The dreaded C or cancer is affecting more and more people, not just our neighbors but those close to us as well. The disease brings fear into our lives and alarm to medical practitioners who are groping to understand how our lifestyle particularly our diet perpetuates the growth of cancer cells. Although we have not yet reached the point of fully curing it, research has made several breakthroughs in understanding cancer.
Cancer is often associated with the damage wrought by oxygen free radicals, which come about from naturally occurring processes in our body. Hence to fight cancer, you need antioxidants to fight the free radicals and stop cancer formation in its tracks. Antioxidants are natural substances found in many foods especially fruits and vegetables. Anti-cancerous foods and drinks are rich in antioxidants and other essential phytochemicals.
Make it a habit to consume this anti cancerous food and drinks to fight cancer and to lead a quality life:
- Cruciferous Vegetables
The cabbage family, commonly known as cruciferous vegetables, top the supers in the vegetable category. It is essential to eat 5-8 servings of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy. They contain disease-fighting substances or phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which stops free radicals from damaging your cells as well as slows down the growth of tumors and encourages cancer cells to die.
- Dark and Leafy Greens
Eating spinach, romaine lettuce, beets and red cabbage gives your body fiber, folate, and cancer-fighting carotenoids, which are antioxidants in plant pigments known to lower the risk of breast cancer. Dark colored veggies like beets and red cabbage also have beta-carotene and lutein, which limit the development of cancer cells especially colon and breast cancer cells.
- Globe Artichoke
This vegetable contains a high level of phytochemicals called salvestrols, which looks for cancer cells and then sends out chemical agents to destroy them without the risk of harming normal cells.
A staple to popular recipes, tomatoes have a high concentration of antioxidants called lycopene, which protects the DNA from the damage wrought by free radicals. Our bodies can absorb more from processed tomatoes like found in a can or pack of tomato sauce available in the market.
Legumes like beans, peas, lentils, pinto and red kidney beans have saponins, which are known to reduce the risk of cancer as well as boost immune system. Beans also have protease inhibitor that can be used to treat cancer, particularly during the metastasizing stage.
The Super Herbs and Spices
Garlic along with other herbs like onions, leeks, scallions, chives, basil, dandelion, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are immune-boosters. Eating one clove of garlic a day gives your body allicin, which fights cancer especially of the digestive organs like the stomach, esophagus, and colon.
This orange colored spice is often featured in Indian curry recipes. It contains curcumin, which attacks cancer cells as well as prevents and treats cancer particularly in reducing tumors.
Flaxseed is a good source of the “good fats” particularly when consumed fresh. The fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, can inhibit the development and growth of cancer
The Super Fruits
Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries have powerful antioxidants called ellagic acid, another cancer inhibitor.
It is the antioxidant resveratrol that makes grapes especially the skin a well documented anti-cancerous fruit.
The Super Grains
- Whole Grain
Whole grains like oatmeal, barley, and brown rice are rich in fiber and antioxidants.
The Super Drinks
- Green tea
Green tea has the antioxidant, catechins, which does not only prevent cancer but is known to shrink tumors.
- Red wine
Red wine comes from grapes rich in resveratrol. Drinking red wine in moderation lowers the risk of having prostate cancer.
It is believed that an ounce of prevention can go a long way. To be cancer-free, start paying attention and practicing care in your diet and nutrition.