Do You Know Nutrition: What we don't know can hurt us

By Phylis Canion
Dec. 17, 2013 at 6:17 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I was diagnosed years ago with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and just wonder if you can share information on that subject, including any special diet recommendations?

The term non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a catch-all phrase used to cover several different cancers that develop from the lymphatic system; it is also the fifth leading cause of cancer. The lymphoma has increased by 73 percent in the last 20 years according to Patricia Thomas, author of "What's In This Stuff?: The Hidden Toxins In Everyday Foods."

And what has happened in the last 20 years? Our food supply has become adulterated. With the increase of genetically modified foods, added hormones and man-made pollutants added to our food ingredient list, the body is gradually becoming a toxic waste dump.

Not only is the safety of our food supply being questioned, but also increased exposure to chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls, now found in flame retardants, plastics, detergents, hairspray, hair dyes (especially, dark hair dyes) and toiletries (i.e. toothpaste, as mentioned in previous column), are more than the body can handle.

While our bodies are designed to aid the process of defending and repairing cells, tissue and organs, the toxins are silently dismantling our immune system in the background. Consuming beneficial foods can be instrumental in flushing toxins from the system.

Onions, garlic, pectin (found in apples), broccoli, ginger (stimulates blood circulation), peas and lentils contain antioxidants as well as fiber than can bind to toxins for excretion. Chlorella, spirulina, kelp, seaweed and algae are exceptional in binding toxins and heavy metals.

Greens - such as barley grass, wheat grass and alfalfa - are beneficial herbs that work by detoxifying your blood and flushing out harmful toxins and bacteria. Foods to avoid include hydrogenated polyunsaturated fats, trans fats and processed refined grains.

In a study conducted by Tongzhang Zheng, head of the Division of Environmental Sciences at Yale School of Public Health, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, results stated that individuals that consumed a high fat diet have a higher risk of developing the lymphoma.

While there is so much controversy over diet and lifestyle and the role it plays in our health, more and more studies are confirming our fear - our food is loaded with non-digestible toxins that stress our immune system and opens the door for disease.

Thought for the week: The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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