BROCCOLI How it combats cancer: Research has revealed that a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective rity. The phytochemical sulforaphane raises the levels of certain cancer-fighting enzymes that defend the body from cigarette smoke, fumes, pesticides & other known carcinogens. Diet tips: Broccoli leaves actually contain more beta-carotene (i. e.
pre-Vitamin A) than the florets – use leaves in purees, soups, stir-fries. To preserve broccoli’s valuable nutrients, steam or microwave, being careful not to overcook. Avoid garnishing broccoli with fatty cheeses and creams instead, squeeze on some lemon juice or sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs. PAPAYA How it combats cancer: Its plentiful store of vitamin C works as an antioxidant and may also reduce absorption of cancer-causing nitrosamine’s from the soil or processed foods.
Papaya contains folacin (also known as folic acid), which has been shown to minimize cervical ysplasia and certain cancers. Diet tips: Choose papayas that are at least half yellow in the store – fully green ones were probably picked too soon and won’t ripen properly. You can serve papaya in fruit salad, add it to a garlic-and-spinach pasta mixture, or just eat it on its own, letting the juice dribble down your arm. GARLIC How it combats cancer: Garlic’s immune-enhancing allium compounds block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumor development. Di allyl sulfide, a component of garlic oil, has also been shown to render carcinogens in the liver inactive.
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Studies have linked garlic – as well as onions, leeks, and chives – to lower risk of stomach and colon cancer. Diet tips: Add raw garlic to salads, use it fresh in marinades and sauces; rub freshly cut garlic around the insides of salad bowls and over chicken and fish fillets. Avoid dried or powdered garlic, which is less concentrated – and less effective KALE How it combats cancer: Research has shown that in doles, nitrogen compounds found in kale and other leafy greens, 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 tumor growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets. Diet tips: A cruciferous vegetable, kale requires quick cooking – blanching or steaming – to preserve its nutrients. When you ” re done, save the nutrient-rich cooking liquid for soups or sauces.
You can also use whole large leaves to wrap fillings or to layer in lasagna. SWEET POTATO How it combats cancer: This nutrient-dense food contains many anticancer properties. It’s loaded with beta-carotene, which may protect DNA in the cell nucleus from cancer-causing chemicals outside the nuclear membrane. Diet tips: Go for freshness when picking potatoes – canned arie ties contain less beta-carotene and vitamins C and B. Naturally sweet and creamy, mashed sweet potatoes can be enhanced with a little apple juice. Or whip the cooked tubers with orange zest or orange juice and season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
GRAPEFRUIT How it combats cancer: Grapefruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits, contain mono terpenes, believed to help prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Some studies show that grapefruit can inhibit the proliferation of breast-cancer cells in vitro. It also contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid. Diet tips: Grapefruit can be sweetened with brown sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey; vanilla extract, fresh mint, and almonds also accent the fruit’s flavor. Grapefruit juice will give you the antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight cancer, but it’s missing the fiber that fresh, whole grapefruit offers.
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AVOCADO How it combats cancer: Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. Ounce for ounce, avocados also supply 60 percent more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Diet tips: Store avocados at room temperature until they soften. If you don’t eat the fruit immediately after cutting, sprinkle on some lemon or lime juice to keep it from darkening. Add chunks or slices to salads and sandwiches or spread mashed avocado on bread. SEAWEED How they combat cancer: Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B 12, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones – important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer.
Also, many sea vegetables have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine. Diet tips: Sea vegetables come fresh, dried, or powdered. Both the Japanese & the Irish regularly use them as flavorings for broths & soups, stir-fried over rice, or as a wrap for fish and other seafood. Varieties such as dulce, waka me, kombi, and hij iki even appear in pancakes, salads, puddings, and sandwiches.
TOFU How it combats cancer: Soy contains several types of phytoestrogens -weak, nonsteroidal estrogens that could help prevent both breast and prostate cancer by blocking and suppressing cancerous changes. Genistein, one type of phytoestrogens, also lowers breast-cancer risk by inhibiting the growth of epithelial cells & new blood vessels that tumors require to flourish. Diet tips: Tofu is made by coagulating the protein in soybeans – much the way cheese is produced. While bland on its own, tofu absorbs other flavors when cooked, making it perfect for stir-fries, dips, spreads, shakes, even cheesecake. It’s also a good high-protein substitute for meat, whole milk & mayonnaise.