Nearly a decade ago I received the news, "You have a large inoperable malignant mass in your pancreas." It had already invaded considerable surrounding tissue and there were suspicious "spots" on lungs and liver. When I shared this news with a physician friend, she said, "If you get through this, you will have to be your own doctor." She paused and then quipped, "I think I read somewhere that you should eat a lot of blueberries." It turns out this was the best medical advice I ever received.
Diagnosing doctors (an oncologist, radiologist, and surgeon) had essentially dismissed me with "sorry about your luck" and sent me home. The surgeon had off-handedly suggested "trying" an off label chemo drug hoping to make the tumor small enough to try surgery on. My physician husband and I knew better and so did the oncologist.
Although a long dormant believer, I found myself absorbed in "foxhole prayer"; however, it was far from futile as I began to listen to that "still small voice" that led me through a "connect the dots" miracle that led to "no evidence of recurrent or residual disease". First, I got a second medical opinion and eventually did have some absolutely miraculous but near fatal surgery. Second, I took my physician friend's advice and set about to make my body a place where cancer simply cannot live because those "suspicious spots" persisted. Yes, my experience has been that making one's body a "cancer free zone" is quite possible because we have tremendous built-in healing mechanisms and cancer is a "signal" that the body is desperately calling 911 for restoration of health at the cellular level.
So, what is the deal about berries- and not only blueberries. Food is not a CURE for cancer. Health is the cure for cancer and berries (and other foods) contain various powerful health restoration and maintenance nutrient molecules our body cells absolutely require to carry on healthy life-our life.
In choosing berries, I choose clean organic varieties because detoxification is a major "anti-cancer function of berries". I don't want to neutralize their impact by eating berries exposed to carcinogens in pesticides and herbicides?
Raspberries and strawberries are rich sources of anti-cancer phytochemicals. Ellagic acid is "the most likely one to interfere with development of cancer" and strawberries may be the better source because the nutrient is in the pulp rather than the seeds. Extracts of these berries "are also able to counter the growth of tumor cells". (p 121 "Foods to Fight Cancer" by Beliveau and Gingras, both Phd's).
Although ellagic acid in berries has several key mechanisms for increasing cellular defense against carcinogens, Drs. Beliveau and Gingras in Canada say (and other fastidious researchers agree), "We have discovered that this molecule is an extremely powerful inhibitor of two proteins essential to the spread of tumor vascularization, the angiogenesis process... or formation of new blood vessel networks in tumors. (Ibid.)
I personally enjoy freeze-dried organic black raspberry powder in my home-made yogurt, smoothies, and cereals. I also add nuts (mostly walnuts) to yogurt and cereal as they are packed with ellagic acid (but not as much of this as in berries) and essential omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown "significant impact of black raspberry extract "as having an inhibiting effect on cancers of esophagus, mouth, and colon." (Dr. Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Phd, p 119 Anticancer: A New Way of Life)
Let's turn to the blueberries my physician friend recalled "reading something about in a medical journal". Blueberries (and cranberries to a lesser extent) are particularly rich in very powerful anti-cancer molecules. These molecules are polyphenols (causing the vivid colors in these fruits). Some of these are powerful anti-oxidants but "they may also have another kind of impact on the development of cancer." (Ibid.p122) They deliver mechanisms for prohibiting angiogenesis (referenced above) and they stimulate suicide of cancer cells or apoptosis.
I find that berries are colorful, delicious, and nutritious whether fresh or frozen. The organic frozen varieties are generally available in markets and can be tossed into a smoothie packed with anti-cancer food.
Here's a quick smoothie recipe I love to eat with a few nut crackers (to get the digestive juices flowing): 1 small avocado, a handful of fresh organic spinach, about 1/3 cup of organic frozen berries, chilled coconut or aloe vera water to fill the spaces. This is a creamy, tasty "to go meal" that satisfies your taste buds and your body cells. It holds your appetite until the next meal. [Note: The green avocado and red berries give you a little bit of a gray color to your smoothie but I find it tastes delicious.]
About the Author:
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. If you or a loved one is dealing with cancer, I believe my own story can be quite supportive.