Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Mick’s up with Aha!

Have you ever read something that you have come away from saying, “Aha!  So THAT’s why!”?  That just happened to me today.  I’m so glad a friend shared on his Facebook a link to the article How to Starve Cancer Out of Your Body - Avoid These Top 4 Cancer-Feeding Foods.

As I read through the article, I had several “Aha!” moments.  Now I can better explain why we do what we do to be a healthier family, as well as why I believe what I believe about doing or not doing certain things for the sake of avoiding cancer and other serious diseases.

As I mentioned in It's a Mick's up With Cancer Information, I don’t like the idea of women getting mammograms.  Focusing on breast cancer, the article I read today gives some good reasoning behind that, as well as some alternatives.  Dr. Horner states, “Everything has its pros and cons… [M]ammography produces radiation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.  It's like, ‘Why are you doing the test to look at a disease when it's actually causing the disease, too?’”

When I read, Vitamin D cuts your (cancer) risks in halfTurmeric and anti-inflammatories cut your risk in half,” I thought to myself, “Aha!  I’m so glad my family and I are keeping up with taking our Vitamin D3 and our EFA (Omega)!  I can hope that this means our kidderz won’t have to watch us suffer from cancer, nor experience suffering themselves,” especially when reading, “Healthy fats of particular importance for cancer prevention are omega-3 and omega-9.  According to Dr. Horner, omega-3 in particular serve to effectively slow down tumor growth in estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast-, prostate- and colon cancers.”  Aha!  Yes, again, aha!  Our major avoidance of bad fats is rationalized!  Woohoo!  We really ARE reading these labels for a good reason.

The next “aha!” was regarding grass-fed meatWhy am I so picky about my family eating the right kind of meats?  Some days I get doubting this myself, and I start asking that question.  Articles, such as this, put it in perspective again.  We get inflammation issues and cancer risks with the wrong meat.  Meats from confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) “are given antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that get stored in their tissues.  Additionally, cooking the meat over high heat creates heterocyclic amines, which further add to its carcinogenic effect.” 

Then, if I get thinking about what hormones in foods are doing to children in regard to way-too-early development, I wonder, “So, what is the bad result of this, other than being abnormal and frustrating?”  Articles like this help to answer this and other questions:  Bodies end up getting more “estradiol, which is the strongest, most abundant form of estrogen, and the one that's most associated with breast cancer.”  Plus: “cells become really sensitive to environmental toxins, radiation, and so forth.  They're considered immature.  They haven't differentiated– as a more scientific term for it– so there's a longer period of time that they're exposed to these toxins where they have a greater sensitivity.”  Whether or not it makes sense or can be easily understood, all I know for sure is that I want to give my kidderz the best chance of living with healthy cells and bodies to fight off any risk of cancer.  It’s not fair to do otherwise. Is it? If you have the knowledge, but choose to ignore it and continue to put your loved ones in danger, is that really love?

With that in mind, let’s talk sugar.  Since the start of our “no sugar” kick, I get extremely excited to see or hear someone else with the same opinion about sugar and other inflammatories.  Dr. Horner refers to them as “cancer-promoters” and explains that this includes ALL forms of sugar, including fructose and grains.  “To me, sugar has no redeeming value at all, because they found that the more we consume it, the more we're fuelling every single chronic disease,” Dr. Horner says. 

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Cut out the sugars!!

Dr. Horner continues, “In fact, there was a study done about a year ago… and the conclusion was that sugar is a universal mechanism for chronic disease.  It kicks up inflammation.  It kicks up oxygen free radicals.  Those are the two main processes we see that underlie any single chronic disorder, including cancers.  It fuels the growth of breast cancers, because glucose is cancer's favorite food.  The more you consume, the faster it grows.” Enough said?!

So, what is good to eat? 

Do you have a sister, dad, husband, kidderz (or even yourself) who do not like to eat “rabbit food?”  Are you needing some “ammo” to convince them of the importance of eating greens?  Well, here’s an “aha!” for you.  Dr. Horner describes plants by saying, “some of them behave exactly like chemotherapyEvery plant has some anti-cancer properties to them. There are some that are standouts.  Cruciferous vegetables are something that I really recommend.  They're a family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts… All of them have several different chemicals in common.  They've got indole-3-carbinol, Calcium D-glucarate, and sulforaphane.  They have big anti-cancer properties to them, and they inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon cancer and a variety of other ones.  Of all the families of vegetables to consume, [cruciferous vegetables] are the ones to be aware of, so you can make sure you're including that in your diet frequently.

I use flax seed at times, but never seem to remember why.  Dr. Horner helps by saying, “The lignans in flax seed inhibit the growth of cancer in about a dozen different ways, including the exact same mechanism as the anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen and Arimidex, which shut down an enzyme in fat cells called aromatase that converts androgens into estrogens.” Aha!  We’ll be adding more flax seed to our recipes, for sure!

My husband tries to get proper sleep, but when he slips up, I try to explain to him how important it is.  Dr. Horner does a much better job at it:  “If we, for instance, go to bed by 10, we have higher levels of our sleep hormone melatonin; there's a spike that occurs between midnight and 1am, which you don't want to miss because the consequences are absolutely spectacular.  Melatonin is not only our sleep hormone, but it also is a very powerful antioxidant.  It decreases the amount of estrogen our body produces.  It also boosts your immune system… And it interacts with the other hormones.  So, if you go to bed after 10… it significantly increases your risk of breast cancer.”  Aha!  (Well, I like to think it doesn’t stop at breast cancer.)  Any cancer in general is a good enough reason, not to mention all the other benefits… but definitely assisting the immune system is something we all need.

Moving on to things other than food, we’ll look at stress.  We cannot stop traumatic events from happening in life, but it is interesting and insightful to read that when you experience stress like that, “your risk of breast cancer is 12 times higher in the ensuing five years.”  That’s more like an “ugh!” than an “aha!”

The final “aha!” is exercise.  It has some good defense, too! “One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.  Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood.  Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.”

So, just like it’s nice to know why you’re right in telling your kidderz to wear a helmet when they ride their bikes, it’s nice to know why you’re right in creating healthier habits.  Go with your gut!  You know healthier is better. 

I’ll leave you with an Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.even better “aha!” than all the above “ahas!” combined:

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.


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