Friday, 28 November 2014

Foods That Prevent Prostate and Other Types of Cancers

It's movember, the month many men grow moustaches to show awareness of prostate cancer. Overall people have become more aware of risk factors to cancer, but prostate cancer is still the second most common cancer. This interesting map shows rates of incidence of most different types of cancer

The map is interesting because it shows rates that are sometimes significantly different in similarly developed countries in different regions of the world, and because certain ethnic groups have much higher or lower rates of cancers. I was especially struck by the high rates of liver cancer in Mongolia. It has an incidence rate of 78 per 100,000 people compared to just 22 per 100,000 in neighbouring China.
According to this article it is due to high rates of hepatitis infection

 An important thing to remember though is that sometimes lower incidence rates mean lower detection rates or that people are just dying earlier of other causes before the cancer can develop. Increasingly though nutrition is being linked to lower rates of certain types of cancers. The book "The China Study" linked the consumption of animal products in western society to higher rates of cancer. The book's conclusions are controversial but the evidence of higher cancer rates in western influenced Japan compared to China are compelling.

Much research is being done now that is slowly revealing that particular foods will have special effects on particular or many different types of cancers. Foods like berries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage seem to have tumor shrinking properties in animal studies. Tomato consumption seems to result in lower rates of lung cancer, and habanero peppers caused prostate tumors to self destruct by blocking testosterone from entering them and other factors. And the list goes on. Indeed Mexico with it's high habanero consumption seems to have a very low rate of prostate cancer as the aforementioned map shows.

But for all this readily available information doesn't seem to be getting publicized a lot even during this month of prostate cancer awareness. There are a few good articles out there to read like the one I link to here.

As you can see this list included tomatoes and broccoli (cruciferous) as well as Green Tea which some theorized was a factor in China having lower rates of certain types of cancer compared to the west. Antioxidant rich food like pomegranates or berries could also be a factor in the prevention of cancer causing damage to your cells. As for myself  I drink green tea, eat berries, and try to get some organic greens every day. I find broccoli to be a very versatile food and it is known to be rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It's inexpensive and I always chop up the stems as well to add to stir fries or steam them with garlic and butter which is very tasty too. A good part of getting the proper nutrients is establishing a routine for yourself to get all these important things into you over the course of a day. In my case I start out the day with a spoonful of berry powder, and work in other things in like tomato juice with Omega3s (anti inflammatory) stirred in. Once your own routine is established you should start to see the effects of these antioxidant rich foods on your own outward appearance like better hair and skin quality.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Best Foods For Dental Health

So I noticed the other day that my molar was wearing down and it got me thinking about what I could do naturally to reverse this condition. An ugly cavity I missed at the back of my mouth. I was already aware that our teeth can re-mineralize on their own because typically when I feel something is coming on, I increase my consumption of calcium with milk and other supplements. I am surprised about this particular tooth though because I have largely eliminated refined sugar from my diet. What I didn't know though was that the best re-mineralization results were achieved when grains, nuts, and beans were also eliminated or largely reduced. This is because these foods will result in high amounts of Phytic Acid in the body, which in turns binds with calcium that would otherwise be used to maintain the teeth. Interesting isn't it. Other minerals in turn are less readily absorbed as well, and this has the greatest effects on children's health. Sadly for vegans the ideal diet for dental health is more difficult to achieve as the foods with the lowest amounts of phytic acid are things like meat, fish, and raw dairy. As some commenters say this is very close to the paleo diet. Vegans often consume large amounts of tofu (bean curd) and grains which could result in high amounts of Phytic Acid. There are however calcium supplements on the market which could help. My largest problem has been finding one that is unflavoured in stores where I live though. So far they all seem to be flavoured with Stevia or Citric Acid (even when that package said unflavoured!). Very annoying. I am taking some of that though, along with extra milk, using a Sensodyne toothpaste labelled repair and protect (it contains calcium as well), and using a natural dental gel  that kills cavity forming bacteria with essential plant oils. For me it would take too long to wait and see if this tooth repairs itself though so I will need to get a filling from the dentist. All the same though my diet is changing as much as possible.

Check out the graph showing the cavity/remineralization rates with various diets in this article about reversing tooth decay.

Just for fun I also looked up whether people could make their own fillings. Turns out that they can! And very simple as well too!

For people who do not have coverage for dental operations, maybe this temporary filling could help. It only involves zinc powder and clove oil so it is not expensive and such information could save some teeth !

Another important issue for dental health is the use and consumption of sweeteners. Lately I have been using a calcium supplement sweetened with stevia. I had been searching for a totally unsweetened calcium powder but I had to settle for the Natural Balance SeaCal. It seemed to be the closest thing but after doing some reading online about stevia I won't be buying this product again. It appears that Stevia may have all sorts of negative effects for overall health! Even for diabetics because there is evidence that sweeteners other than refined sugar can still cause an insulin response. And according to this blog below liquid stevias may contain glycerine that may interfere with the remineralization of teeth. Not a concern in the case of the Natural Balance powder, but still something to be aware of.

And although Stevia does not provide nutrition for bacteria that help create cavities, some dentists have warned that their has not been sufficient studies to guarantee that stevia does not harm teeth in other ways.

There is xylitol also but that is an artificial ingredient so that does not really attract me much to it.

We do still need glucose for proper body function though so things like fruit in moderation and raw honey may be the best option. Milk surprisingly will feed the bacteria causing cavities so you have to be careful to brush after drinking it. The calcium is important though for building strong bones and teeth.

I have also bought coconut oil to swish and Cod liver oil for Vitamin D. Apparently the Coconut Oil swishing removes a lot of toxins and acts against bacteria. Great article about it here.

For further reading this site also has a lot of general information about the way bacteria harm your teeth.