Top 5 Foods To Combat Cancer
What you choose to put into your body can have a drastic effect on your long-term health and well-being. Just like certain foods and substances are known to perpetuate disease, others — which many people refer to as “superfoods” — may help to prevent illness. While no one food can protect you against cancer completely, some contain certain compounds that may significantly reduce your risk. Below are the top five superfoods that contain potent anticancer properties and the science that supports these claims.
You know what they say … “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While this may have been the adage your Mom used to get you to eat your fruits, there’s actually some truth to it.
Apples contain polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that help to prevent inflammation, infection and cardiovascular disease. There is even some research that suggests that polyphenols possess tumor-combating and anticancer properties.
If you’re not a huge broccoli fan, maybe this bit of information will change your mind. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which is another plant-based compound rich in cancer-fighting properties. According to research done on test-tube subjects, sulforaphane reduced the number and size of breast cancer cells in subjects by as much as 75%. A similar study found that by treating mice with compound reduced tumor volume by more than 50% and killed off prostate cancer.
Carrots are easy to like, as not only are they delicious (They’re like the candy of vegetables, if you discount sweet potatoes.) but also, they’re apparently really good for you. An analysis of five different studies concluded that carrot consumption reduced individuals’ risk for stomach cancer by 26%. Another study found that persons who ate more carrots throughout their lifetimes had an 18% reduced risk of prostate cancer. Yet another study revealed that smokers who at carrots at least one time a week were three times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn’t.
Next time you find yourself reaching for that last snickerdoodle or slice of cinnamon crumb cake, don’t stop yourself. Cinnamon has many well-known health benefits, including its ability to ease inflammation and reduce blood sugar levels. That’s not all, though. Some studies of test animals found that the spice didn’t just block the spread of cancer cells (though it did that, too), but also, that it could trigger the death of them. Yet another study found that cinnamon essential oils helped to suppress cancer cell growth in the head and neck and reduce tumor size. While I may not have to twist your arm too hard to convince you to do so, incorporate ½ to 1 tablespoon of cinnamon into your daily diet.
Turmeric is a spice that has recently gained attention for its health-promoting properties, the biggest of which is its active ingredient: Curcumin. Curcumin is an antioxidant that helps prevent inflammation and fight cancer. According to one study of 44 individuals with potentially-cancerous lesions in the colon, 30 days of consuming 4 grams of curcumin reduced the number of lesions by 40%. Another study found that it helped to kill of neck and head cancer cells, and yet another concluded that curcumin appeared to slow the growth of breast, lung and prostate cancers. Given these findings, try to integrate ½ to 3 teaspoons of turmeric into your diet daily.
The Bottom Line
As more research is being done, it’s becoming increasingly clear that diet plays a significant role in health outcomes. While there are dozens of foods you can eat that contain cancer-fighting properties, the top five are easy to incorporate into your diet but promise substantial benefits.