Estrogen Dominance and Health
I wanted to share this article I found on www.rawfoodsupport.com
Estrogen Dominance and Health
In our youth, when our hormones are balanced, everything from digestion to immunity works properly. We feel great, look great, have the energy of youth and our sex drive is normal. Our body performing at its best and we feel blessed, invincible, and forever young.
Hormonal imbalance is created when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or another. The most common extreme imbalance is excess estrogen in relation to progesterone. This is called “estrogen dominance” and has become an epidemic in the US. This critical imbalance of hormones can lead to a number of health issues and sometimes to serious degenerative diseases, like cancer.
Estrogens and Progesterone Overview
The two types of sex (steroid) hormones are estrogens and progesterone. There are three estrogens: B-estradiol, estrone and estriol. B-estradiol is the most potent. B-estradiol is 12 times more potent than estrone and 80 times more potent than estriol. Any over exposure to B-estradiol increases a person’s risk of disease. Estriol is considered the “good estrogen.” There is only one type of progesterone, and it considered a very safe hormone. Progesterone is called progestin when it is in a synthetic form.
Estrogen and progesterone work in synchronization with each other as checks and balances to achieve hormonal harmony in both sexes. Estrogen and progesterone need the presence of each other in order to perform their individual functions.
Maintaining estrogen balance can be difficult for many. For many decades of a woman’s life circulating estrogens are fluctuating and cause both good and bad influences. The primary role of estrogen is to maintain the growth and function of the uterus so that the sex organs can become adult sized, and prepares the uterine lining to accept an egg. Additionally, estrogen affects skeletal growth, skin, fat and protein deposition, and electrolyte balance. Men also produce a certain amount of estrogen.
Progesterone is the building block for many other major hormones. Other sex hormones are formed from progesterone, including the corticosteroids, which are essential for stress response, electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and lastly, survival. Cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen are all made from progesterone in a process that begins with cholesterol. Progesterone is the primary hormone of fertility and pregnancy. It is essential to the survival of the fertilized egg, then the embryo, then the fetus. In pregnancy, it prevents the shedding of the uterine lining. A drop in progesterone can result in a miscarriage.
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is generally not caused by one factor, but often many factors, including:
• Hormonal imbalance
• Hormone therapy
• Environmental estrogens
• Stressful lifestyle
• Glandular dysfunction
From the time menses begins until menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone ebb and flow in a manner which promotes reproduction. At about age 35 to 40, women reach the time of pre-menopause, which is when their levels of progesterone and estrogen begin to reduce.
Normal Hormone Progression
During this time through age 50, there is a 35% drop in estrogen, but a 75% reduction in progesterone occurring simultaneously. This is normal, and does create many pre-menopausal symptoms that we accept as part of the aging process.
Many women in their mid-thirties, most women during premenopause, and even many women during menopause are overloaded with estrogen. At the same time they are suffering from progesterone deficiency because of the severe drop in physiological production during this period. There is then insufficient progesterone to counteract the amount of estrogen in our body. It is most noticeable among peri-menopausal women who do not ovulate, which is quite common. You may have a fairly normal cycle, but no egg is released and very little progesterone is produced.
It is not the absolute deficiency of estrogen or progesterone, but rather the relative dominance of estrogen and possible deficiency of progesterone that is main cause of health problems when these hormones are out of balance. The end result: excessive estrogen relative to progesterone, add up to a condition Dr. John Lee has termed “estrogen dominance.” Dr. Lee’s books, What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Premenopause and What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Menopause explain this chronic hormonal balance in Americans today.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
A woman reaches menopause naturally around the age of 50, or as a result of having her ovaries surgically removed. Until recently, doctors routinely prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms. These prescription drugs are comprised of synthetic estrogen or an estrogen-progestin combination. HRT is also used to protect against the loss of bone after menopause.
But, there are serious risks to HRT. Concerns about hormone therapy arose from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial, whose purpose was to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. The hormone replacement therapy (HRT) component of the WHI trial looked at the long-term use of oral HRT in older women in the USA for the prevention of disease. The WHI study was stopped in 2002 because the incidence of invasive breast cancer exceeded the safety level set by the WHI. Many doctors are no longer prescribing synthetic HRT.
