Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Sweet Potato

April 25, 2011

Filed under: What's New? — admin @ 5:56 am

The sweet potato should be thought of as a true root and not a tuber, as is commonly believed. It has been one of the most popular foods of tropical and subtropical countries for centuries. Columbus and his men were fed boiled roots by the natives of the West Indies, which these men described as “not unlike chestnuts in flavor.” This new food was carried back to Spain, and from there it was introduced to European countries. De Soto found sweet potatoes growing in the gardens of the Indians who lived in the territory that is now called Louisiana.

During the Civil War, troops short of rations found they could live indefinitely on sweet potatoes alone. The Japanese on Okinawa could not have held out as long as they did if they had not been able to raid sweet potato patches at night. In 1913 the supply of sweet potatoes was so large and the demand so small that Louisiana towns sold them for fifty cents a barrel.

There are two main types of sweet potatoes; those that are mealy when cooked, and those that are wet when cooked—popularly miscalled “yams.” Actually, there are few yams grown in this country, and they are grown almost solely in Florida.

Decay in sweet potatoes spreads rapidly and may give the entire potato a disagreeable flavor. This decay may appear in the form of dark, circular spots or as soft, wet rot, or dry, shriveled, discolored and sunken areas, usually at the ends of the root.

Use the sweet potato baked, steamed, or roasted, in puddings or pies. Whenever possible, they should be cooked in their jackets, to conserve the nutrients. If you wish to discard the skin, this vegetable is much easier to peel when cooked. When combining the sweet potato with other foods, remember that it is a little more difficult to digest than the white potato.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The sweet potato is good for the eliminative system, but is a little more difficult to digest than the white potato. It contains a great deal of vitamin A and is a good source of niacin.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 419

Protein: 6.2 g

Fat: 1.5 g

Carbohydrates: 96.6 g

Calcium: 117 mg

Phosphorus: 173 mg

Iron: 2.7 mg

Vitamin A: 30,030 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.37 mg

Riboflavin: 0.23 mg

Niacin: 2.8 mg

Ascorbic acid: 77 mg

Plum and Fresh Prunes

April 18, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 6:30 am

The early colonists found plums growing wild along the entire Eastern coast. They were one of many fruits eaten by the Indians before the coming of the white man, and reports of early explorers mention the finding of plums growing in abundance. Today however native plums are not important commercially. The European type of plums, Prunas Domestica, has replaced the native plum. Plum pits from Europe probably were brought to America by the first colonists, for it is reported that plums were planted by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, and the French brought them to Canada.

Although plums came to America by way of Europe, they are believed to have originated in Western Asia in the region south of the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the European plum is mentioned,the species dates back at least 2000 years.

Another species, Prunus Institia, known to us as the Damson plum, also came to America by way of Europe. This plum was named for Damascus and apparently antedates the European type, although Damson pits have been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland and in other ancient ruins.

Another important species, the Japanese plum, was domesticated in Japan, but originated in China. It was introduced in the United States about 1870. This type is grown extensively in California.

Plums have been grown in some of the Spanish mission gardens of California at least as early as 1792, and the first prune plums grown in California were produced in Santa Clara Mission. However, the present California prune industry is not based on these but the French prune, Petite Prune d’Agen, scions of which were brought to California from France in 1856 by Pierre Pellier. French-type prunes grown in California orchards were shipped in to San Francisco markets in 1859.

Botanically, plums and prunes of the European or Domestica type belong to the same species. The interchangeable use of the terms “plum and prune” dates back for several centuries. Plum is Anglo-Saxon, and prune is French. It is uncertain just when the word prune was first used to designate a dried plum or a plum suitable for drying. The prune is a variety of plum that can be dried without fermenting when the pit is left in. Fresh prunes, as compared with plums, have firmer flesh, higher sugar content, and frequently higher acid content. A ripe, fresh prune can be separated from the pit like a freestone peach, but a plum cannot be opened this way.

Of all the stone fruits, plums have the largest number and greatest diversity of kinds and species. H.F. Tysser, editor of Fruit Manual, published in London, says there are over 2000 varieties. Samual Fraser, in his book America Fruits, speaks of a list of about 1500 varieties of Old World plums alone, and says there probably are just as many varieties of plums native to this continent. In addition, there is a long list of Japanese and Chinese plums.

Almost all of the plums shipped in the United States are grown in California. There are two types of California plums, Japanese and European. The former marketed early in the season and the latter in midseason or later. The Japanese varieties are characterized by their large size, heart-shape, and bright red or yellow color. Japanese varieties are never blue.

Plums and prunes of good quality are plump, clean, of fresh appearance, full colored for the particular variety, and soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Unless one is well acquainted with varieties, color alone cannot be replied upon an indication of ripeness. Some varieties are fully ripe when the color is yellowish-green, others when the color is red, and others when purplish-blue or black. Softening at the tip is a good indication of maturity. Immature fruit is hard. It may be shriveled and is generally of poor color or flavor. Over mature fruit is generally soft, easily bruised, and is often leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Fresh plums are more acid to the body than fresh prunes. When too many plums are eaten, an over acid condition results. When prunes are dried, however they are wonderful for the nerves because the contain a phosphorus content of nearly 5 percent.

