Discover 14 cancer-fighting foods for optimal health
(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, grass-fed meats (if you like), and wild fish – from the purest regions of the world.
Compiling a list of cancer-fighting foods would require a list of most fruits, vegetables, proteins, and herbs. Many of these foods are designed to minimize inflammation – which fuels cancer cell growth. In fact, these healthier foods actually trigger cancer cell death, while other foods help the body remove toxins and protect against free radical damage.
The main point: Healthy organic foods can attack any illness on one level or another.
14 foods with cancer-protective benefits
Diet plays a critical role in maintaining optimum health. Organic foods, including colorful vegetables, fruits, beans, healthy fats, garlic, herbs, spices, and lean proteins, are particularly beneficial. While this is not a complete list, let’s take a look at a few plant foods with cancer-protective properties:
1. Beans: Beans offer many phytochemicals along with fiber. Phytochemicals, such as saponins, can 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. In addition, beans contain folate – a B vitamin that reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer.
2. Black seeds and black seed oil: Over 656 peer-reviewed studies on black cumin, black cumin seed, or black seed. This seed can stabilize and strengthen the immune system.
3. Carrots: Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that scientists believe protects cell membranes from toxin damage and slows 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 chemotherapy, 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 the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It 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 offers a wide range of antioxidants. (Just be sure to avoid those sugary, “seedless” varieties of grapes)
8. Green tea: Rich in polyphenols and catechins, particularly 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 the labels, as bottled juice usually contains very high amounts of sugar and is usually overly processed. Making your own juice, at home, would be best.
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 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.
Interestingly, an NIH/AARP study of more than 490,000 people found that individuals who ate more spinach were less likely to develop esophageal cancer. In addition, 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, ellagic acid has anti-cancer properties which supercharge the enzymes to slow the growth of tumors.
All berries contain powerful antioxidants, which naturally halt the body’s process that creates free radicals that damage your cells. In addition, berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries, are also powerful antioxidants and are considered 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 cancer cells from growing, including breast, lung, and endometrial. Other foods that contain lycopene include watermelon, pink grapefruit, and red bell peppers.
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 gives 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
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Hearth Disease
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