For women taking the combination of estrogen-progestin (Prempro) used in the study, researchers found an increased risk of:
• Heart disease
• Breast cancer
• Blood clots
In addition, not only did hormone therapy increase the women's risk of breast cancer, it also made tumors harder to detect, leading to potentially dangerous delays in diagnosis.
For women taking estrogen alone (Premarin), preliminary results showed no increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease but did find a slightly increased risk of stroke.
Women and their doctors are discovering that conventional HRT does not give them the overall health and well-being they had hoped for, and they are seeking out healthier alternatives, such as natural bio-identical HRT, lifestyle and diet changes. What everyone will hopefully soon realize is that menopausal and sexual reproductive problems are actually symptoms of overall hormonal imbalances. Women need to get a thorough picture of their entire body’s hormonal status and find natural therapeutic steps to maintaining balance.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills contain estrogen, and contribute to the development or worsening of estrogen dominance. Depending on dosage, they can be very potent, and linger for a long period of time in the body. Dr. Joseph Mercola’s webpage “Just Say No to Birth Control Pills” states the following about birth control pills:
A woman's natural cycle is composed of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills work by keeping estrogen at a sufficiently high level that they fool the body into thinking it is pregnant, therefore another pregnancy cannot occur.
Cramping, painful and irregular periods are often due to a deficiency of progesterone and an excess of estrogen. So estrogen-alone birth control pills -- as are the most commonly prescribed pills on the market now -- often compound the problem. That's why some women have intolerable estrogen-induced side effects when they are on birth control pills such as weight gain, mood swings, and breast tenderness.
What is not usually mentioned, or even known, is that the metabolism of birth control pills by the liver requires extra amounts of the B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. If you're taking birth control pills for years at a time, as are most American women, you're creating nutrient deficiencies. Weight gain, fluid retention, mood changes, depression and even heart disease can all arise from nutrient imbalance.
We are constantly assaulted by estrogens in our environment from the food we eat and the chemicals we use. Estrogen mimickers in the form of chemicals (xenoestrogens), and foods and plants (phytoestrogens), mimic the action of estrogen produced in cells and can alter hormonal activity.
Evidence is steadily growing that xenoestrogens and other hormone mimicking substances are implicated in a wide range of human and wildlife health problems. Estrogen dominance from these environmental hormone disrupters is causing an imbalance of female hormones, creating a host of estrogen dominance symptoms (see chart below). As a result of these disrupters, girls and boys are reaching puberty too early. Additionally, xenoestrogens produce hormonal stimuli that contribute to inappropriate growth of mammary tissue cells, resulting in a problem society is calling “man boobs” and in an increase in the appearance of female cancers in younger and younger women. Today, for example, one in eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Some researchers theorize that estrogen dominance in men contributes to hair loss, atherosclerosis, prostrate disease, lowered libido, and impotency.
Xeno means foreign. Xenoestrogens means foreign estrogens. Many of the 70,000 registered chemicals for use in the United States have hormonal effects in addition to toxic effects. The synergistic effects of exposure to many xenoestrogens are well documented, but largely unknown.
Xenoestrogens found in certain pesticides, plastics, fuels, preservatives and drugs are usually synthetic. Very difficult for the body to break down, they amplify the effects of estrogen. Difficult to detoxify by the liver, these noxious substances can increase the estrogen load in the body over time. Exposure to xenoestrogens is a concern for American. Individuals with an estrogen dominance condition should be particularly concerned about avoiding xenoestrogens as much as possible.
Xenoestrogens can be found in many of our meats and dairy products in the form of chemicals and growth hormones that are given to the animals. If meats and dairy products are to be ingested, they must be organic, free-range food products, free of xenoestrogens.
The following recommendations will help you to avoid contact with xenoestrogens:
• Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Wash your food well to rid the pesticides. Bathe the washed food in natural produce wash or ozonated water for 20 minutes before cooking.
• Have a good water filter for your source of water.
• Ingest only organic raw, living, whole foods. Buy hormone free meats and dairy products only – and eat them raw as well!
• Avoid plastic goods - they leach plastic molecules, proven to cause breast cancer cells to grow prolifically, into the environment.
• Do not microwave food in plastic containers, and especially avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for microwaving.
• Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
• Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
• If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away - do not drink the water either.
