Food as Powerful Medicine (Part 3)

Food as Powerful Medicine (Part 3)

Ginny Dent BrantBy Ginny Dent Brant14 Minutes

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eights Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer by Ginny Dent Brant


The Cancer-Fighting Power of Cruciferous Vegetables

I don’t like the taste of broccoli sprouts, but I do love the deadly punch they can throw at cancer and other diseases. Various types of sprouts belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables, which also include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and many others. Cruciferous vegetables contain powerful nutrients, including indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, that may help block the growth of cancer cells14 and possibly even kill them.15

The flowers of cruciferous vegetables contain two components that appear similar to the shape of a cross. The word cruciferous comes from the same root word as crucify, which means “to place one on a cross.” Dr.Colbert refers to these vegetables as “cancer blasters” and says that broccoli sprouts have the highest concentration of the protective phytonutrients found in cruciferous vegetables.16 The ACS began recommending cruciferous vegetables regularly to decrease cancer risk back in 1984!17

President George H. W. Bush famously said, “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” But if you don’t like one of the vegetables in this powerful cancer-fighting family, then choose the ones you do like and consume them daily. You can also take a cruciferous vegetable supplement referred to as DIM (diindolylmethane).

Sprouts grown at home in a jar are very inexpensive for the nutrients gained. I now use sprouts in my smoothies along with two cups of kale or spinach. Even my husband drinks the chocolate banana smoothie that I make in the morning, which tastes great and contains hidden sprouts and kale along with a host of other nutrients. For the “George Bushes” of this world, you can disguise the taste—just don’t divulge the ingredients until after you see if they like it.

Other Phytonutrients

There are other phytonutrients you should incorporate into your diet. Allicin, a phytochemical with antimicrobial properties, is found in garlic and onions. Carotenoids are found in spinach, oranges, bell peppers, and carrots and function as antioxidants. Lutein, which is found in green leafy vegetables, is good for your eyesight and may help to reduce your risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Lycopene, found primarily in tomatoes, may reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer.

It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables from all the colors of the rainbow because each of them provides a different cancer-fighting agent.

PH: An Added Benefit to Fruits and Vegetables

According to Dr. David Williams, “Proper pH health balance is critical for good health, and maintaining a slightly alkaline pH is key to preventing disease.” Dr. Veronique Desaulniers says, “The entire metabolic process of the human body depends on one critical factor—the pH of the plasma fluids. Through homeostasis, the body maintains a healthy pH of 7.4.”18

When you eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, your pH level automatically moves from an acidic base to an alkaline base as measured by your urine or saliva on litmus strips. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet generally puts most of us in an acidic situation, which lends itself to inflammation.

I first learned about the importance of an alkaline pH several years ago. When I first tested my urine, the reading was 5.0. It took me a while to get up to a slightly alkaline level. If your body readings are too acidic or too alkaline, your ability to absorb and break down nutrients becomes more difficult as you reach the outer limits. An alkaline pH of 7.2 is recommended for optimum health.

Research suggests that cancer cells grow and thrive in an acidic-based petri dish but die in an alkaline-based petri dish. Scientists, however, don’t know if what happens in the dish will duplicate what occurs in the body. Many integrative medical doctors believe it does.

Desaulniers believes, “A low pH (acidic) creates an environment conducive to disease, and a higher pH (alkaline) promotes health. Cancer by its very nature flourishes in a very acidic environment, and the surrounding tissue that is found in cancer tumors has a very low acidic pH.”19

Over the long term, Dr. Joshua Axe believes that acidosis in the body leads to cancer, osteoporosis, and many other diseases. He explains why calcium-rich dairy products cause some of the highest rates of osteoporosis:

Dairy products create acidity in the body! When your blood stream becomes too acidic, it will steal calcium (a more alkaline substance) from the bones to try to balance out the pH level.20

He recommends eating lots of alkaline, green leafy vegetables to prevent osteoporosis. Green juices actually alkalize, oxygenate, and super-hydrate the body. That’s why you see so many heath nuts juicing and consuming these powerful drinks.

Powdered green drinks are a great addition to your diet. They are alkalizing, hydrating, and add the power of fruits and vegetables to your day. I drink one daily. It’s important to choose one that agrees with your taste buds, contains mainly organic ingredients, includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, and contains good probiotics.

