My Facebook is full of cancer. Cancer talk, that is. If you follow any natural living websites or Facebook pages, I’m sure you’ve noticed that cancer has been the topic of choice lately. So many new studies have been published recently linking this ingredient or that chemical to cancer that it’s hard to keep up with what you should and should not buy. To make matters worse, I recently stumbled across a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information on environmental and genetic risk factors for cancer. Their conclusion?
Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle. The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity. The evidence indicates that of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25–30% are due to tobacco, as many as 30–35% are linked to diet, about 15–20% are due to infections, and the remaining percentage are due to other factors like radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants etc.
You can blame your mother for giving you small boobs, but not breast cancer.
The good news, folks, is that cancer should not be as scary as doctors make it out to be. If we can’t blame our genetics for this disease, that only leaves ourselves – and that’s something we have control over. We can eat healthy, live healthy, and think healthy. We can let mother earth nourish and protect us instead of filling our bodies with toxic chemicals and synthetic foods. I found a wonderfully simple 10-step guide to preventing cancer on the Alternative Health Solutions Facebook page. Obviously, the road to perfect health is never straight and easy, nor can two people take the same route. But this list is a great basis for any health plan, whether or not you’re worried about cancer.
1. Eat organic! Yes, I remember last year’s study, the Dr. Oz article, and all the hype surrounding California’s Prop 37. But there really is no way to deny it; if you’re eating conventional fruits and veggies, you’re eating chemicals meant to make bugs’ stomachs explode. Literally. Sounds tasty, no? Or perhaps you’d like to eat corn with fish genes? (Are frankenfoods still considered vegetarian? Because when I swore off meat products, I’m pretty sure that included their DNA…) And don’t forget to JUICE your organic produce! The best source of vitamins and minerals will always be wholesome, healthy foods. And since cooking veggies (even with things other than a microwave) destroys some of their nutrient content, juicing raw vegetables and herbs is definitely the way to go.
2. Avoid conventional animal products. This is so important, especially for anyone who has had or is especially at risk for reproductive cancers. Livestock raised the conventional way are given regular doses of antibiotics, steroids, and growth hormones, and they are fed GMO grains instead of their natural diets. Those things aren’t any better for the animals than they are for us, so meat raised in those conditions is nutritionally inferior – and full of pharmaceutical leftovers. Synthetic hormones throw our hormones out of balance, leaving our bodies open to reproductive an organ cancers. Like all brothers, Big Pharma and Big Ag are constantly in competition to see who can pump the most chemicals into our bodies.
3. Do not use microwaves. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to stand in front of the microwave while your Spaghetti-Os were cooking? Have you ever heard the urban legend of the serial killer whose signature was putting the family chihuahua in the microwave? There’s a reason microwaves have a bad rap, and that’s because the emit… microwaves. Shocking, I know. But seriously, microwaves should have their own list, because that’s how bad they are. They emit radiation, and while it’s not the same kind that turned Dr. Banner into the Hulk, it still wreaks havoc on the body all the way down to the DNA. Because they use radiation to heat your food rather than actual heat, they destroy almost all the nutrients in your food – up to 90%. And, let’s face it, they simply do not know how to cook. Leftover pizza tastes more like cardboard after being microwaved.
4. Filter your tap and shower water. This is probably the most important rule of all. Water is essential to all life, and ingesting water loaded with pollutants, chlorine, fluoride, and synthetic minerals is the fastest way to poor health. But don’t be fooled by all those cheap tap filters like Brita and Pur. They remove barely half of the contaminants in ordinary tap water. The best filtration system is a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system, but they are expensive to install in a home. Many local health food or grocery stores have RO machines for customers to refill their water jugs. But if you aren’t excited about hauling gallons of water home each week, invest in some quality home filtration systems. And don’t think that the shower is safe simply because you don’t drink from it. Anything that touches our skin is absorbed into our bodies, so each minute you spend in the shower is another gulp of toxic chemicals. ZeroWater and New Wave Enviro have great products for both the kitchen and bathroom (and you can find most of their products on Amazon, which is always a plus!).