• Don't use synthetic dish or clothes washing liquids or fabric softeners – petrochemicals will be absorbed directly into your skin.
• Use organic soaps and toothpastes. Avoid fluoride or any chemicals in your toothpaste and mouthwash.
• Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens.Switch to more natural products. Inexpensive brands usually have more toxic ingredients.
• Avoid nail polish and nail polish removers.
• Use only naturally based perfumes or essential oils. Most perfumes are petrochemically based.
• Avoid surfactants found in many condoms and diaphragm gels.
• Avoid new carpet - it will emit noxious fumes.
• Avoid X-rays as much as possible.
• Be aware of noxious gas such as that from copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, etc. Computer monitors can emit a high level of electromagnetic force (EMF), another estrogen provocateur.
Phytoestrogens (phyto meaning plant) are naturally occurring estrogenic compounds that are found in a variety of foods, herbs, and spices. Their chemical structure resembles estrogen. These compounds are generally weak estrogens, in comparison to real estrogen and xenoestrogens, but in a body that is already experiencing too much estrogen, adding more will contribute to the problem.
Some of the strongest phytoestrogen containing substances are soy, the lignans found in flax seed products, red clover, black cohosh, chasteberry, and dong quai. Soy includes soybeans, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, roasted soybeans, soy granules, miso, and edamames.
Over consumption of phytoestrogenic foods on a long term basis may actually increase the risk of estrogen dominance significantly. Furthermore, phytoestrogens have been shown to inhibit the conversion of T4 to the active T3 thyroid hormone, and can trigger hypothyroidism. It is suggested that those with a history of thyroid imbalance, or suffering from estrogen dominance, should consume a minimum amount of phytoestrogens.
Stressful Lifestyle and Glandular Dysfunction
Stress causes adrenal gland exhaustion and reduced progesterone output. This tilts the estrogen to progesterone ratios in favor of estrogen. Excessive estrogen in turn causes insomnia and anxiety, which further taxes the adrenal gland. This leads to a further reduction in progesterone output and even more estrogen dominance. After a few years in this type of vicious cycle, the adrenal glands become exhausted. This dysfunction leads to blood sugar imbalance, hormonal imbalances, and chronic fatigue.
In the female, a large part of hormonal balance is controlled by the three major glands: the adrenal gland, the thyroid gland, and the ovaries. Maintaining a proper balance among these three glands is of critical importance in any estrogen dominance recovery program.
Excessive estrogen affects both thyroid and adrenal function, and in turn, dysfunctional thyroid and adrenal fatigue makes estrogen dominance worse. They all go hand in hand. When not functioning properly, these three glands, controlling the majority of the hormones in the body, can lead to a viscous downward cycle of hormonal imbalance. Worse yet is that conventional medicine often times are mislead into treating symptom after symptom without addressing the root cause. A wide variety of prescriptions from sleeping pills to anti-depressants are dispensed. Unfortunately, such symptom-based protocol will often make things worse instead of better.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
The following symptoms are common among those with excess estrogen. What begins with mild symptoms in younger years often becomes moderate in the mid to late 30s, and severe by the time a woman reaches her mid 40s. If you are experiencing as few as 6 of these symptoms, you probably have some level of estrogen dominance.
MILD MODERATE SEVERE
Premenstrual breast tenderness Irregular menstruation Uterine fibroid tumors
Premenstrual mood swings Weight gain Endometriosis
Premenstrual fluid retention, weight gain Hair loss Fibrocystic breasts
Premenstrual headaches Depression Polycystic ovary syndrome
Menstrual cramps Fatigue Breast tumors
Thyroid dysfunction Infertility
Adrenal gland fatigue Thickened uterine lining
Headaches, migraines Accelerated aging
Severe menstrual cramps Miscarriage
Heavy periods with clotting Anxiety and panic attacks
Joint and muscle pain Autoimmune disorders
Insomnia and restless sleep
Raw Foods and Hormonal Health
What raw, living foods assist in correcting estrogen dominance? Firstly, you must avoid as many of the noted phytoestrogens now isolated in foods. More than 300 foods have been shown to contain phytoestrogens.
NOTE: My (Robin) personal experience.
