I live in a very cosmopolitan area, a veritable United Nations. Practically every country is represented here. The largest community is Chinese, followed by the Malays (the people who were here before the Chinese came along) and then the Indians. Then there are Caucasians, Koreans, Japanese, Africans, Mongolians and so on.
When I visit the largest cancer center here, I can’t help but notice that most patients are Chinese, Malay, European or some other group, but I rarely ever see any Indians. Now, people the world over like to go on about how the traditional Japanese or Oriental diet seems to protect against cancer, but increasing numbers of Oriental Asians are getting cancer. This trend seems to go hand in hand with the adoption of a Westernised diet and lifestyle.
Cancer rates have risen dramatically in all Asian countries which have adopted a Westernised diet and lifestyle. Traditionally, Asians rarely ate meat and life was hard, so there was plenty of daily physical activity eg. manual work, walking everywhere. Regular exercise was a part of life. Now modern Asians eat chemical-tainted meat and other foods – including convenience / refined / processed foods – in EVERY meal, and we drive or are driven everywhere. We hardly even take the stairs, as we have elevators, escalators and travellators everywhere. Our air and environment is contaminated with chemicals.
Interestingly, Indians in my country have a very low incidence of cancer. Indians, on the whole, still prefer their traditional diet, which is characterised by lentils, beans, vegetables, lots of spices and -gasp! – lots of dairy products. They love milk, cheese, yoghurt, ghee (clarified butter) etc. in their savory dishes as well as their desserts, and their desserts use plenty of sugar. Non-vegetarian Indians like to eat unhealthy meats like mutton. Unlike Oriental Asians, their diet does not include any soy foods or seaweed, which are generally viewed as anti-cancer foods.
While Indians here may have low cancer rates, they tend to suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Like many other modern Asians, they have also become sedentary and more Westernised in their lifestyle. Nevertheless, there are elements in the traditional Indian diet which protect against cancer. I suspect it is the heavy consumption of legumes, lentils, beans, vegetables (including tomatoes, onions and cruciferous veggies like cauliflower), spices, and fermented dairy like yoghurt. Many of the foods listed here are known to be anti-estrogenic, aromatase inhibitors or, at worst, phytoestrogens.
Unfortunately, with urbanization, modern Indians are eating more meat and more foods tainted with chemicals, more convenience foods, more processed foods and more refined foods. They are eating more unnatural or fake foods, just like the Westerners, and they are exposed to more harmful chemicals in their environment, personal care products and household cleaning products. And they are nowhere near as physically active as their forefathers were. So cancer, along with other diseases, is on the rise amongst modern Indians.
The rising cancer statistics worldwide cannot simply be blamed on single factors like meat or dairy consumption, although commercially-farmed meats and dairy foods are certainly unhealthy. Dairy foods and even meat need not be harmful as along as they are not pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. Think about the Eskimos and the Mongolians. They had little access to plant food, if at all, so they had to rely on animal food – including dairy in the case of the Mongolians – for survival. The food they ate was clean and free from chemical contaminants. Everything was natural, unrefined and unprocessed. Bear in mind that their traditional way of life was also very labor-intensive (EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!) and had virtually no exposure to chemicals. Cancer was virtually unknown in their traditional societies.
Obviously, the answer to being cancer-free lies in more than just diet, but that’s a good place to start. For me, I try to eat as naturally as possible. My diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes and I avoid refined and processed foods. Animal protein is mostly fish. I seldom eat meat. I do eat small quantities of dairy foods occasionally, and I do admit to sometimes having cookies or cakes. If I use sweeteners, I prefer it natural, like raw honey or maple syrup. The trick is to cut DOWN as far as possible, if you have difficulty cutting out certain foods completely. If I could afford it, I would eat organic all the way. I do what I can.
As for harmful chemicals in my personal care products and household care products, I’ve replaced whatever I can with products which are free from known carcinogens and other harmful ingredients. I get most of my products from Neways International as they have one of the widest ranges I’ve ever seen.
Oh, and I walk twice a day or more.
To keep cancer at bay, we need to get back to our roots and eat and live as naturally and cleanly as possible. Make a decision today to take a step in the right direction.