While it has yet to gain the national attention that is given to breast cancer, cervical cancer has been given a great deal of publicity in recent years.This is mostly due to the advent of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine which is being promoted for women and girls in order to reduce the chances of developing cervical cancer. While this is certainly an important breakthrough, what many do not know is that there are also dietary means of both preventing cervical cancer and of treating it once it does occur. Guidelines for this dietary management is discussed below.
Choose A Low Glycemic Diet
A low glycemic diet is one which is based on non-starchy vegetables, fruits, lean meats and dairy, legumes and nuts. What all these foods have in common is that they are broken down more slowly in the body and so do not cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike up. Conversely, consumingstarchy vegetables and foods high in refined white flour or sugar break down quickly in the body and cause the blood sugar and insulin to rise sharply. These spikes in insulin and in another compound called the insulin growth factor (IGF) have been linked to the growth and progression of tumors.
Avoid Excessive Protein
Protein is a necessary nutrient for muscle development and many other important functions. However, if one’s diet is too high in protein, then pancreatin, a chemical produced by the pancreas, is diverted to helpthe body digest it. The main task of pancreatin, though, is to fight against the proliferation of cancer cells. A diet which avoids excessive protein thus helps one of the body’s most important natural defenses againt cancer.
Increase Certain Fruits and Nuts
Certain fruits and nuts- especially raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, blackberries, pecans and walnuts are rich in a chemical called ellagic acid. This acid, according to research published in Cancer Letters, has been shown to cause the death of cervical cancer cells within 72 hours. Thus, enjoying these fruits and nuts on a daily basis not only provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals, but also this cancer-fighting compound.
Supplement with Turmeric
For another, extremely delicious, way to fight cancer, try exploringthe wonderful world of Indian food. Many Indian dishes,especially the curries, are not only rich in vegetables butalso contain the turmeric, a spice whose bioactive component curcumin can give protection from as well as heal cervical cancer cells. A study in the journal Molecular Cellular Biochemistry notes that curcumin “allows suppression and retardation of carcinogenesis in many types of cancer”.
The HPV vaccine is an option for women and girls wanting to avoid the onset of cervical cancer. However, it is also important to consider dietary strategies for the prevention of this disease. The guidelines discussed above are inexpensive, easy to follow, and bring with them a wealth of benefits.
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