I have found eating a diet that is 20 to 30 percent cooked legumes and non - gluten whole grains and the rest raw fruits and vegetables, gives me an awesome feeling of peace and balance in my body / mind. I personally did not get this feeling when I consumed all raw fruits and vegetables. I really do believe that the fiber and maybe the phytoestrogens in legumes and non - gluten whole grains rid my body of excess estrogen, thus giving my body / mind this awesome feeling of peace and balance. (Soy can promote fibroid growth)
Most food phytoestrogens are from one of three chemical classes:
Isoflavonoids - Isoflavonoid phytoestrogens are found in beans from the legume family; soybeans and soy products are the major dietary source of this type of phytoestrogens. The isoflavonoid extracts from soy are known as genistin, diadzein, and glycitin.
Lignans - Lignan phytoestrogens are found in high fiber foods such as cereal brans and beans; flaxseeds contain large amounts of lignans. Products such as Brevail contain high amounts of lignans.
Coumestans - Coumestan phytoestrogens are found in various beans such as split peas, pinto beans, and lima beans. Alfalfa and clover sprouts are the foods with the highest amounts of coumestans.
Following are some of the strongest phytoestrogen containing substances:
• Black Cohosh
• Dong Quai
• Red Clover
Estrogen dominance is at epidemic proportions in the US today. And this critical hormonal imbalance leads, many scientists believe, to the development of various cancers in both men and women. Estrogen dominance has been linked to breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, prostate and testicular cancers in numerous studies. In 2006, about 250,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, much of which will be caused in part by excess body estrogen. Some breast cancers have been found to have cell walls 95% covered with estrogen and/or progesterone receptors – perhaps caused primarily by HRT?
1 in 8 US women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to recent projected statistics. 80% or more of diagnosed cases will not possess genetic predisposition to the disease. More than almost any other serious disease, breast cancer touches nearly all of us, whether we're women or men, old or young. Your chances of knowing a woman with breast cancer is almost 100%. Every year, about 1,500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. And the rates of prostate cancer continue to rise in US men. However, what has been clear for more than 20 years is that many hormonal imbalances and cancers are preventable with simple healthier diet and lifestyle choices.
Raw Foods, Hormonal Balance and Cancer
A report by the United States Academy of Sciences on the relationship between diet and cancer recommended greater emphasis on fresh (i.e., raw) fruits and vegetables. Vitamins A, C and E, all found in fresh green leafy vegetables and in fruits have been shown to prevent cancer.
The National Academy of Sciences 1982 report on diet and cancer was the first to make clear the link between diet and cancer. Newer research clearly establishes that the foods we choose play an overwhelming role in maintaining endocrine balance and in fighting cancer. Raw foods offer us the greatest level of nutrients and live enzymes to maintain a healthy immune, endocrine and nervous system, and all three are responsible for the maintaining homeostatic balance and in turn, the prevention and destruction of cancer. However, a diet of nutrient, enzyme rich raw foods should be combined with necessary lifestyle choices and exercise.
The following are a few guidelines to help combat estrogen dominance and subsequent potential cancer development:
Eat plentiful live, enzyme-rich vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts; stay physically active; and maintain a health weight. These three simple lifestyle actions can alleviate estrogen dominance and cancer risk by 30% to 40%.
As many as 375,000 cases of cancer, at current cancer rates, (many of which are due to hormonal imbalances) could be prevented each year in this nation through healthy dietary choices. Eat more organic raw foods daily!
A simple change, such as eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, could by itself reduce cancer rates more than 20%. Imagine if you ate all servings raw what the reduction of cancer rates would be?
Although more fruits and vegetables are recommended by numerous US health authorities as one way to reduce risk of developing cancer, many of the studies using fruits and vegetables don’t make a clear distinction between cooked and uncooked foods. Many studies do not indicate that un-cooked fruits and vegetables are the best source of the ingredients known to re-establish hormonal balance and prevent cancer. Some studies actually have shown that cooking destroys some of the ingredients in fruits and vegetables known to help in cancer prevention. Since the ingredients needed to prevent cancer are destroyed or degraded by cooking, and perhaps not properly assimilated or digested after cooked as well, it is clear that RAW, uncooked, whole, living vegetables and fruits are the best choices for health and well-being.
Strong evidence from epidemiologic studies indicates that eating more vegetables and fruits decreases the risk of developing cancer. This conclusion is strengthened by the similar results obtained from animal studies and experiments using isolated cells. Remember, raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables are probably the best source of critical nutrients known for their cancer prevention properties.
