Thank you!
We've all read stories of people who reversed their illnesses with an anti cancer diet, but do you direct experience with it?
One of my sister's best friends got word a few years ago that her father had liver cancer and had to have emergency surgery and then begin chemotherapy. She is very close with her father and the news was of course devastating.
When the cancer kept coming back, her dad decided to take matters into his own hands and started changing his diet.
At a check up a few years after the diagnosis, he was told he his cancer cells were actually dying, and that he should never have survived.
I absolutely love stories like this! The more we find them and share them, the greater the chances are that the world will start hearing and try diet changes first.
The concept of an anti cancer diet came from Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and was made famous in his book Eat for Health. All of his books are packed with nutritional information and the studies which provide the proof that there are indeed anti cancer foods and foods that contribute to developing cancer.
As a quick overview of what Eat for Health says about the dangers of eating animal products:
Dr. Fuhrman's anti cancer diet includes eating at least 90% of nutrient dense foods, all of which are plant foods, and no more than 10% of the diet of light nutrient foods like beef, sweets, cheese, processed meats, eggs, fish, and fat free dairy. Dr. Fuhrman outright says that these foods "do not contribute beneficial micronutrients." I think leaving them on the pyramid helps to show people what proportion of their diet, if any, should include those foods, and I also think this might help encourage people who are scared to completely give up all animal products.
B: berries and beans
S: seeds, nuts
Dr. Fuhrman specifically focuses on the benefits of eating one group of plant foods he calls GOMBS, greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries, and seeds. While all fruits and vegetables have healthful properties, these GOMBS have higher levels of cancer fighting properties.
Dark leafy greens are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and you can add cancer-fighting properties to the list of benefits. In fact, if you are one of those people who simply can't stand eating vegetables and you're only going to be convinced to add a few into your diet, you should add in cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and collard greens. Cruciferous vegetables are proven to actually remove carcinogens in your body, inhibit cancer cells from growing, and even force the cancer cells to die.
If you know someone who has cancer or you have it yourself, or if you simply don't want to get cancer, you must start eating dark greens and cruciferous vegetables, and a lot of them. To follow Dr. Fuhrman's anti cancer diet, you should eat about two pounds of vegetables each day and at least four different kinds of fruits.
A study cited in Dr. Fuhrman's book shoed that people who eat onions on a regular basis have about a 60-70% decrease in the risk for developing any and all types of cancer. If you want the technical term for it, they have angiogenesis inhibitors, which basically starve cancer cells and prevent them from being fed with nutrients.
Even eating just a small amount of mushrooms on a daily basis is associated with lower chances for developing breast cancer. In addition to those angiogenesis inhibitors that onions have, mushrooms also have aromatose inhibitors, which lower bad estrogen in your body. Those toxic estrogens are the ones that fuel breast cancer and prostate cancer, and without them the cancer cannot grow. Mushrooms are packed with plenty of other nutrients, as you can find on my page about mushroom nutrition.
The beans and berries category takes up one space with the B, but that doesn't diminish the healthful properties in each. Beans are packed with fiber, which helps your body to remove excess material and keeps the intestines running smoothly. Every different type of bean has different nutrients, so it's important to eat a wide variety.
All types of berries are incredibly healthful for preventing cancer, as well as protecting you against heart disease and diabetes. Learn about all the specific benefits of strawberries and blueberries here.
The anti cancer diet encourages nuts and seeds as a small portion of your daily diet. You can try adding a few tablespoons on top of your salad or in your breakfast smoothie, and they're also great as a snack all on their own.
You only need a very small handful to get a full serving of nutrients from nuts and seeds, and as usual, it's important to vary the different types of nuts you eat daily because they all are healthy in different ways. Nuts help to reduce inflammation in your body, and oddly, inflammation itself is linked to obesity and degenerative diseases, so reducing it reduces your risk for getting ill.
You can find meal plan ideas in Eat for Health. As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Fuhrman suggests aiming for eating one large raw salad with plenty of greens, four different types of fruit, and at least two other lightly cooked vegetables to ensure you are packing your diet with the most nutrient dense foods.
He recommends adding in as many different colors of vegetables, as well as raw nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, and healthful fats like avocados.
Dr. Fuhrman does not promote an entirely raw diet because he says the raw diet can weaken the nutritional profile by weighing it more heavily on nuts, seeds, and avocados, which have lower amounts of nutrients per calorie. That does not mean he does not believe in raw foods, he just recommends that half of your vegetable intake be raw and the other half lightly cooked, like steamed.
One of the more famous vegans who was able to change her future by eating an anti cancer diet is Kris Carr, of Crazy Sexy Life. In 2003 she was given the "rare and incurable cancer" diagnosis and also given only a few months to live. Kris is a young, beautiful woman and it certainly wasn't her time to go. So, she took control of her health and life and decided to live to the fullest.
A huge part of that plan was her choosing plant foods over animal foods every single time. She also created a green juice sensation that's making waves across the planet right now.
If you know someone who has just been told they are going to die from cancer, send them one of Kris's books right now. They're all on Amazon:
Kris has also written and directed a documentary on TLC called Crazy Sexy Cancer, if you or your friends prefer to watch videos than read books.
Most of the recipes on this site focus on whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, so you should be able to simply go through the list on the free recipes page and find something delicious. Here are a few of the great options...
If I had my choice, everyone in the world would be on an anti cancer diet right now, with a huge emphasis on the most healthful and beneficial fruits and vegetables. If you have cancer, please consider talking to your doctor about changing your diet today.
And, if you've beaten cancer (or another serious degenerative disease) with a plant-based anti cancer diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, please share your story with the world below. It makes more of a difference than you could ever know.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Liver Cancer Cells Killed with Alkaline Diet
Growing up with a father from Italy meant that we regularly ate pasta with meatballs, salami, prosciutto, cannoli, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses as well …
Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer
I had estrogen positive breast cancer in 1997. I had a lumpectomy and underwent both chemo and radiation. I took tamoxifan for the 5 years and have been …