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Top 10 Cancer Fighting Foods

Did I you know that:

  • More than 10M people world-wide will be diagnosed with cancer this year

  • More than 4 out of 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year

  • Cancer is the most feared disease in the world today

  • Scientists have reported that 90-95 of cancers are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors and not genetics as previously thought.

Most people have either experienced cancer first hand or have had a family member or friend who has experienced the ordeal. For me, it has touched my family and I lost someone who was very near and dear to me - my aunt. Losing her is one of the reasons I started on this journey to educate others about taking care of their health.

According to the Food Revolution Network, here are the top 10 foods to help fight cancer. Let's be clear that no one Food alone can fight cancer, it is a combination of foods consumed over time along with lifestyle modifications.

1. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are believe to protect against breast and other hormone-related cancers because they inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which produces estrogen. Mushrooms also protects against other types of cancer; they contain certain lectins that recognize cancer cells and have been found to prevent these cells from growing and dividing.

According to research conducted by scientist at the University of Western Australia in Perth, women who ate at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64% less likely to develop breast cancer. However, dried mushrooms was less protective.

There are several types of mushrooms such as button mushrooms, white, crimini, shitake, oyster, portabella, maitake, turkey tail, and reishi mushrooms.

2. Garlic

Scientist have found that garlic has been the most effective in decreasing colon cancer. Women who ate at least a serving of garlic per week had a 35% reduction in colon cancer rates, versus women who ate it less than once a month. Women with the highest amounts of garlic in their diets had a 50% lower risk of certain colon cancers than women who ate the least.

3. Berries

Not only are berries beautiful and tasty, they are a top cancer fighter. For the most part, berries contain ellagic acid and other antioxidants, which has been found to inhibit growth of tumors. Ellagic acts as an antioxidant and helps the body disable certain carcinogens, and helps to slow cancer cells from multiplying. Berries are also high in vitamin C and fiber, which also aids in the prevention of cancer.

4. Tumeric

Tumeric is a spice in curry and contains a polyphenol called curcumin that has been linked to decreasing cancer risk by killing cancer cells and prevent them from growing. Other benefits of curcumin include helping to reduce unhealthy levels of inflammation, protect against heavy metal toxicity, lower heart disease risk, and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The recommendation is to consume about a teaspoon of turmeric powder daily, and if that too much for you, you may want to consider taking a curcumin supplement.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family and include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, turnips and collards. Researchers have found that components in cruciferous vegetables can protect your body from free radicals that can damage your cells’ DNA, help to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals, help slow the growth of tumors, and encourage cancer cells to die. According to studies, increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been linked with a decrease in rates of breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

6. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

The dark green leafy vegetables include collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, some lettuce (romaine, green leaf, arugula and butter head), bok choy, and mustard greens. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants) that can block early cancer development. Spanish researchers conducted a study in which adults who consumed at least one portion of leafy greens per day were half as likely to develop lung cancer compared to people who eat them less than five times per week. The carotenoids that give leafy greens their dark green pigment (and that make carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash orange and yellow) are also linked to a reduction in rates of breast cancer, skin cancer, stomach cancer.

7. Legumes

Legumes include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans. Legumes are high in fiber and are a great source of phytochemicals (chemical compounds with disease fighting properties) that help to protect your body against cancer.

According to an 8-year study in Uruguay involving more than 3,539 cancer cases and 2,032 hospital controls, scientists found that the highest rates of bean and lentil consumption were associated with a 25% reduction in overall cancer rates. A study of more than 58,000 men in the Netherlands found that those who consumed the most legumes had a risk of prostate cancer that was 29% lower than those with the lower consumption.

8. Red Grapes

Red grapes contain resveratrol, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body that is often a precursor to cancer.

Over the last several years, many studies have found that resveratrol may be able to stop the re-growth of cancer stem cells. In one Finnish study, 2,468 businessmen and executives were tracked over the course of 29 years; red wine drinkers in the study were found to have a 34 percent lower mortality rate compared with beer or vodka drinkers.

9. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the most popular nuts in the world today and contain many beneficial nutrients that can help fight cancer and boost overall health. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acid and ellagic acid, which have strong anti-inflammatory and cancer-protective effects.

It is the nut that is most studied for cancer prevention. According to researchers at the University of California at Davis, walnut consumption has beneficial effects on multiple genes related to the control of tumor growth and metabolism. Multiple studies have found that walnuts appear to be particularly protective against breast and prostate cancers.

10. Celery

Celery does not get the nutritional credit it deserves. Celery contains two anti-cancer compounds, apigenin and luteolin, which act as antioxidants and fight free radicals in the body. Additionally, celery helps to calm your nervous system, aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure.

A study published in the BioMed Central Gastroenterology journal discovered that luteolin is able to block the signal pathways, which are necessary for the growth of colorectal cancer cells. And in a 2013 in vitro study, apigenin, was found to kill up to 86% of cancer cells in the lungs. Other studies have found celery to be potentially extremely effective at killing ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, breast, liver, and lung cancer cells. According to research from China, consuming two medium stalks of celery 2 to 3 times a week could reduce the risk of getting lung cancer by 60%.

Source: The Food Revolution Network article, Top 10 Cancer Fighting Super Foods, by John and Ocean Robbins

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