Best-selling author Kathy Freston has long been a proponent for healthy living and conscious eating. Now, through a series of interviews with doctors and nutritionists, Freston discusses the latest research that points to the benefits of a plant-based diet.
There is hope. Real, scientifically valid, practical hope. This is what I am learning from a few highly esteemed doctors and nutrition scientists who say there is much to be done with diet when it comes to cancer. What we eat very much affects the state of our health, so if we add in nutrition that supports healing while cutting out foods that create havoc, we can really change the course of our lives for the better. Here's the bottom line: Animal protein seems to greatly contribute to diseases of nearly every type, including cancer, and a plant-based (vegan) diet is not only good insofar as prevention, but it could also be curative.
I've asked Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of Cornell University and author of the groundbreaking The China Study to explain a little about how and why nutrition (both good and bad) affects cancer in our bodies. Campbell's work is regarded by many as the definitive epidemiological examination of the relationship between diet and disease. He has received more than 70 grant years of peer-reviewed research (the gold standard of research), much of it from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he has authored more than 300 research papers. He grew up on a dairy farm believing in the great health value of animal protein in the American diet and set out in his career to investigate how to produce more and better animal protein. Troublesome to his preconceived hypothesis of the goodness of dairy, Campbell kept running up against results that consistently proved an emerging and comprehensive truth: that animal protein is disastrous to human health.
Through a variety of experimental study designs, epidemiological evidence and observation of real-life conditions that had rational, biological explanations, Dr. Campbell has made a direct and powerful correlation between cancer and animal protein.
He says that at various times throughout our lives, we all have cancer cells that will pop up in our bodies, but what "feeds" the cancer and fortifies it is, among other things, animal protein. Why is that? Because animal protein (meat, dairy and eggs) alters the mix of hormones and modifies important enzyme activities, causes inflammation and cell proliferation and creates an acidic atmosphere in the body—all of which create and ideal environment for cancer to thrive.
On the other hand, when you eat a plant-based (vegan) diet, you are getting the antioxidants inherent in vegetables and fruits that are critical to neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals in the body and fiber that acts like a scrub brush going through your body. A varied, plant-based diet is a protective diet—sufficient in amino acids for protein needs; high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; and low in saturated fats.
How can you put nutrition to work for you now?