Nutrition is undoubtedly a very important part when we talk about cancer treatment. Eating adequate food before, during and after a treatment will help us feel better since our body is much stronger to cope with cancer.
Fortunately, we have a wide variety of foods that become true allies and protectors against cancer because of their anticancer properties.
The active compounds of some of them prevent the growth and proliferation of tumor cells, such as carrot vitamin A, tomato lycopene or strawberries, the indoles present in cabbages; Vitamin A from carrot or peach; citrus flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenols of grapes or eggplants or melon luteolin or spinach.
Let’s not forget that leading a healthy lifestyle – including diet – is crucial to not develop any of the many types of cancer that exist, as between 20% and 25% of malignant tumors could be avoided with an adequate diet.
Although it is surprising to us, taking into account the numbers of patients we are considering today, cancer is a disease that has been affecting human beings for centuries. Even tumors have been found in fossils of Egyptian mummies or references to them in writings of thousands of years like the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus.
Some of the foods of habitual consumption whose properties can protect us against cancer are, among others: extra virgin olive oil, tomato, broccoli, wheat, soy, turmeric, pomegranate, mushrooms, aloe Vera, garlic, green tea, lettuce, spinach, beans, nuts, oranges, and lemons.
To avoid: Avoid overeating meats (they have a lot of cholesterol) and foods with many: fats and calories, coffee, sweeteners, and preservatives.
The lycopene present in tomato fresh and its derivatives have demonstrated their ability to inhibit cell proliferation, while possessing an anti-carcinogenic effect and anti-atherogenic, speaking in intercellular communication and modulate immune mechanisms.
Pomegranate contains elements that inhibit the movement of cancer cells and reduce metastasis, preventing the spread of cancer, as revealed by a recent study conducted at the University of California.
According to a study by the University of Rutgers (USA), drinking coffee and even applying it directly to the skin is effective in preventing skin cancer, since caffeine inhibits a protein called ATR that, when it is neutralized, leads to the destruction of cells damaged by ultraviolet rays after excessive exposure to the sun.
Like eggs, milk has anti-cancer properties because of its high vitamin D content. In addition, it has been recently discovered that breast milk, in addition to strengthening the baby’s immune system, prevents aggressive childhood tumors thanks to two of the proteins that contain (TRAIL and “Hamlet”).
Plums and peaches
The latest research has revealed that plum and peach extracts help destroy breast cancer cells, even the most aggressive, without harming healthy cells, which opens the door to new chemotherapy treatments without side effects.
Scientists at the Marshall University School of Medicine in the United States showed that taking a handful of nuts a day reduces the risk of breast cancer because of its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols
The key is its high content of isothiocyanates. This substance, also present in cabbage and cauliflower, removes the protein from the defective p53 gene that causes abnormal cell growth.
According to research carried out by Long Island University (USA), one of the components of oregano, carvacrol, induces apoptosis or programmed cell death in tumor cells of the prostate. This superspection also has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antibiotic.
Lycopene, present in fresh tomato and its derivatives, has demonstrated its ability to inhibit cell proliferation, while having an anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic effect, by intervening in intercellular communication and modulating immune mechanisms.
According to a recent study, men who drink about four glasses of red wine a week reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer by 50 %. This effect is due to the antioxidant resveratrol, which reduces the levels of male hormones, such as testosterone, that stimulate tumor growth. However, let’s not forget that there is scientific evidence that states that drinking too much alcohol is associated with a higher risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. Alcohol can also increase the risk of breast cancer by damaging the DNA of cells.
Due to its high content of polyphenols and antioxidants, green tea (and also black tea) is a powerful anti-cancer drink. It prevents cancer cells from dividing and multiplying, which makes it a great ally to help fight this disease.
Wheat and Rye
According to the American Cancer Research Institute, cereals, such as wheat or rye, contain a number of ingredients that elude cancer. These foods have the ability to accelerate intestinal transit and help prevent cancer of the pancreas, stomach, colon, and breast.
This liquid gold has many benefits. In particular, its polyphenolic compounds help fight breast cancer in its most aggressive phases. In addition, thanks to its properties, which facilitate the transformation of food, prevent the absorption of fats and sugars harmful to the body.
The aloe vera plant has the ability to strengthen our immune system and prevent damage to the germ phases of pancreatic and lung cancer.
