Combatting Cancer

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

I still remember during our college years we visited the Tata Memorial Hospital. At that time our professors told us that we should not concentrate on cancers because a very small percentage of patients suffer from cancer. The real problem in India at that time was malnutrition and infectious diseases. But all this has changed. Cancer affects both the rich and poor and the number of cancer patients are rising with each year, while the ages at which people develop cancer is falling. Nothing is more frightening than the word ‘cancer’, just because of the pain and suffering involved.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. All too often we ignore the information that’s out there. There are so many things that we can do to minimise our risks of getting this dreadful disease. And for those who have already been diagnosed, there is hope. There are so many people who have brought their cancers into remission just by making that lifestyle shift. Our body is always working to heal. We just have to stop harming it. Let’s take cancer more seriously before getting it!.


Testimonial of Jaishree Kannan

Ten years ago Jaishree Kannan was diagnosed with cancer, which relapsed within nine months. Her body could not go through chemotherapy again and she decided to do things differently.

Read on as she shares her story of healing naturally…

My life took a turn in 2007 when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I went through surgery and many rounds of chemotherapy and after a few months the doctor told me I was fine and to continue with the regular check-ups. But my problem did not end there, within nine months my cancer relapsed and this time my body could not take the strain of another surgery and further chemos. I felt so sick and miserable and I wondered if I could make it. At this time I was forced to look for alternative methods to deal with my illness and the side effects of my chemos. It’s then,  that I began doing my own research and stumbled upon many wonderful articles and websites including SHARAN talking about whole plant based food to reverse illness and that gave me hope to heal my cancer. During the same time my acupressure therapist encouraged me to drink green smoothies and also taught me how to make then. Until then I had never eaten a raw vegetable in my life and also I was very picky on fruits so I hardly ate them too.

One fine morning I just started to eat differently, I ate a whole lot of fruits on an empty stomach, green juices, and huge bowls of salads. Initially I was too scared and my family too was equally tensed and wondered if I was doing the correct thing for one is advised during chemotherapy not to eat raw. I decided to take the risk for at that time I had no better option. Within a couple of days I noticed that I was actually feeling better and all my mouth ulcers just disappeared. I was amazed and wondered how it worked and I became curious and began to explore by reading books and watching films in my quest to know more about the plant based diet and its amazing benefits. A new world opened up in front of me and there was no looking back. I was later fortunate to attend many of SHARAN’s workshops and I understood this philosophy better and also met the most inspiring people in my life and I began feeling truly inspired & supported.

It’s now ten years since I have overcome my cancer and I lead a very healthy and joyous life. I vouch for the whole plant based diet to reverse any kind of illness or to remain healthy.

Green Smoothies

Start your day with an organic green smoothie to flood your body with healthy nutrients!

Green smoothies are a great energizing way to start the morning and incorporate the goodness of greens with the sweetness of fruit. 

To make a great green smoothie mix about â…“ or less green leaves and 2/3 fruit (except melons) and a bit of water. Flavourings can be added as needed (ginger, mint, lemon zest). Smoothies should not be strained. Do not add melons, vegetables (except green leaves), nuts or seeds.

It’s best to alternate between different kinds of greens – spinach, mint, coriander, celery greens, spring onion greens, pak choy, beetroot greens, basil, betel leaves etc.  Bananas, mangoes, papaya, chikoo, grapes, passionfruit and other pulpy fruits make good smoothies.

Here is one basic recipe.


  • 2 ripe bananas or equivalent frozen bananas

  • A large handful of greens

  • 1/4 cup water


Place the green leaves in the blender with enough water to blend. Blend till smooth green soup. Add the bananas and other fruits. Add a couple of cubes of ice if needed. Enjoy!

Variation: Replace one banana with any other fruits.

Serves 1

Food for Thought


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We offer 3 possibilities from 1st Jan 2016.

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

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Cancer has become commonplace

Cancer is seen everywhere these days. The very diagnosis evokes a fear. What are the chances? In most cases cancer is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Both these therapies can actually cause cancer themselves, but when someone gets cancer, these lethal weapons are used to kill those cancer cells.

There is another way of looking at it. At any given time cancer cells are circulating in the body. But in health the number of cancer cells are kept in control. When a situation arises where normal cells cease to thrive, cancer cells begin to multiply and take over. If we understand this, we can begin to eliminate the causes of cancer in our lives and actually prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Carcinogens are everywhere and there is little we can do to avoid them completely. But let’s do whatever we can. The more toxic and chemicalised our existance is, the higher the risks. The more natural, the lower the risks.

Common Carcinogens – Factors which cause cancer

1. Excess Proteins

Proteins are foods that our body uses for growth and repair. Cancer is a growth. Excess proteins are acid yielding in our body – producing the perfect environment for cancer cells to grow. All those eggs and protein supplements that gym trainers advise can really go against you. Don’t forget that protein deficiency is very rare. Horses and elephants get enough for their strong bodies only from whole plants!

2. Animal Proteins

Not only are these acid yielding, but on cooking animal muscles form heterocyclic amines which are carcinogenic. So many reasons to switch to a plant based diet!

3. Pesticides

Like farmers in many parts of India, the farmers in Punjab, our bread basket, also use large amounts of pesticides in farming. Farmers routinely suffer from the ill effects of these chemicals. In Punjab there is a special train called the Punjab Cancer Express which picks up small farmers with cancer  from the Malwa region and takes them to the large hospital every day!

Pesticides, consumed over time form residues in our bodies which are highly carcinogenic too. It follows that animal products deliver even more pesticides than plants because animals concentrate the pesticides in their bodies. Organic plant based foods are an essential alternative.

4. Chemicals on the body

Personal care products like deodorants, shampoos, hair dyes, perfumes, lotions and even toothpastes contain carcinogens. Sodium Laurel Sulphate, (SLS) a foaming agent commonly found in shampoos and toothpaste is a well know carcinogen! It’s a good idea never to put on your skin what you would not put in your mouth. What you put on your body can be absorbed through the skin. Try looking for more natural alternatives for these products.

5. Chemicals in the environment

Although we are not in control of everything in our larger environment, we do have control on our immediate environment. Air fresheners, detergents, phenyls, insecticides are just some examples of how we make our personal environment toxic.

6. Packaged foods

These are typically filled with chemical ingredients (read that label carefully!!!!). Meats are treated to keep their colour and freshness with nitrites which are also harmful.

7. Plastics

Plastics are known carcinogens but now they are everywhere in our lives. What can you do? Here are some ideas – Avoid storing water in plastic bottles or drinking bottled water. Avoid using microwaves or heating foods in plastic. Avoid having hot drinks in disposable plastic or thermocol cups. In fact avoid plastics where ever possible.

8. Fish

The sea is full of plastic waste which is broken down into microns and swallowed by fish. Therefore these days fish too are full of plastic. But then so are the animals in our food chain because they are fed fishmeal!

9. Tap water

In most urban areas it is chlorinated. Unfortunately chlorine is a carcinogen! The answer – an RO filter to get rid of that chlorine in your tap water.

10. Hormones

Common cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, are hormone dependant cancers. Hormones are found in dairy and animal products as well as in medicines – such as the oral contraceptive or in hormone replacement therapy. They are also used in treating infertility and in IVF. Avoid animal products and other sources of hormones to avoid upsetting the hormonal balance of the body and to prevent these cancers.

11. EMF

No one knows for sure, but electromagnetic frequencies are suspected by some. Why not minimise the use of all those gadgets to the extent possible?

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight loss program and also conducts Health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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