Monday, 28 February 2011

Book Review: Food To Fight Cancer

Foods to Fight CancerFoods to Fight Cancer by Richard Béliveau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book, because the very last chapter quotes; "variety is the spice of life", and things like; "moderation", which I am such a believer in, especially when it comes to food.

I bought this book because in May 2010 my sister (who was 22 years old) was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

It turned our family upside down - let alone my sister's life - and I didn't know how to help.  

I've always believed that diet is important in life, possibly with constant brain washing from my father who is very health conscious, that what goes in must come out (i.e. you can't feed kids crap/processed foods and then complain they have behavioural issues.  You can't eat a packet of biscuits a day and not expect to put on weight), and wanted to see if food could help with her fight against cancer.

When I say diet, I don't mean 'dieting' to lose weight, I mean, what we eat day to day, every day, for the rest of our lives.  Our diet.  Like a cow's diet is grass, humans should have a balanced diet.  I'm not a believer in 'dieting', in Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Atkins... (those are the ones that stick in my mind, but I'm sure there are more).  I believe in everything in moderation - and exercise (which the book also endorses).   

This book is not telling you to become a vegan, or vegetarian, it's emphasising the importance of a well balanced diet made up of whole foods, cooking recipes from scratch, not turning to "industrially prepared and processed foods" (that have lost all their goodness and contain too much fat, salt and sugar).  The odd treat, to feed our craving for foods rich in fat and sugar is okay - occasionally! - but generally, to eat healthily and to include the foods they've researched (plus all other fruit and vegetables), proven to contain anti-cancer molecules, into your diet.  Red wine and good-quality dark chocolate are included in this list!

The first chapter is shocking.  Why are people afraid of flying when they are at greater risk of dying of cancer? (You have a 1 in 3 chance of dying from cancer, where as there is a 1 in 3,000,000 chance of dying in a plane crash).

The last section looks at supplements and how it's the actual food that helps prevent cancer.  I particularly liked this;

"You cannot eat just anything and then get off the hook by taking a pill".

Good point!  There is more to fruit and vegetables than their vitamins!

This book does have some 'science' speak to it (it's written by scientists), but it is perfectly understandable, as long as you don't have to try and read the 'big words' out loud.  I found it fascinating, the history of some of the food and it's origins - brilliantly researched book.

If you are interested in diet and health generally, this is a book for you.  If you are in remission from cancer (in any shape or form - it describes leukaemia as a liquid tumour) and want to increase "every possible chance to prevent the disease's recurrence", this is a book for you.

If you're currently fighting cancer, this is a book for you.  It might just help...  Surely, it's worth the try?

I think everybody should read this book, whether you're afraid of cancer or not - it's an eye-opener to the Western world and its very poor diet. 

(n.b. Text in quote marks have been taken from the book).

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