It would be the ultimate trillion dollar winning lottery ticket. We are encouraged to help fund cancer research and to help find a cure for cancer. Cancer is a dreaded disease, one that everyone would like to escape from. What we don’t hear is that cancer, in most cases, is caused by our lifestyle – not by some mysterious unknown force. Cancer is big business. Cancer research and cancer drugs are huge profit making machines. But there will never be a cure for cancer because cancer is many things and is affected by many different metabolic pathways in the body. In fact, the causes are all around us: smoking, chemical exposure, pesticides, nutrient deficiencies, excessive sun exposure, and even many of the conventional prescription and over-the-counter drugs Americans take every day. And, bear in mind, those are the same drugs recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as being part of “responsible medicine.” For example, every spring we hear about the use of sunscreen in order to prevent skin cancer. But skin cancer is not due to a lack of sunscreen. Decades ago, we had far fewer incidences of skin cancer and no use of sunscreen. And of course, the cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, are significant public health concerns worldwide. But here again, my concern is that the AMA supports drug companies and the use of drugs to treat skin cancer (and most forms of cancer) without adequately educating the public as to how to prevent disease including cancer. Many studies have proven that a healthy, cancer-preventing diet could be far more effective and incredibly less costly than conventional care. Countries around the world that pay for public health actually encourage well studied natural products, which can make all the difference. There is a family of naturally occurring plant compounds found and widely distributed in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, flowers, bark, roots, and rhizomes. These compounds are known as polyphenols and contribute to the beneficial effects of dietary products. The regular intake of these natural plant compounds in our diet has gained attention as protective agents against the adverse effects of UV radiation and possibly skin cancer. Even though we hear the word “antioxidant” used frequently these days, it is wise to remember that 80-90 percent of all our diseases are caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Our diet in the early 1900’s was still composed of foods that offered polyphenols and other vitamins and minerals that acted as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds protected all the cells in our body from premature aging, various diseases, and most cancers. In the early 1900’s, cancer was the 7th most common cause of death. Today, it is second only to heart disease. But why is that? Our diet is mostly responsible, and conventional medicine isn’t helping. Few Americans today eat a diet that includes multiple servings of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries and legumes. Americans are consuming a diet today that lacks protective factors that may possibly protect us against many of these diseases. Our foods today are grown from seeds that are genetically modified, engineered to prevent insect infestation, and to produce foods based on taste, yield and volume, not nutrient value. Our foods are not grown to produce a higher nutritional content. For example, it takes 100 apples grown today to equal the vitamin C nutritional content of one apple grown in the 1950s. In just 65 years, our agricultural practices have destroyed the nutritional content of our foods.
The AMA and drug companies are only concerned with satisfying and protecting their shareholders with the new blockbuster drug that will reap billions of dollars. There are many Americans who believe that diet has nothing to do with good health and drugs will save them. They are being brainwashed by the AMA, the USDA and Big Pharma that drugs are the answer to our health. But, FOOD IS OUR BEST MEDICINE.
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