5. Use only natural skin care products. Name brand lotions, soaps, and hair care products are loaded with chemicals: parabens, sulfates, and dozens of other carcinogens. My favorite brand of natural body care products is Shikai (their Reflect line of color-enhancing shampoos is awesome!!) and I mentioned a few others in my last post. Deodorant falls into this category, and seeing as how most deodorants for women are also antiperspirants and therefore contain aluminum, I’d say start here! Natural deodorants are not only free of heavy metals, but cause a LOT less skin irritation, which I always had a problem with in that area. They’re also super easy to make yourself, and I’ll tell you how in the next post!
6. Use fluoride free toothpaste. I’ve been wanting to write a post on fluoride for a while, but there is so much information on it that it’s hard to figure out where to start. So let me just say here that it is bad, especially if you love your thyroid. If you can’t wait for me to get myself together and write about it, check out the short documentary The Fluoride Deception. Scary stuff, man. I stick to brands like Tom’s of Maine or Spry, and I’ve started oil pulling with coconut oil. Oil pulling helps remove unwanted buildup from your mouth, upper respiratory tract, and sinuses, and coconut oil is antibacterial, so put the two together and you get an amazing grime-fighting duo.
7. Avoid using pharmaceuticals and synthetic supplements as much as possible. I want to take this moment to share with you my favorite post from my favorite website, like, ever, The Holy Kale. Her series on supplements called Dirty Little Supplements is the best resource for anyone who has ever questioned which brand to buy. Her message is simple: not all supplements are created equal, and if you’re going to invest money in them, you might as well make it worth it.
8. Limit your use of plastics. Plastic contains harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates that interfere with your body’s natural hormone balance. These chemicals are released when plastics are heated, so never ever cook with plastics or put plastics in the microwave. But these sneaky devils can also seep out into food and liquids even in the fridge, so it’s best to cut plastics out of the kitchen completely. Use wooden spoons for cooking, ceramic plates and bowls, and glass containers to hold your leftovers. I wash and save jars – pasta sauce, peanut butter, salsa, anything with a wide mouth – and use those as tupperware. I also use a mason jar as a water bottle because water is simply too important to compromise on. The documentary Bag It is a great one on plastics, especially if you or anyone you know has kids; the part on plastics for kids will make you sick.
9. Avoid artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and processed sugars and grains. If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume you have a basic knowledge of holistic health and already know that these things are bad, bad, bad.
10. Use only nontoxic household products. Some of the best ways are the old ways, and baking soda and vinegar are still king and queen of the household clean team. There are definitely green products out there, but it’s so easy to make your own that it’s almost a shame to pay for them. Water and vinegar are best for streak-free windows, baking soda is awesome for cleaning the bathroom, and together they can double team a clogged sink like Drain-O never could. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps as laundry detergent (as well as body wash for the family, including the dog). Remember, anything you can smell is entering your body via your lungs, so keep it clean!
Not such a hard task list, right? Unfortunately, while these things are easy to change, there are some factors that are out of our control, like air quality, product availability, restaurant foods, budget, and other people (because you can’t stop your landlord from spraying Round Up on your lawn or tell your roommate to stop filling your house with the smell of Windex). Fortunately, there are dozens of proven methods to heal cancer naturally, some of which Big Pharma has even succeeded in banning to keep the chemo patients rolling in. (Case in point: apricot kernels were outlawed by the FDA in the 1970s because they are the best source of B17, the miracle cancer-fighting vitamin. Seriously. Apricot seeds are illegal because they cure cancer.) The website that provided the above list is also a great resource for natural cancer-fighting strategies. Tamara, the author of Alternative Health Solutions, healed her own breast cancer without Big Pharma and has since compiled a wealth of information on the topic. I highly suggest you check it out if you or anyone you know is dealing with this disease.
Now get going, you’ve got some homework to do!