Cancer & Diet: Qur'an, the Cure for an Epidemic
Foods rich in protective factors such as fruits
and vegetables are also doing something
for our health and well-being.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that at least 35% of all cancers have a nutritional
connection. When lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise are included, the associated risk becomes much stronger and
might be as high as 85%. What we eat makes a big difference in our energy levels, our mood and even our self-esteem. When
we choose foods rich in protective factors such as fruits and vegetables, we are also doing something positive for our health
Links have been established between cancer and diet. Some 40% of cancers in men and 60% in women are
believed to be related to problems associated with the Western diet. There is evidence to suggest that some cancers are particularly
affected by what we eat and drink; cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, breast, uterine endometrium and prostate.
is estimated that worldwide, 30% of all men over the age of 50 have some evidence of dormant prostate cancer, yet worldwide
rates for clinically evident prostate cancer are highly variable. For example, U.S. rates for prostate cancer are 120 times
higher than those of China. The research was conducted to explore the hypothesis that dietary fat may account, in part, for
the wide variations in worldwide prostate cancer rates. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men
in the United States.
Though further research needs to be conducted in humans, the animal results suggest that diet
may have an impact on prostate cancer tumor growth and may also play a role in preventing or delaying the onset of the disease.
Which Foods are Important for Health?
Foods that come from the plant kingdom rather than
the animal kingdom have many protective botanical factors. Plants cannot move away from danger like animals but these phyto
(meaning plant) nutrients can be beneficial to us also. Antioxidants, anti-carcinogens and bioflavonoids are some of the terms
used to describe the actions of phytonutrients. Foods rich in botanical factors or phytonutrients include berries, dark green
leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, legumes (beans of all sorts, including soy) and whole grains.
A beneficial diet would
be low in fat and processed sugar, and high in fiber. If you read the labels on packets and tins you will notice that sugar
finds its way into all sorts of foods. Excessive alcohol consumption is not advised and smoked, pickled and salt-cured foods
should be reduced. Meats cooked at high temperature or broiled are also to be avoided.
So what can we eat? "Halal
& Healthy Diet", Allah says, "O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks
to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship (2:172)."
The more fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, it will increase
fiber intake and most contain little or no fat. Five servings a day is considered to be a minimum. A portion would be one
piece of fruit, three quarters of a cup of juice or half a cup of chopped vegetables.
With the convenience of pre-packed
and frozen foods, we tend to forget about some of the traditional seasonal vegetables. Next time you go shopping, why not
go to a fruit and vegetable market or spend a bit longer in the greengrocers. It is even better if you can find organically-grown
foods. They sometimes do not look as pristine as the non-organic equivalent, but they will often taste so much better.
ye who believe!
Eat of the good
We have provided
you, and render
to Allah if it
is (indeed) He
whom ye worship (2:172)."
With the convenience of pre-packed and frozen
foods, we tend to forget about some of the traditional seasonal vegetables. Next time you go shopping, why not go to a fruit
and vegetable market or spend a bit longer in the greengrocers. It is even better if you can find organically-grown foods.
They sometimes do not look as pristine as the non-organic equivalent, but they will often taste so much better.
kitchen spice, known as Turmeric, has an ingredient called curcumin that seems to halt tumor growth, prevent new tumors from
forming, and neutralize cancer-causing chemicals in the blood ((Please see disclaimer on Home Page-M.H.) Journal of the American
College of Nutrition (8, 5:450)).
Harold Foster, Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia studied 200 cancer patients
who had "spontaneous regression" of their cancers. He found that 87% had made serious dietary changes that were mostly vegetarian
in nature, and many others underwent some detoxification program or used nutritional supplements. Quillan, Patrick, "Beating
Cancer With Nutrition", Nutrition Times Press, Tulsa, OK 1994.
One cancer prevention method could be as close as your
refrigerator. "The best estimate is that if we all ate a perfect, healthy diet, we could eliminate maybe 35 percent of cancer
deaths," said Dr. Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society.
Remember; You should consult your doctor if you intend
to follow a specific diet. The above is for use as general guidance only.
data is accumulated, lifestyle characteristics are shown to be major determinants of cancer risk in humans. Of these, diet
is the most ubiquitous. Food constituents have been identified which can cause or enhance the likelihood of cancer and, conversely,
protect against it. Such data encourage the hope that a full understanding of the impact of dietary constituents on carcinogenesis
will lead to important means of cancer control.
It is stated that the heart is the king of the body. If the king is
corrupt, then the entire kingdom will be in chaos. Thus is the situation of the human body, we must try to keep our heart
from being polluted and defiled. The Shariah is established to provide such protection to the heart, so that it may be pure.
Especially, the Halal and Haram dietary laws in Islam are addressed to propagate pure and healthy habits. These habits will
protect one from developing any type of related illness or risk factors. As stated above in the risk for developing cancer,
diet plays a major role in its development. If individuals adopt halal eating habits, then they will absolve themselves of
Halal & Healthy:
The Qur'an and Hadith about Halal &
Haram in Food
Translated Verses of the Qur'an
"O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided
you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship (2:172)."
"He hath forbidden you only carrion,
and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven
by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (2:173)."
ye who believe! Fulfill your undertakings. The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced
unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordaineth that which pleaseth Him (5:1)."
unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine-flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and
the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by
(the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which
hath been immolated unto idols.
And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination.
This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected
your religion for you and completed My favor unto you and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger,
not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (5:3)."
"They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful
for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds
are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah's name upon
it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account (5:4)."