Most of the studies report that the consumption of vegetables is more strongly linked to cancer risk reduction than the consumption of fruits. Stronger evidence points to carrots, other yellow-orange vegetables such as squash and sweet potatoes, and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach as the most potent nutrient cancer prevention foods. All of these foods are good sources of nutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids. Evidence also exists proving raw vegetables may be more protective against the development of breast and other cancers than cooked vegetables. The natural chemicals found in vegetables, which are thought to confer this critical protection, are damaged by heat. Several studies have reported that the consumption of foods containing high amounts of vitamin C or carotenoids, some of which can serve as sources of vitamin A, may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Although it is difficult to measure how much of a particular fruit or vegetable is needed to restore hormonal balance and reduce cancer risk, a sample of the data from studies can provide some guidelines.
In a large study, the Nurses' Health Study, researchers reported a 17% lower rate of breast cancer among women who consumed at least 2 servings per day of fruits and vegetables as compared to those who consumed less than 1 serving per day. In another recent study, the consumption of more than 5 servings per day of vegetables versus less than 3 servings per day was associated with a 54% reduction in the breast cancer rate.
The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have prompted the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation to co-sponsor the National "5 a Day for Better Health" program. Designed to encourage and provide practical ways for people to consume at least 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables this program does not specify however the consumption of raw foods. Also, the USDA food guide pyramid suggests that people consume 5 to 9 servings per day of fruits and vegetables, while failing to recommend raw vegetables and fruits.
A serving, according to the USDA food guide is:
• 1 piece of fresh fruit
• 6 oz. (3/4 cup) 100% fruit juice
• 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or canned fruit
• 1 cup of leafy vegetables or salad
• 1 handful (1/4 cup) of dried fruit
• 1/2 cup of dried peas or beans
Most Americans need to double their intake of vegetables and fruits to meet the 5 or more per day recommendations. According to the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey, only 28% of the women surveyed in New York State reported consuming 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Women are the majority of sufferers from estrogen dominance, and thus, have a higher risk of developing endocrine related cancers.
Raw Foods for Health and Well-being
The nutrients researchers have identified and isolated in fruits and vegetables that may prevent or help combat breast and other cancers are listed below. Remember, many of these nutrients may be changed or destroyed by heat and cooking and should AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BE EATEN IN A RAW, LIVING , ORGANIC STATE.
Carotenoids - Carotenoids are chemicals found in yellow and orange vegetables and fruits, and in dark-green leafy vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables contain particularly high amounts of specific carotenoids. Sweet potatoes and carrots are especially high in beta-carotene.
Kale, spinach, parsley and mustard greens contain high amounts of lutein.
Lycopene is a carotenoid found in high amounts in tomatoes. Some but not all carotenoids can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Foods that are particularly high in the pro-vitamin A carotenoids include cantaloupe, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid - Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and juices, such as grapefruits and oranges. Other good sources of vitamin C are green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, melons, cabbage and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin E - Foods high in vitamin E include broccoli, kohlrabi, cilantro, turnip greens, spinach, avocados, blueberries, mangos, ripe olives, and especially nuts. Other plant sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils and whole grains.
Folic acid - Folic acid is a vitamin found in relatively high concentrations in green leafy vegetables, asparagus, lima beans, broccoli, beets and several types of beans. Moderate amounts are found in oranges and orange juice.
Selenium - Selenium is a mineral which plants obtain from the soil and the higher the concentration of selenium in the soil, the higher the concentration of selenium in plants. Many animal studies have demonstrated anti-carcinogenic effects of selenium in the form of supplements to diets or in selenium-enriched foods such as garlic grown in selenium-rich soil.
Dietary fiber - Dietary fiber includes both cereal and vegetable fiber. Most fruits and vegetables contain fiber. Fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of fiber are apples, blackberries, grapefruits, oranges, raspberries, and broccoli.
Dithiolthiones and glucosinolates - Natural chemicals that are found exclusively in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, rutabaga and turnips.
Phytoestrogens - Substances found in plants that act like weak versions of the hormone estrogen. When consumed, phytoestrogens may decrease the level of estrogen circulating in the body. Women who have high levels of circulating estrogen throughout their childbearing years may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Foods high in phytoestrogens include soybeans, dried beans and peas, and bean sprouts. As noted earlier, if you already have “estrogen dominance” health issues you should eliminate or limit the ingestion of phytoestrogens.
