Holistic Approach to Wellness

Top Ten Cancer Fighting Foods

1 – Yellow and Green Vegetables, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts are the best known varieties of the ‘cruciferous’ vegetables and all have good records as cancer fighters because they’re rich in ‘phytochemicals’ such as sulforaphane. Spinach is a dark, leafy green vegetable high in antioxidants and rich in ‘carotenoids’ and folic acid, which are known to combat some cancers. Pumpkin and Carrots, which are high in ‘beta-carotene’, have been shown to have protective effects against stomach cancers.

2 – Tomatoes – Rich in antioxidants especially vitamin C and ‘lycopene’. Antioxidants protect the body from cell and tissue damage, which is caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Cooking tomatoes in foods such as spaghetti sauce can actually boost their ability to fight cancers.

3 – Oranges – Rich in vitamin C and ‘bioflavonoids’, oranges and their juice are thought to be able to improve the blood lipid (fats) profile, reduce oxidative stress, and improve blood levels of HDL cholesterol.

4 – Garlic – This pungent member of the onion family has been hailed for its therapeutic benefits, especially for cardiovascular conditions. Garlic has also been reported to lower blood cholesterol and confer protection against cancer development and progression, and to boost general immunity. Garlic is also a great anti fungal.

5 – Tea – Contains antioxidant ‘polyphenols’ called catechins. Green tea contains the highest levels of catechins, followed by oolong and black teas. Studies have shown catechins halt tumour cells and protect healthy cells from damage. Drinking three coffee-sized mugs of green tea a day might provide useful levels of polyphenols. Look for decaffeinated if you are sensitive.

6 – High Fiber Foods – Either soluble or insoluble, dietary fiber (roughage) is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, as most other nutrients are. Some components of dietary fibber are broken down and digested in the large intestine (colon). Foods high in fiber such as oatmeal, artichokes, and walnuts to name a few can help fight cancer.

7 – Peppers and Spices – Capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers, is thought to be able to kill cancer cells by damaging the cell membranes and limiting the amount of oxygen that reaches them. Many dried herbs we cook with, and some you may have in your garden, also contain very high concentrations of phytochemical antioxidants which have health benefits. Have fun using fresh herbs with your recipes.

8 – Beans – Rich in isoflavones, a type of phytochemical, beans are thought to provide protection against prostate cancer. Soybeans have also been shown to have breast cancer-fighting properties as well as protective effects against cardiovascular disease. Be careful and buy organic (non GMO) soybeans. Also, make sure you are not intolerant to soy.

9 – Olive Oil – One of the best and healthiest types of fat and high in phytochemical antioxidants and vitamin E. Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is thought to be helpful in prevention of breast and colon cancer.

10 – Berries – Including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and red and purple grapes have high amounts of ‘ellagic acid’, a plant nutrient with protective effects against oesophageal and colon cancer in animals. Berries are also rich in powerful antioxidant flavonoids. Ellagic acid alone does not account for the fruit’s ability to inhibit cancer, so a healthy diet should contain suitable quantities of fruit. Most health authorities say that the most effective diets for cancer prevention are those recommending eating these fruit and vegetables.

Other things to consider

Keep a healthy weight, don’t smoke, and stay active. Exercise not only fights cancer it is a great way to detox the body and release endorphins (feel good hormone). Exercise also helps anxiety and depression.