Alkaline foods include vegetables; oils such as coconut, flax, and olive; most fruits; raw nuts; green drinks; and salmon. Acidic foods include all meats except salmon, wheat, pastas, breads, dairy products, most grains, vegetable oils, saturated fats, and most prescription medications. Drinks such as sodas, beer, and alcohol are also acidic.

Soda is simply an acidifying chemical drink that offers no nutritional benefit or hydrating value (unless there’s no caffeine) to the body. It’s no secret that a can of soda can be used to remove the corrosion off a car battery, clean a toilet, or remove rust from metal.

Beans: The Economic Superfood

Have you ever wondered why Mexican restaurants are so often reasonably priced? It’s because inexpensive beans are among their main ingredients. According to Dr. Ann Kulze, “Beans are a nutritional powerhouse second only to vegetables in nutrients, and loaded with protein, a full spectrum of minerals, folate, and antioxidants.”21

Journalist Dan Buettner, in a partnership with National Geographic Magazine, researched the five areas in the world where people live longest and identified their dietary habits. Beans were a dietary staple in Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and among Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.22

According to Kulze, “Beans are low in calories, low in glycemic response, low in cholesterol, and protect against heart disease, breast, and colon cancers.” They are easy to use in salads, soups, casseroles, dips, and as a main dish. There’s simply no reason to not include a variety of inexpensive beans in your diet.

Recharging Your Immune System

According to Dr. Patrick Quillin, the former vice president of nutrition at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, protein is also an important nutrient that can’t be overlooked, because it’s the “backbone of the immune system.” Although Americans tend to eat too much protein, patients absolutely must get sufficient amounts during the cancer journey. Cancer treatments diminish one’s appetite, but Quillin says, “You can’t fight a life-threatening disease while malnourished.”23

Quillin also says, “A well-nourished cancer patient can protect against the toxic effects of chemo and radiation, thus making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the treatments.”24 He recommends eating a variety of whole foods including herbs, which are cancer-fighting agents. For those who think nutrition might interfere with or reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy, his answer is unequivocally “No.” Properly nourished cancer patients also experience less nausea and side effects from cancertreatments.25 I can attest to that.

Come Over to the Dark Side

According to many nutritionists and physicians, dark chocolate fat and dark chocolate are actually good for you. Dr. Kulze gives five reasons why you should come over to the dark side and include this amazing treat in your diet (though limited to two ounces daily). Dark chocolate:

  • Acts as a powerful antioxidant containing flavonoids
  • Raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol
  • Boosts blood flow and has metabolic benefits
  • Provides zinc, magnesium, and fiber
  • Enhances one’s mood and focus26

Here’s my recipe for a nutrient-dense smoothie that hides a multitude of healthy ingredients you might not otherwise eat and guarantees that everyone in the family will start the day right. This smoothie is also anticancer, brain boosting, detoxifying, gut and immune building, and estrogen reducing. However, if you have cancer, leave out the banana due to its higher glycemic load.

Banana Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie for Two

1 banana
¼ bar 100% cacao or ¼ cup of raw cacao
1 scoop chocolate bone broth protein (Organixx or Ancient Nutrition)
1–2 tbsp. ground flax seeds (grind daily in small coffee grinder)
1 tbsp. coconut oil or avocado (helps absorption of nutrients)
2 cups almond milk, yogurt, coconut milk, or filtered water (if reducing calories)
½ cup unsweetened coconut or milk yogurt
½ cup ice (if desired)

Hidden super foods to add in:
Small handful of broccoli sprouts or microgreens
1–2 cups spinach, kale, or other dark green leaves
½ teaspoon spirulina (careful, too much can turn the entire drink green)
1 cup frozen, organic wild blueberries

When planning our meals we need to ask, “Did God make this?” and “Will these foods nourish my body?” Jack LaLanne said, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”

Americans have become accustomed to a diet of excess—too much sugar, too many processed foods, and too much food with high calories and low nutrients—putting them at risk for cancer. It’s vital that we stop looking at food as entertainment and start viewing our foods as nourishment and preventative medicine. We need to glorify God in our bodies by caring for them properly. He generously gave us plants for our nutrition and healing—if only we would use them.

Order your copy of Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer by Ginny Dent Brant