The National Cancer Institute in the US estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related. But that probably won’t surprise you – as you know we are what we eat. Nature has provided all we need in abundance from the antioxidants that neutralize the damage caused by free radicals to the powerful phytochemicals that scientists are just beginning to explore. There isn’t a single element in a particular food that does all the work: The best thing to do is to eat a variety of good foods and to live your life in joyful balance.
Practices such as monthly detoxes; only drinking fresh filtered water; engaging in exercise that you enjoy and increasing your intake of fresh food will get you far in living a long and vital life. There are foods many, however, that we increase the strength of your body and it’s cells to fight abnormality and unwanted toxins and these are some of our favourites.
1. Chlorophyll Containing foods
Chlorophyll is a pigment found in dark green plants that is important for photosynthesis to take place; however, this pigment does more than just facilitate energy production in plants. According to Michael T. Simonich of the Linus Pauling Institute, chlorophyll actually helps fight cancer cell growth and acts as an antioxidant in the body.
Great sources of chlorophyll would be dark greens such as spinach, kale, green beans and seaweed. Furthermore, taking chlorophyll before or at meal-time greatly reduces the carcinogenic effects of food. Since it primarily acts as a blocking agent, chlorophyll is able to block the absorption of the carcinogen by forming a molecular complex too large to be assimilated in the small intestine. In other words, to get the full anti-cancer benefits, eating a salad comprised of spinach, kale, parsley (or a chlorella supplement) and other green-goodies before that well-done steak or processed pasta will help prevent the development of those cancer-causing compounds.
One of our favourite tricks to increase chlorophyll intake is through our tasty kale chips. Incidentally, kale has indoles, nitrogen compounds which may help stop the conversion of certain lesions to cancerous cells in estrogen-sensitive tissues. In addition, isothiocyanates, phytochemicals found in kale, are thought to suppress tumour growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets.
Nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may suppress the growth of cancers. Plus many nuts contain rich levels of omega-3 fatty acids which by virtue of their anti-inflammatory ability can help reduce the risk of cancerous tumours.
- Brazil nuts contains 80 micrograms of selenium, which is important for those with prostate cancer.
- Almonds are low in saturated fat and contain many other protective nutrients – calcium and magnesium – for strong bones, vitamin E and compounds called phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
- Cashew nuts are significant sources of iron (essential for red blood cell function and enzyme activity), magnesium (promotes energy release and bone growth), phosphorus (builds bones and teeth), zinc (essential to digestion and metabolism) and selenium (has important antioxidant properties, thus protecting the body from cancer).
3. Sea Vegetables
Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fibre, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones – important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer. Many sea vegetables also have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.
Tumeric (curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is believed to have medicinal properties because it inhibits production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), levels of which are abnormally high in certain inflammatory diseases and cancers, especially bowel and colon cancer.
Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.
Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compounds (dialyl sultides) that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer-causing substances. These substances also help block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumour development.
Our Real Thing Alli-Biotic Vegecaps capture the magic in garlic to be consumed in a wholefood supplement form.
Flax contains lignans, which may have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes. Flax is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to protect against colon cancer and heart disease.
Red grapes contain bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants that work as cancer preventives. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol, which inhibits the enzymes that can stimulate cancer-cell growth and suppress immune response. They also contain ellagic acid, a compound that blocks enzymes that are necessary for cancer cells–this appears to help slow the growth of tumours.
Our grapeseed oil can be drunk alone or is a smart choice for frying due to its high smoke point.
9. Fruit & Berries
Of all the fruits and vegetables studied, berries rank among the most likely to reduce cancer risk. Raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries in particular have shown very promising potential to help prevent cancer. An antioxidant called pterostilbene, found in high quantities in blueberries has cancer-fighting properties and cranberries contain a whole drugstore’s worth of cancer-fighting natural chemicals. So the next time your sweet tooth comes calling, skip the cookies and feast on juicy, delicious berries that can boost your health.
Pomegranates are chock full of ellagic acid — the latest phytonutrient to enter the scene (although it’s been quietly hanging out in berries, nuts, and pomegranates for millennia). In laboratory and animal studies, ellagic acid has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and deactivate cancer-causing compounds. To take advantage of these health properties, incorporate pomegranate seeds into smoothies or use them to top off a bowl of yoghurt or cereal. Incidentally, other foods rich in ellagic acid include raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, and grapes (red, black, purple).