Diet accounts for at least 30% of all cancer diagnoses, possibly up to 70%! Most of us have had our lives touched by cancer either personally, as a caregiver or in our families. We know that we must eat healthy to give us the best chance of decreasing our risk of developing cancer or of having a recurrence of the cancer for which we have already been treated.
But where do we start? Which of the many cancer diets do we follow? Does this reduce us to a life of eating quinoa and steamed kale every day? Do we have to become reclusive in our eating habits and give up the joy of eating?
If we listen to research and generations of culture, the answer is a resounding NO!
Eating is one of the joys of life! Food should be delicious and bring people together for a delightful experience. It is an important aspect of our quality of life, our social health and our happiness. And it should be healthy and nourishing, a sustainable pleasure that builds our health daily. Who has been achieving this for generations?
The Mediterranean diet is famously known as the healthy diet that can help promote health and prevent disease. This year, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that Americans follow the Mediterranean diet. The diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil. It is high in fiber, lignans, flavonoids (including cancer-fighting polyphenols) and healthy fats. It has many health benefits including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases and cancer.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown in many studies to lower the risk of cancer. In one recently published study in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), women who ate a Mediterranean diet with olive oil had a 68% reduced risk of developing breast cancer compared to a similar group of women who ate a general low-fat diet. In another study, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was decreased by 43% when following a Mediterranean-style diet.
In addition to being delicious and healthy, the Mediterranean diet is simple, easy to learn and incorporate into our lives and the lives of our families. Where can we learn this simple diet? Why not go to the source?
Join naturopathic oncology specialist Dr. Michelle Qaqundah in the hills of Tuscany, Italy for a one-week hands-on culinary experience!
A place at the table is set and waiting for you!