Plant Power

January 2017

By Naini Setalvad

Indian food has several fruits, vegetables and substances that can prevent, retard and reverse cancer, says Naini Setalvad


Hope, faith, a positive attitude and good nutrition is the way to prevent, retard and reverse cancer. Over the years of working with cancer patients I have realised all bodies have cancer cells. A malnourished body generates cancer cells; if they multiply cancer begins. We need to starve the body of the fuel that increases their reproduction. A well-nourished body can nip cancer cells in the bud. It is important to comprehend that no solitary magic pill can boost immunity. It is a synergy of the mind and body. I was pleasantly astonished to find out that we did not need to look beyond our country to triumph against cancer and a simple Indian meal is the solution for optimum nourishment that boosts immunity.

The plant kingdom has been giving us natural chemicals since the beginning of time. Today known as phytochemicals (phyto: plant) and antioxidants, they play an important role by increasing resistance to cancer cell reproduction. Found in yellow, green, orange and red pigments they provide the colour naturally to our fruits, vegetables, grains and spices. These are the armies that fight free radicals which are produced as we breathe in oxygen molecules which at times become unstable, in the process damaging chromosomes that increase cancer cells. The more natural colours you eat from the plant kingdom, the larger protection is provided to you to prevent these rogue molecules from penetrating your system.

Unfortunately, free radicals multiply not only by breathing in oxygen but due to numerous reasons like waking up way beyond sunrise, sleeping, eating, working and messaging at unearthly hours, not following the natural rhythms of the sun and the moon thus disrupting the internal body clock. Poor nutrition, chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, artificial colours, sugar, aerated drinks, alcohol, an excess of refined foods, in short the sum and substance of modern life, are some of the fuels that feed cancer. Top it with bad fat, fried red meat, char grilled foods, processed foods, cold cuts, foods refried or fried beyond smoking point, excessive caffeine, tobacco and sugar substitutes, and you have a toxic mix.  A toxic body causes a toxic mind adding to the reproduction of cancer cells.

The urgent need of the day is to starve these cancer cell reproducers by piling up your plate with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibres and eating seasonal,
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