By MH Staff - Posted on 7th July 2014
Springbok rugby legend Rob Louw beat cancer by making these changes to his diet
During a PET scan, Louw saw the effect of sugar in action. “They give you glucose, and the cancer starts working because the glucose is a fuel. It glows up and shows on the scan. Four years later, I haven’t touched sugar.” “The easiest way to cut down on sugar is a gradual decrease,” explains Lila Bruk, a Johannesburg-based dietician at Lila Bruk & Associates. “Start by slowly cutting down on the amount of sugar in your tea or coffee and gradually diluting your fruit juice. In this way, the changes won’t seem as daunting and will likely be more lasting.”
Turmeric is associated with many health benefits such as anti-carcinogenic properties, says Bruk. “Turmeric is an immune-system builder and that’s one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatories in the world,” say Louw. Dr Bharat Aggarwal, a professor at MD Anderson’s Department of Experimental Therapeutics is currently analysing several studies focusing on turmeric’s effect on tumour cells.
“I’ll eat almonds during the day – it’s got a good fat,” he says. “As soon as I eat something acidic, I’ll take almonds with bring the pH down.” Scientists based at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the Policlinico Universitario in Messina, Italy, have research findings that suggest that almonds could increase the strength of immune systems and their abilities to battle a wide variety of virus, including flu and the common cold.
“Green tea has been found to reduce the incidence of dental caries, improve heart health, have anticarcinogenic properties as well as a host of other health benefits,” says Lila Bruk. “Green tea is got EGCG inside of it and that and causes apoptosis,” says Louw. Bruk adds that more research is needed to determine the precise action and necessary dose of green tea. Currently, the University of Maryland Medical Centre is exploring the possibilities of the plant that may help treat diabetes, cancer and high cholesterol.
Louw has ditched white bread sarmies, and has noticed the benefits. “I’ve moved away from normal bread to rye bread,” he says. So should you. “By replacing white flour with less refined flour, you will increase your intake of fibre and B-vitamins,” says Bruk. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition produced research from the University of Kuopio in Finland that revealed in a 12-week study that rye bread could dramatically reduce inflammation when compared to wheat.
Louw has excluded margarine from his diet. Dr Carl Albrecht, head of research at Cancer Association of South Africa, says that margarines have an alarmingly high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio. “There are a lot of indications that the omega-6 drives inflammation, and inflammation then drives cancer and heart disease,” he says. “Trans fats are found in processed foods such as commercial biscuits and pies, as well as potato crisps and ready-made desserts,” Bruk warns.
“I eat a lot of fish,” Louw says. “I still have a steak every now and then but it’s usually free range or game.” “By cutting down on red meat and replacing it with fish, you will be reducing your intake of cholesterol and saturated fat while increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids,” Bruk explains. “You ideally want to choose fish that are high in omega-3s such as pilchards, sardines, mackerel, salmon and trout.”