Does the idea that organic food might help prevent cancer strike you as a wild notion? I mean can it be that simple? Recent research suggests that it is, if we are willing to make a few changes.
There are multiple studies comparing organically grown foods with foods grown using standard industrial methods. The conclusions vary in each study. In general, if you compare strawberries from an organic farm with those grown using pesticides and fungicides, both will have all the things you expect to find in a strawberry. The organic strawberries have slightly more fiber, sugar, protein, vitamins and minerals than the industrially grown strawberries. Both taste like strawberries. However, when you eat the organic strawberries there are no detectable levels of pesticides in your urine. This is a main reason why we still recommend eating organic, since the more we reduce pesticides running through our bodies the better.
So what’s the link to cancer?
Something interesting has come out of all this research that may widen the gap between organic and standard industrial agricultural methods. It is a class of compounds called salvestrols, which are found in fruits and vegetables grown organically. If you’re not spraying your crops with pesticides and fungicides, then the plants have to deal with the pests and fungus themselves. The substances that organic foods create to defend against pests and fungus are often good things for us, and may help the body fight off cancers. Salvestrols are one of those substances.
By themselves salvestrols are not so interesting. However, salvestrols can be converted into substances capable of killing cancer cells. The enzyme that can make this conversion just happens to be present inside of all cancer cells. So if you eat organically grown plants containing salvestrols, or take salvestrols as a supplement, then you are providing your body with the raw material that might help to kill a cancer cell.
Very good news.
I find this fascinating. There is an enzyme in every cancer cell that can turn a substance normally found in most vegetables into something that can kill that cancer cell. Basically we can support the cancer cell in attacking itself. The trick is, you now need to eat organically grown foods to get that substance in your diet.
So eat organic if you can. I realize that depending on where you live, or your income, this might be a challenge. Access can prove challenging, especially if local markets have limited selection. One approach is to look for farmers markets in your area or research to see if you have any organic farms nearby. Of course this does not guarantee organic growing practices, but it is worth the try.
You can also make sure that the veggies and fruits you do eat are local. This can cut down on any additional preservatives added to the produce to extend shelf life, especially if it is coming from a longer distance. Luckily these days access to organic foods is increasing and more general markets carry at least some organic produce. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you can take salvestrols as a supplement if all else fails.
As the research into salvestrols continues, we will keep an eye out for further breakthroughs. In the meantime make a change for the better and give your body a natural resistance to cancer cells. We can always use all the help we can find. Just try it.
To Your Health.