15 Foods To Help Protect Your Family From Cancer
By Greg Ashby
My experience in working with those with cancer – over 30 clients in the last 12 months – has shown me that incorporating these foods and herbs in your daily diet plays a big role in supporting the body’s efforts to heal and thrive.
Did you know that you can reduce your risk of cancer by using food from your fridge, spice shelf and a few herbs that aid in detoxification and reducing inflammation? It’s true!
While there are many healing foods available to us by Mother Nature, here are 15 of the top herbs, fruits, vegetables and nuts to benefit you and your family by protecting you from chronic inflammation and possibly even disease.
1. Sea Vegetables
Such as Arama, Kombu, Hijiki, Nori and Wakame (they sound fancy, but most can be found in the international food section of your local health foods market).
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are risk factors for the genesis of cancer. Sea vegetables contain a variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds and this nutrient combination has been shown to deliver some risk-lowering benefits in the case of colon cancer and other cancer types.
Turmeric (the active ingredient is curcumin) has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative benefits on blood vessel tissue lining by suppressing inflammation and/or the effects of oxidative stress (think of oxidative stress as cellular rusting). Studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the formation of blood vessels in tumors called angiogenesis. Turmeric, especially curcumin, helps to prevent changes on a molecular level. When cooking with turmeric, use coconut oil and black pepper to enhance the uptake and benefits of curcumin.
Curcumin has been shown to have significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity. New research shows that it can both shrink cancer tumors and inhibit blood supply growth to tumors. It is a powerful antioxidant with liver protective benefits.
Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in red grape skins, pomegranate, raw cacao, peanuts, raspberries and mulberries, which are known to have a numerous beneficial health effects. Resveratrol is a compound that contributes to the antioxidant potential of red grapes. Resveratrol has antioxidant and antimutagenic (anti-cancer) properties.
4. Green Tea
Benefits of green tea come through water-soluble polyphenols (called EGCG , or catechins) extracted from the leaves. Evidence shows that almost every organ system is benefited by these polyphenols. Green tea offers cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-obesity, anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, liver protective and blood vessel health benefits. Research has shown beneficial effects are seen in doses of 3 to 5 cups of strong green tea as well as from 500 to 1000 mg of EGCG extract in supplement form taken daily.
Wasabi has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as aid in detoxification and induction of death (apoptosis) of cancer cells.
Kimchi has shown to have anticarcinogenic properties as well as enhances immune function.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
Some common foods include: broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower.
These vegetables contain cancer-fighting components such as sulforaphane. One of the main targets of sulforaphane is cancer stem cells, where it’s been shown to slow the growth of tumors.
Most all berries have a power-punch phytonutrient called anthocyanins, which research shows actually slows down the growth of precancerous cells.
The power in tomatoes lies in a carotenoid called lycopene, which has been shown to stop endometrial cancer cell growth as well as potentially other cancers. The trick is to use fresh, cooked tomatoes. The heating increases the body’s uptake of lycopene.
Walnuts contain phytosterols that block estrogen receptor cells in breast tissues, slowing growth.
Garlic may lower the risk of colon cancer by blocking a carcinogen called nitrosamines, a chemical compound that has been shown to increase the risk colon cancer.
May lower colon cancer risk by raising butyrate, a fatty acid, which has a protective effect against the growth of cancer.
Astragalus is a Chinese herb and an immune system booster known to stimulate the body’s natural production of interferon. It also helps the immune system identify rogue cells. Studies show that work with this herb in both cancer and AIDS cases is encouraging. The MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas conducted research showing that taking astragalus when having radiotherapy doubled survival times.
14. Cat’s Claw
An adaptogen and powerful immune-stimulant, cat’s claw enhances the white cells clean up process (phagocytosis). It is an excellent companion to astragalus, curcumin and echinacea. Research indicates that it can reduce tumor size particularly with skin cancers. It also helps reduce the side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy.
15. Medicinal Mushrooms
Extracts of mushrooms have been known for centuries to contain cancer and disease preventing properties. Their particular area of focus is the immune system. They are anti-inflammatory, non-toxic and great for daily use.
*Please click on the links for each food to learn more.
The biggest part when it comes to your health and truly transforming is your attitude, your belief in your own worth, your faith and your ability to fight for your LIFE. Because you are SO worth it!
Integrative Health Coach and Functional Nutrition Consultant
at Ask Dr. Garland
Greg Ashby, CHHC, AADP lives in Ogden, Utah and is an Integrative Health Coach and Functional Nutrition Consultant. Greg has been in the Health and Wellness industry for over 20 years.
Because of his personal experience with Adrenal and Thyroid disorders, as well as Cancer, he’s committed to the areas of Autoimmunity and Cancer prevention and management when it comes to research and his work. He enjoys studying the Psychology of Eating and Behavioral Disorders.
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