For those not in the know, the Budwig Diet is commonly used as alternative or to complement cancer treatment.
The Budwig Diet has a few dietary tweaks that are intended to slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells. Strong supporters of this diet claim its effectiveness in fighting cancer, even though hardly any research has been done on the controversial Budwig Diet.
What is the Budwig Diet made up of?
German researcher Dr Johanna Budwig developed the Budwig Diet in the 1950s. The primary aim of the diet was to improve cell function, hence reducing the fast growth and spread of cancer cells.
This diet is not very popular in Asia as it is based on consuming multiple servings of cottage cheese and flaxseed oil throughout the day. Other foods to be taken with the cottage cheese and flaxseed oil are fruits and vegetables. Certain foods that are taken off your daily diet are all added sugars, processed meats or other processed foods and refined grains.
The diet has also been found to improve the immune system, cardiorespiratory health and arthritis. Once again, there has not been much research to verify these claims.
How does the Budwig Diet work?
In her research, Dr Budwig noted that cancer patients who consumed large amounts of polyunsaturated fats from the flaxseed oil and cottage cheese, showed a significant slowdown in the spread and growth of their cancer cells.
Therefore Dr Budwig designed a diet of cottage cheese, flaxseed oil, and honey to be taken several times a day. The Budwig Diet ratio is made by combining cottage cheese with flaxseed oil in a ratio of 2 : 1, and to enhance the taste, a small amount of honey is added.
Dr Budwig’s diet encourages patients to consume a minimum of 2 oz (60 mL) flaxseed oil with 4 oz (113 gms) of cottage cheese daily. Prepare the mixture fresh and consume it within 20 mins.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, the diet also recommends high fiber foods to be taken.
Patients should also spend a minimum of 20 mins in the sunlight daily to increase the production of vitamin D.
Now, does the Budwig Diet have health benefits?
Whole foods which are unprocessed such as fruits and vegetables, are rich in nutrients such as Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
There is some research done that sees an interesting link between an increase of fruit and vegetables to a lower risk of certain cancers. Lab experiments have indicated flaxseed oil may contain cancer-fighting properties.
Flaxseed oil is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which may help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, protect against heart diseases.
The Budwig Diet is essentially a “clean food” diet as it excludes processed foods, refined grains and junk foods.
Processed meats have been liked to a higher risk of certain cancers, diabetes and heart diseases.
Downsides of the Budwig Diet
Before diving into the Budwig Diet, do read about some of its potential downsides.
As the Budwig Diet forbids many food groups, it is considered a restrictive eating plan.
Not all meats are permitted in limited amounts. Meat, fish and poultry overall are rich in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. A shortage in any of these nutrients may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
It has been noted that vegans and vegetarians have a higher risk of iron, protein, vitamin B12 and calcium deficiencies.
The Budwig Diet can be considered a weight loss diet, because it restricts many foods. However, food restrictions can be dangerous for cancer patients.
There is rather limited research and a notable absence on clinical trials with the Budwig Diet.
It is undoubtedly a good diet to help reduce your chances of getting cancer, but the Budwig Diet does not treat cancer.
In conclusion: the Budwig Diet was designed to slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells. It does promote several healthy food groups.
However this diet is restrictive and more importantly, is not backed up by scientific research.
Our readers are always advised to consult a qualified medical practitioner before embarking on a new diet. Please note that no part of this article should be taken as medical advice.
21st September 2020 20:30
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