(Health Secrets Newsletter) The right food choices can greatly increase the odds of beating cancer. Fortunately, nature offers a multitude of foods which have great cancer fighting and immune boosting properties. Here are some of the very best:
Cruciferous Vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale are among the most powerful cancer fighting foods to be found. Cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and contain important antioxidants such as beta carotene and the compound sulforaphane. Cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, phytochemicals which help break down potential carcinogens. They also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which helps prevent estrogen driven cancers. Other cruciferous vegetables are: arugula, bok choy, chard, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, rutabagas, turnips and watercress.Curcumin (turmeric). Curcumin, the major ingredient of the spice turmeric, has been a rising star against cancer in recent years. Numerous studies have indicated curcumin’s cancer fighting abilities as well as its abilities to help prevent cancer, including one study which found that curcumin helps prevent lung cancer for tobacco smokers.Mushrooms. There are a number of mushrooms known as “medicinal mushrooms” which can help the body fight cancer and build the immune system. These mushrooms contain a number of valuable cancer fighting and immune boosting compounds including polysaccharides such as lentinan, beta glucan, lectin and thioproline. These compounds attack cancerous cells, prevent them from multiplying, and boost immune activity – including stimulating the body’s natural production of interferon.Some of the very best cancer fighting and immune boosting mushrooms are: agaricus blazei murrill (ABM mushroom), coriolus versicolor (Asian turkey tail mushroom), shitake, reishi, maitake, cordyceps oglossoides and phellinus linteus.
Garlic. Garlic, as well as onions, leeks and chives, has immune-enhancing allium compounds that increase the immune cell activity, help break down cancer causing substances and block carcinogens from entering cells . Studies have linked garlic to lower risk of stomach and colon cancer. Diallyl sulfide, a compound found in garlic oil, has also been shown to render carcinogens in the liver inactive.
Flax. Flax contains lignans, compounds which block or suppress cancerous changes in cells. Flax is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against colon and other cancers. Notably, flax is part of the famous and highly successful Budwig Cancer Diet.
Hot Peppers. Hot peppers such as cayenne (chili peppers) and jalapenos contain capsaicin, a chemical which fights cancer and helps neutralize certain cancer-causing nitrosamines. Hot peppers are especially valuable for helping prevent stomach and prostate cancers.
Dark Leafy Vegetables. Spinach, turnip greens and other cancer fighting dark green leafy vegetables are rich in folic acid. Folic acid helps maintain the cell’s genetic code and regulate normal cell division.
Dark Seeded Grapes. Dark red grapes contain powerful bioflavonoid antioxidants that work as cancer preventives. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol and ellagic acid, a compound that slows the growth of tumors by blocking enzymes needed by cancer cells. Eat the entire grape, seeds and all.
Brown Seaweed. Brown seaweeds such as kombu contain the polysaccharide compound fucoidan. Fucoidan has been found to kill cancer tumors including lymphoma, different kinds of leukemia, stomach cancer and colon cancer. Notably, the people of Okinawa, who consume the highest per capita amount of kombu, have some of the highest life expectancies in Japan as well as the lowest cancer death rate.
Other powerful cancer fighting foods are:
* Green and black tea
* Fermented organic soy
* Purple corn
* Extra virgin olive oil
* Sweet potatoes
Sources for this article included: