Foods that Fight Cancer

31 05 2009

A lot of money is going into researching certain foods to figure out what kind of action they have on different tumors. We know that in mice models, tomatoes reduce prostate tumor weight by 34%. In the same experiment, another set of mice were fed broccoli which reduced their prostate tumor weight by 42%. However, the combination diet of tomatoes and broccoli reduced tumor weight by 52%. The scientists conclude:

“The combination of tomato and broccoli was more effective at slowing tumor growth than either tomato or broccoli alone and supports the public health recommendations to increase the intake of a variety of plant components.”(1)

Why wait for research to understand why eating fresh fruits and vegetables from the color of the rainbow is actually good for you. You can start today and benefit from it now. The specific chemicals in fruits and vegetables that kill cancer and shrink tumors are called phytonutrients. The best way to take these powerful anti-tumor compounds is not by pill, but by actually eating a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.  Here’s the list:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Carotenoid Vegetables: carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, persimmons, apricots, beets, etc. Basically, any red, yellow or bright-green colored fruit or vegetable.
  • Umbelliferous Vegetables: includes carotenoid vegetables but also includes celery, parsnips, fennel, dill, anise, parsley, cilantro, etc.
  • Allium Vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, chives, scallions
  • Citrus Fruits: oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, limes, etc.
  • Berries: all berries including grapes
  • Olives
  • Whole Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Turmeric: (must be taken with pepper to increase absorption)
  • Ginger
  • Terpene Family of Herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, mint, etc.
  • Tomatoes: cooked
  • Soy: avoid if your cancer is aggravated by estrogen!
  • Mushrooms: especially maitake, stimulate Natural Killer cells
  • Seaweed
  • Selenium: foods rich in selenium; two brazil nuts give you more than a full RDA of selenium
  • Vitamin D: foods rich in Vitamin D
  • Pomegranate Juice
  • Red Wine
  • Dark Choloate: at least 70% cocoa
  • Green Tea

* list of food with anti-cancer and/or anti-angiogenesis properties compiled from two sources:

  1. Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD
  2. Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis, RD & Vesanto Melina, MS, RD

Cancer: the big picture

Every cancer is different, and this list is not intended to replace the advice or treatment from your doctor.  If you’re eating a wide range of these foods you are assisting your body’s healing process.  Keep in mind, some chemo treatments don’t work with some foods, like soy, so you should talk to your doctor about any major changes to your diet.  Also, eating right is just one half of the equation; the other half is getting your NK immune cells to wake up and attack the cancer: click here for more info.

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