What to EAT TO BEAT DISEASE; Kylie Minogue Is Taking Diet Advice in Her Fight with Cancer. So Which Foods Can Help? Alex Hindhaugh Asked Three Health Gurus to Reveal Their Healthy Eating Secrets

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Nish Joshi

The Joshi Clinic, 57 Wimpole Street, W1 (020 7487 5456; www.thejoshiclinic.com)

When the rich and famous fall ill, many turn to holistic expert Dr Nish Joshi. So it is little surprise to hear that Kylie Minogue, after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer in Paris, has approached him to help with her recovery. He was trained in osteopathy and Ayurvedic medicine, and one of his main focuses is on the benefits of proper nutrition in treating diseases.

Cancer now affects one in three of the population. Breast cancer hits one woman in nine, while prostate cancer is as common among men.

"Between 70 and 90 per cent of cases of breast cancer are treatable if they are detected early enough," says Dr Joshi. "In most cases, women find the lumps themselves, so regular self-examination is vital.

Another aspect of breast awareness that I advocate is wearing comfortable, loosefitting clothing because badly fitting bras impede the flow of lymphatic fluid around the breast tissue, which can be a contributing factor.

"Women who have a genetic predisposition to cancer should avoid the Pill since this unbalances the levels of hormones in the body and can increase the chances of developing abnormal cells."

Diet for prevention: "Make sure your diet is free from refined carbohydrates and rich fatty foods because these make the body's internal environment more acidic, as will tomatoes, potatoes, sugar, dairy foods, fried foods, alcohol, lemon juice and grapefruit. An acidic environment in the body promotes inflammation, including the development of cancer cells. Acidifying foods can also slow down organ function and the ability of the body to detox itself, and cause congestion in the lymphatic system.

Diet for treatment: "If a patient is already undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, it is important to have a diet rich in protein to give the body energy. It's difficult, because the cancer treatments will diminish your appetite, but you need to eat two servings, of good quality protein per day.

"Eat the healthier kind of unsaturated fats such as olive oil and flaxseed oil.

Having the right balance of fats will help the body produce the right enzymes, especially some of the proteolytic enzymes which combat cancer by killing off abnormal cells.

"Garlic, ginger and onions are excellent because they contain allicin, which has immune systemstimulating properties.

Ginger also relieves nausea (a common sideeffect of treatment) and enhances digestion.

"The more you lose weight, the less your body is able to deal with, not only the cancer, but the effects of treatment - so eat lots. Drink plenty of water and green tea, to maintain adequate hydration, but avoid caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar."

Supplements: "Coenzyme Q-10, a strong antioxidant, minimises the side effects of chemotherapy. Other antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E (though vitamin E should be limited if you have high blood pressure).

"Ginger root tea and milk-thistle tea are good for the liver. Take a multivitamin, but one which doesn't contain iron because some tumours have been shown to flourish when people are taking a supplement containing synthetic iron."


Patrick Holford


Widely regarded as Britain's leading authority on new approaches to health and nutrition. He founded the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, a charitable and educational trust dedicated to furthering education and research into nutrition in 1984 and makes frequent appearances on TV and radio. His latest book is The Holford Low-GL Diet Cookbook (Piatkus, [pounds sterling]12.99).

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