Cancer– More than the disease, it has become a research topic for me. There is a lot more reading done by me on how to ‘live better with Cancer’. In the process, I came across many people who are living with Cancer and are pretty healthy, and active. I mean look at Kris Carr! Once you know her more, you can’t thank her enough for her books and blogs, and articles where she talked about her story, and how she is living WITH the disease, and doing everything she can, like a normal person. (Don’t trust me? Go to her Instagram!)
Her story inspired me to read more about how diet accelerates healing and contributes to our well-being. (as well as of Chris Wark who wrote Chris Beat Cancer). More and more research and I was amazed to know how a specific diet upgrades our body and vice versa. Current research has shown that certain elements in a particular food may significantly reduce the risk of Cancer is healthy individuals and slow its progress in those already suffering from the disease.
Nature is the best physician. She heals three-quarters of all diseases and never badmouths her colleagues ~ Louis Pasteur.
Preventing Cancer through diet is the equivalent of non-toxic chemotherapy because it makes use of the anti-cancer molecules present in food. These molecules fight cancer at the source before it can reach maturity and threaten the normal functioning of the organism. For example, fruits and vegetables contain appreciable quantities of compounds/molecules known as phytochemicals which are responsible for their color and organoleptic properties (properties affecting organs and senses)and show powerful anti-cancer activity.
While many articles that talk about what Cancer is, how Cancer cells work, and all the detailing because it makes my head go mad. I start imagining my body, and all the different reactions going inside. Lol. Therefore, let’s talk about ‘Healing’. And here is the list of the food which can do wonders. Yaay!!
- Cabbage Family: Members of the cabbage family are known as crucifers or cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain important amounts of many anti-cancer compounds that slow the development of cancer by preventing carcinogenic substances from causing damage to cells. (They contain an exceptionally high amount of Glucosinolates which release two classes of compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanate when chewed). The vegetables which are included in the Cabbage family are Brussels sprouts, Collard Green, Kale, Watercress, Turnip, White or Red Cabbage, Brocolli, Cauliflower, bok choy. Brocolli and Brussels sprouts are exceptional sources among all these and should be eaten regularly. Cruciferous vegetables should be hooked lightly and thoroughly chewed to get the best of them.
- Garlic and Onion: Garlic and Onion belong to the Allium family. What makes them special is that the odorless plants release a strong flavor and aroma. This characteristic is due to the presence of several sulfur-containing phytochemicals, molecules whose chemical structure includes an atom of sulfur. As soon as Garlic/onion is crushed, the compound Allicin is quickly converted into several compounds including ajoene, diallyl sulfide (DAS), and a host of others which have proved to show very strong anti-cancer activity in LAB. They are also known to flush foreign substances with carcinogenic potential out of the body. In fact compounds in garlic also attack tumor growth by directly attacking tumor cells and destroying them through apoptosis which in turn reduces the DNA damage.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has an honored place in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition. It is considered a food with cleansing and purifying properties and is used widely to treat ailments including digestive disorders, fever, infection, arthritis. In fact, Chinese medicine also uses turmeric to treat liver ailments, congestion, and bleeding. The curcuminoids are principle compounds present in turmeric. They are responsible for turmeric’s intense yellow color Curcumin possess complex pharmacological activity, including antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic, and antioxidant properties as well as very strong anti-cancer potential. The laboratory tests have shown the effect of curcumin on cancers including Leukemia cells, colon, breast, and ovary cancer. Other studies have suggested that curcumin prevents the growth of new blood vessels thus depriving tumors of their source of energy. It is important to note that a molecule contained in pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by a factor of 1,000, a property that can be exploited to maximize curcumin’s potential health benefits. The daily absorption of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, salad dressings, pasta is a great way to increase its intake besides adding it to curry. However, don’t forget to add pepper to it!
- Green Tea: Tea is a complex beverage, it contains hundreds of chemical compounds that give it its distinctive aroma, taste, and astringency. One class of compounds predominates, making up about one-third of the weight of the tea leaf: these are polyphenols knows as flavanols, most commonly known as catechins. Catechins are the heavyweights responsible for the anti-cancer effect of Green Tea. Green tea contains several catechins, the star among them, with the highest anti-cancer activity of all, is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate.
While the catechin content of green tea varies greatly depending on are of cultivation, harvest season, in general, Japanese Green Tea is better than Chinese Green Tea. (Here is the link on which Green tea is the best.)
- Berries: Of all the phytochemical compounds associated with berries, Ellagic acid is the most likely to interfere with the development of Cancer. This molecule is a polyphenol with a unique structure found mainly in Raspberries, Strawberries, and certain nuts like Hazelnuts and pecans. In numerous laboratory studies, researchers at Ohio State University have found that black raspberries inhibit the development of oral, esophageal and colon cancers in rats. Besides ellagic acid, berries also contain Anthocyanidins responsible for all the vivid colors found in many fruits and vegetables. High Anthocyanidins content is responsible for a strong antioxidant property available in berries. Blueberries and other berries may be eaten year-round. Defrost frozen berries and use them as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, and other desserts.
Besides this Omega-3 is also a wonderful add-in when you are eating to prevent or get rid of Cancer. I haven’t done my research on it and therefore couldn’t write much about it. However, I can assure that it is no less than all the above-mentioned superfood. My cancer diagnosis motivated me to renovate my own diet, and I have made sure to add all the above in my daily dose of nutrition. There has been enough research on how diet can help accelerate the healing but it makes me sad about how we take this factor not so seriously. The best healing can occur only if we complement the doctor’s treatment with a healthy and cancer-fighting diet.
When you have Cancer, there are many things you can’t control however, I can promise you that there still are things you CAN control. And it all starts with what you have on your plate.
Health and healing on your way..
Reference:- Foods that fight Cancer