Take apples to prevent cancer. According to a study by researchers from the Mario Negri Institute in Milan (Italy), and published in the Annals of Oncology, regular consumption of apples significantly reduces the risk of suffering from various types of cancer, such as the esophagus, ovarian, colorectal or prostate. In addition, the phytochemicals of this fruit prevent breast cancer.
We have already talked about plums. Well, in general, red fruits, especially blueberriesprovide antioxidants and flavonoids that are responsible for cleaning all the radicals in the body, responsible for damaging cells.
A team of scientists from the Bernardo O’Higgins University (Chile) announced that, through the use of modified plant molecules, they could restore the ability to “commit suicide” to tumor cells, thus attacking the tumor “from within,” and could become A possible cure for cancer. Not surprisingly, chili and other types of spicy contain a compound called capsaicin, very effective in fighting bowel, colorectal and prostate cancer.
The flax seeds are noted for their high in omega3. They also contain compounds called lignans and dietary fiber that have multiple benefits for our health: they prevent constipation, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and osteoporosis. Flaxseed thus has three elements that can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer: alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid; lignans, which are phytoestrogens and antioxidants; and dietary fiber.
The garlic is another food that prevents and fights cancer due to its high content of antioxidants such as lysine and quercetin which also is widely used to prevent colds.
We can take it raw, cooking it as a condiment in our meals or rooms or even in salads and pasta. The benefit is the same.
The ginger is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals from our organism, has antitumor properties. In fact, it is even more effective than many cancer drugs. Among other things, ginger root reduces tumors in the prostate. This was confirmed by a study by Georgia State University, which found that ginger extract reduced the size of prostate tumors to 56% in a group of rodents.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard or lettuce are vegetables with a high range of carotenoids responsible for releasing the free radicals that damage our body. Spinach has a super anti-cancer power, as at least 13 different flavonoid compounds have been identified in spinach that functions as antioxidants or as anti-cancer agents.
The onions contain flavonoids, responsible for protecting the cells. This bulbous plant of the Allium genus is a great ally against cancer thanks to its sulfur-rich organic compounds. Prevents and inhibits the development of cancer.
Like oregano, parsley also has multiple benefits associated with cancer: it works as a disinflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and antispasmodic. The compound called apigenin is a flavonoid that shortens the life of cancer cells. It is also present in mint or celery.
Dairy foods have their pros and cons; although they are a good source of calcium, they can also be high in fat. When it comes to the effects of dairy products that put us at greater risk of breast cancer, a new study finds it to be conflicting. Thus, while cheese (not all types of cheese, but cheddar or the like) can increase the risk of breast cancer, yogurt can reduce it.
The salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and mackerel are great alliesagainst cancer. In general, these species of bluefish are rich in omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation of the body. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-cancer effect especially in colon, breast, malignant melanoma and leukemia cancer.
Soy products have been linked to a lower incidence of breast cancer. A study in the United Kingdom found that 11 grams of soy per day reduce relapses and the death rate among women with a diagnosis of breast cancer.
This orange spice frequently used in Indian cuisine has anti-inflammatory properties. The curcumin has a polyphenol called curcumin that destroys cancer cells and blocks an activity associated with gastrointestinal cancer protein.
The potatoes have a high content of beta-carotene and tocopherol, which stimulate the immune system. As if this were not enough, they are great allies of our body, since they eliminate the chemicals that cause cancer, improve memory and prevent cardiovascular disease.
A compound of tofu, genistein, has antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Taking about 10 milligrams of tofu a day will help reduce breast cancer recurrence by 25%.
The meat organic, including beef or chicken liver, are recommended in many diets that fight cancer because they are considered one of the most nutrient-dense planet and extremely high in vitamin B12 food. The consumption of organic meats will help cleanse the liver and improve the ability to eliminate toxins from the blood and digestive tract. These mineral-rich foods can help counteract the effects of alcohol, prescription medications, hormonal alterations, high triglyceride levels, low potassium content, obesity, and viral infections.
The brightly colored pigments found in plant foods are a sure sign that they are radiating phytochemicals, especially carotenoid antioxidants. This is exactly the reason why it is desirable that our dish be a kind of rainbow. Carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin) are derived from vitamin A found in many citrus fruits, as well as in berries, pumpkins, and other plant foods.
When it comes to carbohydrate-rich vegetables, studies show that complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, other tubers, and whole-grain foods, are linked to a reduced risk of various types of cancer. In contrast, the intake of refined grain and high glycemic load foods is associated with an increased risk of different types of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer.