By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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Cancer Nutrition Healthy Alternatives for Cancer Prevention


Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, but empowering individuals with knowledge about cancer nutrition and healthy alternatives can make a significant impact on prevention and overall well-being. While the causes of cancer are multifaceted and can vary from person to person, adopting a healthy lifestyle and making informed dietary choices can play a crucial role in reducing the risk of cancer development. Ayurveda emphasizes the concept of balanced and individualized care to address the unique needs of each person. By considering the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and the principles of Ayurvedic nutrition, individuals can make informed dietary choices that promote overall wellness during cancer treatment.

Causes of Cancer:

Genetic Factors: Inherited gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase the risk of certain cancers. However, it is important to note that genetic factors account for only a small percentage of overall cancer cases.
Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain substances and environmental pollutants, such as tobacco smoke, asbestos, UV radiation, and industrial chemicals, can contribute to the development of cancer. Minimizing exposure to these carcinogens is crucial for prevention.

Poor Lifestyle Choices: Poor lifestyle choices significantly impact Cancer risk. Factors such as tobacco and alcohol , use of insecticide and pesticides in agricultural practices, sedentary behaviour, obesity, and a diet high in processed foods, saturated fats, and sugary beverages have been linked to increased cancer risk.

Unhealthy Food Habits: Consuming foods made with refined flour, such as white bread, pastries, and pasta, can lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and insulin spikes. High glycemic foods have been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancer. Refined oils, such as vegetable oils, go through a process of refining and high-temperature processing that can lead to the formation of harmful substances, such as trans fats and free radicals. Trans fats are known to increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Cancer Nutrition: Healthy Alternatives for Cancer Prevention

1) Plant-Based Diet:
 Emphasizing a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts can provide essential nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that have cancer-protective properties. These foods are generally low in calories and high in antioxidants, promoting overall health and reducing the risk of various types of cancer.

2) Understanding the Doshas: 
According to Ayurveda, each person has a unique constitution or prakriti, determined by the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas represent different energy forces and govern various bodily functions. By understanding your dominant dosha, you can tailor your diet to maintain balance and support optimal health. Let’s explore the dietary guidelines for each dosha in the context of Cancer Nutrition:
Vata (Air):
To balance Vata during cancer treatment, consider the following guidelines:
Warm and grounding foods: Choose warm, cooked, and moist foods that help nourish and stabilize Vata. Include whole grains, soups, stews, and cooked vegetables in your diet.
Healthy fats: Incorporate healthy fats like ghee, sesame oil, and avocados to support Vata’s dry nature and promote lubrication.
Gentle spices: Use gentle spices such as ginger, cumin, and cinnamon to aid digestion and provide warmth without overstimulating Vata.

Pitta(Fire) :
To balance Pitta during cancer treatment, consider the following guidelines:
Cooling and soothing foods: Opt for cooling and hydrating foods such as cucumber, coconut water, leafy greens, and juicy fruits. These helps pacify Pitta’s heat and maintain a balanced body temperature.
Mild spices: Use milder spices like coriander, fennel, and mint to support digestion without aggravating Pitta’s natural intensity.
Regular meal timings: Maintain regular meal timings to support Pitta’s need for stability and routine. Avoid skipping meals and eat in a calm and peaceful environment.

Kapha( Water) :
To balance Kapha during cancer treatment, consider the following guidelines:

Light and stimulating foods: Emphasize light and warming foods to counterbalance Kapha’s natural heaviness. Include spices like ginger, black pepper, and turmeric to support digestion and stimulate metabolism.
Variety of vegetables: Incorporate a wide range of vegetables, with a particular focus on cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. These support Kapha’s tendency toward stagnation and help with detoxification.
Limit heavy and oily foods: Reduce the consumption of heavy and oily foods, as they can exacerbate Kapha’s sluggishness and congestion

3) Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Including foods high in antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of cellular damage. Berries, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower), and spices like turmeric are excellent sources of antioxidants.

4) Healthy Fats: Replacing unhealthy saturated and trans fats with healthier alternatives like monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts) and polyunsaturated fats (found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds) can help reduce inflammation and promote a healthy weight.

5) Lean Protein Sources: Opt for lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans, lentils, and tofu. These alternatives are rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals while being lower in saturated fats compared to red and processed meats.

6) Minimize Processed Foods and Sugary Beverages: Processed foods often contain additives, preservatives, and unhealthy trans fats. Additionally, excessive consumption of sugary beverages can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of certain cancers. Choose whole, unprocessed foods and opt for water, herbal teas, or freshly squeezed juices as healthy alternatives.

7) Mindful eating: Eat your meals in a calm and peaceful environment, focusing on your food and practicing gratitude. Chew your food properly.

8) Herbal support: Consider incorporating Ayurvedic herbs and spices like turmeric, ashwagandha, and holy basil into your diet under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner.

It is essential to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or a healthcare professional experienced in Ayurvedic principles to create a personalized nutrition plan that aligns with your specific needs and medical condition. Embracing Ayurvedic principles in Cancer Nutrition can help optimize your well-being and enhance your body’s healing potential.

Prakriti Analysis Individual 

It is very useful to do the prakriti analysis as it tells us about the mental, physical and functional aspects of our body. The prakriti based guidelines for diet, lifestyle and usage of herbs results in healthy tissue and balance of doshas. If we take out some time to do our prakriti analysis, it will help us to know about our body cond

Click here Prakriti Analysis

What is the Vedique Diet?

Envisioned by Dr. Shikha Sharma, the Vedique Diet is India’s #1 Doctor-driven, scientific weight loss & disease management programme. It is an amalgamation of the best practices of science-backed Ayurvedic nutrition and modern nutrition.  The programme has helped over 51000 patients lose weight, fight diseases, and become healthier over the past 22 years.

Click here Vedique Diet programme

Read Our Previous Article On Balanced Diet 7 Chakras and Food Colors


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