Australians are being strongly urged to eat more fruit and vegetables to help fight cancer.
Director of the Emergency Practice Innovation Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital and a spokesman for The Gawler Foundation, Professor George Jelinek, said recent international research showed adopting a vegetarian, low fat diet may offer protection against prostate cancer.
“Researchers at the University of South Carolina studied the diet of close to 2000 men, who were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. They found men who consumed the highest intake of flavonoid-containing foods (i.e., fruits, vegetables, herbs and tea) had a 25 per cent lower risk for aggressive prostate cancer.”
A second European study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found women with the highest intake of plant substances called flavonoids were half as less likely to develop stomach cancer than women who had the smallest intake.
This fresh research comes in the face of recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing that in 2011-12 only 5.6 per cent of Australian adults had an adequate usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables.
The Gawler Foundation is launching its new Eat Well: Be Well cookbook on World Vegan Day to highlight the many benefits of a plant based diet. The book is a collection of whole food, plant-based recipes built on decades of experience and research at The Gawler Foundation.
“This food supports the clear principles I have learnt from the vast medical literature on nutrition that can optimally assist healing, which means consuming wholefood, plant-based and seasonal and local foods,” Professor Jelinek said.
Professor Jelinek’s own research, released earlier this year, shows that new lifestyle approaches to treating Multiple Sclerosis (including a low saturated fat, plant-based diet) are effective in minimising, halting and even reversing the effects of the disease.
“While evidence supports the use of this nutritious food to better heal many medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, the real joy of this food is in the eating,” Professor Jelinek said.
Former defence lawyer, John Bettens, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 and lymphatic cancer in 2007, but attributes his remarkable recovery to the adoption of a whole food, plant based diet, plus the adoption of other self-help techniques.
John, who is now a committed vegetarian, says his participation in The Gawler Foundation’s programs was life changing. He believes he has not only defied the odds, but also his Doctor’s projections for him, after adopting a more integrated approach to his treatment.
Nine years on, John’s prostate cancer remains localised, while the latest scans (in February 2012) were unable to detect his lymphatic cancer.
“The Gawler Foundation reinforced the importance of nutrition and diet in terms of treatment. I don’t think there is anything out there that could stop me now.”
After Caroline Campbell noticed a lump in her left breast, she was given the medical diagnosis of breast cancer in February 2011.
"Change of lifestyle has helped me. I went from being a sugar queen to an organic vegan. I have a green smoothie for my breakfast and juice four times a day now. It has been an easy choice because I want to live.”
Notes to editors: Professor George Jelinek, John Bettens, Caroline Campbell and other vegetarian/vegan cancer survivors are available for interviews. Please contact Penny Smits at PRhelp on [email protected] for further information.
The Gawler Foundation
*About The Gawler Foundation: The Gawler Foundation helps people to be well. The Foundation works within an integrative, medical framework to provide resources, support and self-help techniques for people experiencing cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious illnesses. The programs also offer lifestyle approaches to help clients achieve wellness, balance and optimal living. These lifestyle programs are based on nutrition, meditation, positivity and empowerment. For more information on The Gawler Foundation’s upcoming retreats please visit http://www.gawler.org/calendar/