Prunes have a laxative effect. The dried prune is better to eat than the fresh plum or prune. The salts contained in the dried prune are valuable as food for the blood, brain and nerves. The French prunes are considered the best for their value to the nervous system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 55.6 g

Calcium: 73 mg

Phosphorus: 86 mg

Iron: 2.2 mg

Vitamin A: 1200 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.28 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 2.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 20 mg

POMEGRANATE

April 11, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 6:09 am

Mohammad once told his followers: “Eat the pomegranate, for it purges the system of envy and hatred.” The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man. Frequent references to it are found in the Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings. Homer mentions it in his Odyssey, and it appears in the story of The Arabian Nights. The pomegranate is native to Persia and its neighboring countries, and for centuries has been extensively cultivated around the Mediterranean, spreading through Asia. King Solomon was known to have an orchard of pomegranates, and history speaks of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness and remembering with longing the cooling taste of the pomegranate. Ancient Assyrian and Egyptian sculpture has depicted this fruit, and it is sometimes on ancient Carthaginian and Phoenician medals.

The word pomegranate is derived from the Latin world meaning “apple with many seeds.” The fruit grows on a bush or small tree from twelve to twenty feet high. It grows to about the size of an orange or larger.

A pomegranate of good quality may be medium or large in size and the coloring can range from pink to bright red. The rind is thin and tough, and there should be an abundance of bright red or crimson flesh, with a small amount of pulp. The seeds are contained in a reddish, juicy pulp that is subacid and of fine flavor. They should be tender, easy to eat, and small in proportion to the juicy matter that surrounds them, while the juice should be abundant and rich in flavor.

There are many varieties of pomegranate. At least ten varieties were growing in southern Spain in the thirteenth century, as described by a writer of the time. It is a warm-climate fruit, and the leading producers in this country are California and the Gulf states. This fruit will not mature in cooler climates, although there are dwarf forms grown in cool climates which have striking scarlet flowers that are sold commercially. Pomegranates are in season September through December, and October is the peak month.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Use only the juice of the pomegranate. This juice is one of the best for bladder disorders and has a slightly purgative effect. For elderly people, it is a wonderful kidney and bladder tonic.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (edible portion)

Calories: 160

Protein: 1.3 g

Fat: 0.8 g

Carbohydrates: 41.7 g

Calcium: 20 mg

Phosphorus: .8 mg

Iron: .8 mg

Vitamin A: trace

Thiamine: 0.07 mg

Riboflavin: 0.07 mg

Niacin: 0.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 10 mg

Pear

April 4, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 5:18 am

Pears were used as food long before agriculture was developed as an industry. They are native to the region from the Caspian Sea westward into Europe. Nearly 1000 Years before the Christian Era, Homer referred to pears as growing in the garden of Alcinous. A number of varieties were known prior to the Christian Era. Pliny listed more than forty varieties of pears. Many varieties were known in Italy, France, Germany, and England by the time America was discovered.

Both pear seeds and trees were brought to the United States by the early settlers. Like the apple, pear trees thrived and produced well from the very start. As early as 1771 the Prince Nursery on Long Island, New York, greatest of the colonial fruit nurseries, listed forty-two varieties. The introduction of pears to California is attributed to the Franciscan Fathers. Led by Father Junipera Serra, in 1776, they planted seeds carried from the Old World.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries greatly improved pears were developed, particularly in Belgium and France. In 1850, pears were so popular in France that the fruit was celebrated in song and verse, and it was the fashion among the elite to see who could raise the best specimen. When the better varieties were brought into the United States a disease attacked the bark, roots, and other soft tissues of the trees, and practically destroyed the industry in the East. The European pear thrives primarily in California, Oregon, and Washington and in a few narrow strips on the south and east sides of Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario, where there are relatively cool summers and mild winters. Under these conditions, the trees are not as susceptible to pear blight, or “fire blight.”

Another kind of pear, distinguished from the European “butter fruit” with its soft, melting flesh, had developed in Asia, and is known as the sand pear. These have hard flesh with numerous “sand” or grit cells. Sand pears reached the United States before 1840, by way of Europe, and proved resistant to fire blight. Hybrids of sand pears and European varieties are now grown extensively in the eastern and southern parts of the United States. They are inferior to the European pear, but still better to eat than the original sand pear. The best European varieties grow in the Pacific States, and from these states come most of the pears used for sale as fresh fruit for processing.

Pears are grown in all sections of the country, but the Western states (California, Oregon, and Washington), produce approximately 87 to 90 percent of all pears sold commercially. Practically all pears that are processed come from the Western states.

More than 3000 varieties are known in the United States, but less than a dozen are commercially important today. The Bartlett outranks all other varieties in quantity of production and in value. It is the principal variety grown in California and Washington and is also the important commercial pear in New York and Michigan. It originated in England and was first distributed by a Mr. Williams, a nurseryman in Middlesex. In all other parts of the world it is known as Williams or Williams’ Bon-Chretien. It was brought to the United States in 1798 or 1799 and planted at Roxbury, Massachusetts under the name of Williams’ Bon Chretien. In 1817 Enoch Bartlett acquired the estate, and not knowing the true name of the pear, distributed it under his own name. The variety is large, and bell-shaped, and has smooth clear yellow skin that is often blushed with red. It has white, finely grained flesh, and is juicy and delicious.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Pears have a fairly high content of vitamin C and iron. They are good in all elimination diets and are a wonderful digestive aid. They help normalize bowel activity.

Pears have an alkaline excess. They are a good energy producer in the winter, when used as a dried fruit, and are a delicious summer food when fresh.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 236

Protein: 2.6 g

Fat: 1.5 g

Carbohydrates: 59.6 g

Calcium: 49 mg

Phosphorus: 60 mg

Iron: 1.1 mg

Vitamin A: 90 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.8 mg

Riboflavin: 0.16 mg

Niacin: 0.5 mg

Ascorbic acid: 15 mg

Watch Online

Watch on Amazon Video Watch on iTunes

Watch on DVD

Get the Book

Rethinking Cancer, by Ruth Sackman, is an excellent companion book to the film. Learn More

Newsletter signup

Bookmark and Share