This is an extremely complex subject. A Japanese doctor, Sagen Ishizuka (1850-1910), claimed to have cured himself of cancer with a low fat, high fiber, high vegetable diet. This diet improved (lowered) the sodium to potassium ratio.
He ate soybeans, sea vegetables, brown rice, and fresh produce. He then started macrobiotics.
Anthony Sattilaro, an American doctor, claimed to have cured himself of advanced prostate cancer with the macrobiotic diet. Whole cereals are considered good.
"Natural forces within us are the true healers." Hippocrates (400 B.C.)
Brown rice has more fiber than white rice. Soybeans and vegetables also have good fiber. There is a theory that soybeans have anti-cancer ingredients.
The Macrobiotic Diet
The macrobiotic diet is a high fiber diet. This may be one of the keys to the success of the diet. I am in favor of this diet because it has anti-cancer properties. Also it has no cholesterol.
"Cancer involves fundamental biological processes concerning disordered cell replication and cell death …" American Institute for Cancer Research (1997)
Damage to DNA can cause cancer. Often cells can eliminate this damage. Cigarette smoke is a DNA-damaging agent. These substances are called carcinogens. Unfortunately there are dietary carcinogens.
Vitamin C is largely in vegetables and fruits. Pauling felt that vitamin C had anti-cancer properties. A study of 11,348 adults reported that people who consumed large amounts of vitamin C had 42% lower death rates and 45% lower heart disease death rates.
Unfortunately vitamin C and folic acid can be 100% lost by cooking! I do not have data on this for flavonoids.
"There are data suggesting that high energy intake may increase the overal risk of cancer."
American Institute for Cancer Research (1997)
Risk of cancer is positively correlated with body mass.
The American Institute recommended "foods of plant origin".
"Choose predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses (legumes) and minimally processed starchy foods."
"Limit consumption of refined sugar."
"If eaten at all, red meat to provide less than 10% total energy."
"Limit consumption of fatty foods, particularly those of animal origin. Choose modest amounts of appropriate vegetable oils."
"Limit consumption of salted foods and use of cooking and table salt. Use herbs and spices to season foods." This same advice is also good for hypertension (high blood pressure).
"Do not eat charred food. For meat and fish eaters, avoid burning of meat juices."
They felt that grilled meat and fish and cured and smoke meat may contain carciogens. This makes some sense in terms of evolution. Cavemen did not grill or smoke food. We have evolved to survive on a caveman diet.
Foods High in Potassium
Potassium is good for high blood pressure and possibly cancer prevention. Vegetables, fruits, peanuts, dark molasses, walnuts, etc. are high in potassium. The general rule is to consume plant foods, although some plant foods are better than others. Apricots, avocadoes, bananas, cantaloupes, dates, etc. are good. My source for this was Understanding Normal & Clinical Nutrition by Whitney & Cataldo (1983). Although this book is somewhat dated, this information is still correct.
I personally take potassium in supplement form.
"In the way we live our daily lives, we either enhance our health or diminish it." John W. Farquhar
Cancer can cause rapid weight loss. It can cause a lack of energy.
Green vegetables have been seen to have a protective effect as have vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Members of the cabbage family, thought to be protective, contain indoles.
One study (Werther, 1980) claimed benefit from yellow or green vegetables. This suggested protective agents in the vegetables. Such protective agents might be carotenoids or flavonoids.
Sporn (1977) recommended retinoids and vitamin A.
Although high in bioflavonoids, fruits are low in protein and fat. They are high in carbohydrates. Fruits themselves are high in fiber, but fruit juices have little fiber. I am recommending fruits for cancer and also for mental illness. In mental illness there are excessive amino acids flooding the brain cells. Fruits are also good for weight control because they are mostly water.
The older nutrition books neglect bioflavonoids, sometimes called "flavonoids" for short. They refer to "antioxidants". The term "antioxidants" also includes vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene.
My view is that mental disease is a diabetes of the brain that is treatable by nutrition. Excessive lactic acid is produced because of a metabolic disturbance in glucose metabolism. Amino acids enter glucose metabolism at the level of pyruvic acid. Amino acids can also enter the Krebs cycle. A flooding of the cells with amino acids causes abnormal energy metabolism.
It is my theory that flavonoids can be helpful as a treatment for mental illness along with a low protein diet. Thus the diet for mental illness is very similar to the diet for cancer.
Unfortunately some vitamins are lost by light, by air, and by cooking. Flavonoids are classified into various groups. Anthocyanidins include cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and petunidin. Flavan-3-ols include catechin, gallocatechin, epichatechin, etc. These are found in tea.
Flavonols include quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and isorhamnetin. Other classes include flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, etc. These sustances are considered to have anti-cancer properties according to many studies. More research is needed.