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Specific Foods That May Aid In Treating Cancer

Posted by on Thursday, December 17, 2009, 21:01
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Avocado. Avocados contain a cancer-fighting antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione has shown the ability to block many carcinogens that would otherwise turn normal cells cancerous.

Beans. Eating large amounts of dried, cooked beans may help to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer or dying of cancer of the pancreas. The fiber in beans offers protection against many cancers the protease inhibitors help to keep cellular DNA from being modified, the lignans slow the growth of tumors and the phytoestrogens help to “dilute” the cancer-causing effects of estrogen.

Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are filled with antioxidants, carotenoids, coumarins, flavonoids, limonoids, terpenes and other substances that fight cancer. Studies have shown that eating large amounts of citrus fruits is equated with less cancer. One study found that people eating a single citrus fruit every day had less than half the risk of developing cancer of the pancreas as did those eating but one citrus fruit a week.

Crucifers. Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other members of the crucifer family of vegetables contain powerful anticancer agents called the indoles, which help to prevent cancer of the colon and other cancers. Crucifers also contain beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber, all of which strengthen the immune system, plus sulfides to fight cancer directly.

Fish. Major studies have found that eating large amounts of fish protects against cancers of the breast, colon and other parts of the body. It is believed that the omega-3 fatty acids (found especially in cold-water fish such as salmon) slow the growth of tumor cells.

Garlic. This tasty spice contains ajoene, quercetin~ DAS (diallyl sulfide) and many other substances that help to control cancer. The DAS in the oil of garlic seems to disarm cancer-causing substances and slow the growth of tumors. Many studies have found that eating more garlic cuts the risk of many types of cancer. Laboratory studies have shown that substances in garlic can reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon and esophagus by three-quarters.

Grapes and strawberries. Although their anticancer properties have not been completely studied, we know that grapes and strawberries contain large amounts of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid helps to keep cells from mutating into dangerous forms, and “cleans up” cancer causing agent like cigarette smoke. Red grapes also contain the powerful antioxidant called quercetin.

Mango. The mango contains large amounts of the cancer fighting vitamin C and beta carotene, as well as vitamin E and fiber. Together, these four nutrients protect against cancers of the colon, rectum, pancreas, prostate, breast, cervix and stomach.

Mushrooms. Eating shiitake mushrooms can strengthen T-cells and macrophages that engage cancer cells and other antigens in “hand to hand” combat within the body. Mushrooms can also stimulate the body’s production of interferon, interleukin-1 and interleukin-2, all three of which help fight off cancer. The button mushroom, popular in the United States, has no known anticancer effects.

Nuts. Various nuts contain protease inhibitors. These substances interfere with the proteases that encourage cancer. In addition, Brazil nuts have good amounts of the cancer-fighting antioxidant selenium, while walnuts contain the antioxidant ellagic acid.

Onions. Onions contain quercetin, sulfur compounds and other substances that help the body to resist cancer. The National Cancer Institute has found that the risk of stomach cancer drops by 40 percent when one eats three ounces of onions or garlic a day.

Soy. Soybeans, as well as tofu, soy milk and other products made from soy, contain a variety of potential cancer fighters. Soy’s anticancer armament includes isoflavones, genistein, daidzen, protease inhibitors, phytic acid and saponins. Perhaps one of soy’s most effective cancer fighters, however, is the group know as “phytoestrogens.”  The phytoestrogens found in soy are estrogen-like substances that may reduce the risk of cancer by “diluting” the effect of estrogen (a natural hormone) in the body. It is believed that estrogen “locks” onto cancer cells and helps them to grow. The weaker phytoestrogens in soy also lock onto cancer cells, but cannot spur their growth. With the weaker phytoestrogens in the way, less estrogen will be able to“connect” with cancer cells.

Researchers have found that people eating large amounts of soy or soy products have less cancer, including less cancer of the breast and prostate. Because breast and prostate cancers are “hormone dependent,” (encouraged by the presence of estrogen or testosterone), the lowered incidence of these cancers in people who eat a lot of soy is probably due to the phytoestrogens.

Tea. Green tea contains catechins, polyphenols and other cancer substances. Drinking green tea has helped to prevent or slow the appearance of cancers of the skin, stomach and lungs in laboratory animals.

These are just a few of the many foods with anticancer properties. Other foods include apples, apricots, asparagus, barley, cantaloupes, carrots, celery, cherries, collard greens, currants, dandelion greens, figs, eggplant, guava, kale, kiwi fruit, lentils, oats, papaya, parsley, pasta, peppers, potatoes, whole grain rice, seaweed, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, watermelon and wheat.

Although diet alone is not a cure for cancer, eating the most healthful foods possible can help to strengthen the body’s natural defenses. If the cancer has not altered your appetite or ability to eat foods, the best diet would be based on fresh vegetables and fruits, plus plenty of whole grains, with only small amounts of organically grown lean meat, low fat poultry and dairy products.

treating cancer

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