Many other natural chemicals in fruits and vegetables are currently being studied. Information on these potential cancer preventing chemicals is preliminary. Researched substances include isothiocyanates and thiocyanates (in brussels sprouts), flavonoids (in berries), coumarins (in citrus fruits), phenols (in almost all fruits and vegetables), protease inhibitors (in legumes), plant sterols (in vegetables), isoflavones, saponins, and inositolhexaphosphate (in soybeans), allium compounds (in garlic), limonene (in citrus fruit oils), and resveratrol (in grapes).
There are several different ways that the natural chemicals found in fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of endocrine related cancers. Let us remember excess estrogen stimulates cell division.
Some of these mechanisms are:
Alter estrogen levels - Estrogen is a hormone that is necessary for childbearing, and bone and heart health in women, but the lifetime exposure to estrogen may influence endocrine cancer risk. Estrogen is normally broken down into different forms in the body. Some parts of vegetables and fruits, such as glucosinolates in broccoli, cause the break-down of estrogen to weaker forms of the hormone. Women who do not have breast cancer seem to have higher levels of the weaker forms of estrogen than do women with breast cancer.
Stimulate cell differentiation and stop cell division - The term differentiation refers to the process by which a cell in the body becomes mature and gains all of the features that it needs to work properly. Cancer cells divide, ignoring all signals to stop, and they do not differentiate properly. A compound in fruits and vegetables, such as carotenoid-derived vitamin A, that encourages a cell to differentiate will interfere with the process of uncontrolled abnormal division typical of cancer cells.
Act as antioxidants - Free molecules of oxygen within cells, also known as free radicals, can cause damage to cells. Free radicals are produced by the cell as natural by-products of normal cell activities, or in response to harmful contact with something in its environment. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, are compounds that absorb free radicals. Excess estrogen can be perceived as harmful to cells.
Increase activity of detoxifying enzymes - Often cells are exposed to cancer-causing compounds called carcinogens. The body uses enzymes to make these chemicals harmless (detoxify them). An enzyme is a protein produced by living cells that begins or speeds-up a chemical reaction in the body without being permanently changed itself. Some chemicals in fruits and vegetables, such as dithiolthiones in broccoli, have been shown to increase the activity of detoxifying enzymes in the body.
Enhance immune function. The consumption of vegetables and fruits strengthen the immune system, the body's defense against disease and cancer. Immune strength has also been strongly correlated to enzyme function, and of course, raw whole food is the only source of living enzymes.
Scientific Support for Vegetarian Raw Foods
Two studies were unable to show an association between eating a vegetarian raw foods diet, either during adolescence or as an adult, and a reduced risk of developing estrogen dominance or endocrine cancers. A few studies report lower levels of hormones, such as estrogen, in the bodies of vegetarian versus non-vegetarian women. Also, studies that compare the risk of breast cancer between different cultures, such as American versus Asian, have reported a decrease in the risk of breast cancer among women who consume a plant-based diet. Scientifically there is not enough information to establish a solid conclusion that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Use your common sense - if some studies indicate that fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of cancer, plus other studies show that there are known carcinogens formed by cooking animal products, then it isn’t hard to conclude that a diet consisting of whole vegetables and fruits will significantly reduce the intake of carcinogens while increasing the consumption of nutrients known to re-establish homeostatic balance and reduce the risk for cancer.
More Raw Foods Daily
Here are a few ways to easily and conveniently add more vegetables and fruits as well as seeds and nuts to your daily diet and help restore hormonal balance and reduce your risk of endocrine or other cancers:
• Keep prepared vegetables, like cut carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus in the refrigerator for snacks.
• Substitute spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and others, for less green lettuces in a salad.
• Eat a raw sweet potato instead of any white potato.
• Eat fruits such as berries, apples, pineapple, mango, papaya or grapefruit as a snack.
• Drink organic fruit or vegetable juices made fresh and stored in Mason jars in your refrigerator.
• If you have children, ask them to help make fruit or vegetable salads.
• Eat raw, organic seeds and nuts throughout the day for their nutrient content and fiber.