14 cancer-fighting foods for optimal health

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healthy-food(NaturalHealth365) Research over the past decade has shown without a doubt, that what you eat has a profound effect on your overall cancer risk.  The simple truth is that an anti-cancer diet doesn’t look that different from the healthy foods you should be eating anyway. That means plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as grass fed meats (if you like) and wild fish – from the purest regions of the world.

To compile a list of cancer fighting foods would require a list of most fruits, vegetables, protein and herbs. Some foods will fight inflammation which fuels cancer growth. Many of these foods actually trigger cancer cell death, while other foods help the body to remove toxins and protect against free radical damage. The main point: Healthy organic foods can attack any illness on some level or another.

The best foods to start attacking cancer cell

Basically, the exact opposite of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Be sure to eat plenty of organic foods that include colorful vegetables, fruits, beans, healthy fats, garlic, herbs, spices and lean proteins. While this is not a complete list, let’s take a look at a few highlights:

1. Beans: Beans offer many phytochemicals along with fiber. Phytochemicals, such as saponins, have the ability to inhibit cancer cell reproduction, protease inhibitors slow the division of cancer cells, and phytic acid which also slows the progression of tumors are all components of beans. Beans contain folate – a B vitamin that reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer.

2. Black seeds (and its oil): Also known as black cumin, black cumin seed, or black seed – there are currently 656 peer reviewed studies on this amazing food. This seed has the ability to stabilize and strengthen the immune system. Dr. Hwyda Arafar M.D., PhD used black cumin in the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients with astounding results of 80% cell death.

3. Carrots: Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that scientists believe protects cell membranes from toxin damage and slow the growth of cancer cells. Plus, because carrots supply antioxidants, they can help battle HPV. Carrots may also prove to be beneficial in the treatment of leukemia.

4. Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables such as Bok Choy, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards and cauliflower contain sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinols (I3Cs). These are two potent cancer fighters. They help to detoxify the body and help precancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors.

In studies conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies were most protective against mouth, esophagus and stomach cancers. You may also consider eating broccoli sprouts, for an even greater nutritional boost.

5. Garlic: The same sulfur compounds that give garlic its strong odor can stop cancer causing substances from forming in your body, speed up DNA repair and kill cancer cells. Don’t forget to include other foods from the alliaceous group; onions, leeks, shallots and chives. The sulfur in this group of foods can trigger the death of prostate, colon, breast and lung cancer cells.

6. Ginger: Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can slow cancer growth. The spicy root is also helpful for relieving nausea, migraines, sore muscles and arthritis. The anti-inflammatory power of ginger kills ovarian cancer cells in a test tube faster than chemo, according to a study done at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

7. Grapes and resveratrol: Research shows that resveratrol offers numerous health benefits including, reducing inflammation, and preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It is also helps to limit the spread of cancer cells and triggers cancer cell death. If you are looking to increase your resveratrol intake consider consuming grapes, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranate each of which offer a wide range of antioxidants. (Just be sure to avoid those sugary, “seedless” varieties of grapes)

8. Green tea: Rich in polyphenols and catechins, in particular EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG is tough on cancer cells. This potent antioxidant helps detoxify the liver and retards cancer growth. Lab studies have found that catechins in green tea can shrink tumors and reduce tumor cell growth.

9. Pomegranate: This fruit offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Studies show this fruit can significantly inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. If buying juice, be sure to read labels as bottled juice usually contains very high amounts of sugar and are usually overly-processed to be worth buying.

10. Sea vegetables: Kelp, kombu, hijiki, nori and arame are potent mineral and vitamin rich foods that can easily be added to soups, salads, rice or noodle dishes. Sea vegetables offer a host of nutritional and healing benefits.

For example, kelp helps remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body. Kombu helps lower blood pressure and is abundant in iodine, carotenes, B, C, D and E vitamins and is also a high protein seaweed that also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, iron, and zinc.

In addition, hijiki boosts natural killer T-cells for disease protection. Nori is rich in all the carotenes, calcium, iron, iodine and phosphorous. Plus, arame is one of the richest sources of iodine. By the way, herbalists use arame to help reduce breast and uterine fibroids. Dried seaweeds can also be powdered to use in detox baths.

11. Spinach: This versatile green food contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids remove unstable molecules and free radicals from your body. They are also found in other dark green leafy vegetables.

Interesting to note, an NIH/AARP study of more than 490,000 people found that individuals who ate more spinach were less likely to develop esophageal cancer. Some studies suggest the carotenoids in spinach and other foods reduce the risk of ovarian, endometrial, lung, and colorectal cancer, too.

12. Strawberries: This berry is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and ellagic acid. Plus, the ellagic acid – in strawberries – has anti-cancer properties which supercharge the enzymes to slow the growth of tumors.

All berries contain powerful antioxidants, which means they naturally halt the process in the body that creates free radicals that damage your cells. Additional berries rich in flavonoids such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries are also powerful antioxidants and considered a protective food. Just be sure to buy chemical-free varieties – for obvious reasons.

13. Tomatoes: Lycopene is a highly concentrated antioxidant in tomatoes. Numerous studies suggest that a diet rich in lycopene is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

In lab tests, lycopene has stopped other types of cancer cells from growing including breast, lung and endometrial. Other foods that contain lycopene include watermelon, pink grapefruit and red bell peppers. And, while regular consumption of tomatoes and peppers are associated with lower risks of several cancers, especially prostate cancer, it has a downside, which is solanine. In other words, if you have any inflammation in your body, consuming foods with solanine is highly likely to worsen and aggravate the situation.

14. Turmeric: Curcumin is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in turmeric and has numerous health benefits. It has been studied extensively for its ability to kill numerous cancer lines. James A. Duke, an ethnobotanist published comprehensive summaries of 700 turmeric studies.

In no way is this the complete list of anti-cancer foods – but, hopefully, this short list give you some extra motivation to take better care of yourself by eating better.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

About the author: After sixteen years of struggling with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Elisha McFarland recovered her health through alternative and natural healing methods. It was this experience that encouraged her to pursue an education in natural health. She has the following designations: Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition, Certified Wholistic Rejuvenist, Diploma in Clinical Homeopathy, Doctor of Naturopathy, EFT-ADV, and Master Herbalist. You can visit her website at MyHealthMaven.com



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  • Gunthur P

    A reduction in abdominal fat promotes healthy glucose levels. This alone can help since high glucose levels are tied to the development of many diseases including this one.

    If you add all these suggested foods you will turn off your cravings for other less healthy foods and get rid of your belly fat at the sane time.

  • Jaret Wilson

    These mushrooms have unique polyacrylamides, and other compounds that modulate normal immunity by enhancing the activity of stem cells, T-cells and other immune factors.

  • Sidney R

    Along with all the above, research points to the role of exercise. There have been studies, which show the protective role of activity.

    It seems to promote systemic youthful cellular regeneration.

    The benefits you derive from not being a couch potato should not be overlooked.

  • Joanna

    Pomegranate is one of the most powerful antioxidants, and it is absorbed easily- tests show a 95% absorption rate.

  • Wendy Allen

    Grapes…made major glycation on my face. Sugar is easily to absorb. Eat sugar with protein/fat etc never alone.