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Power foods that prevent cancer - you donít have to live in fear of the ĎBIG Cí

By Staff Report -   Feb 01, 2007

With a clear link between diet and cancer, it is more important than ever to follow a diet low in saturated fat, moderate in mono-unsaturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables.

Such a diet supplies protective compounds that prevent cancerous changes from happening in our bodies, and they help eliminate harmful substances.

1. Herbs and spices. Before refrigeration was invented, spices and herbs, in addition to salt and smoke, were used to preserve meat.

Today, we know that ginger, turmeric, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cloves and other flavoring herbs have strong antioxidative activity and influence enzyme activity.

These features also help in preventing cancerous changes, and they prevent cancerous cells from growing.

2. Broccoli. While being cooked, broccoli releases a strong, familiar odor, which comes from the chemical sulforaphane.

This compound has been identified as a cancer-preventive agent in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Sulforaphane can detoxify cancer-causing chemicals and reduce cancer risk.

Broccoli also can be eaten raw, in which case you can get the beneficial chemicals with less odor. Sulforaphane also can be found in sprouts and teas.

3. Mushrooms. Exotic mushrooms may hold chemicals that have anti-tumor properties, and some have been used for centuries by Chinese medicine practitioners to treat various ailments. Such rare mushrooms as shiitake, enoke and oyster have chemical compounds that neutralize cancerous cells. More than 100 species of mushrooms are used by Chinese medicine practitioners.

4. Tomatoes. Lycopene in tomatoes has been known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked tomato products are particularly high in lycopene, the beneficial molecule.

Fortunately, the Western diet has plenty of cooked tomato products.

5. Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are full of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Flavonoids inhibit tumor cell growth and can activate important detoxifying enzymes. Polyphenols cause the bitter taste in citrus fruits and tanginess in many fruits and teas.

Citrus pulp, or the white part of the orange peel, is rich in compounds called glucarates.

These substances may be beneficial in preventing breast cancer, and they may offer some benefit to women who have severe problems with premenstrual syndrome.

6. Whole grains. Not simply a starch, whole grains are important foods that contain chemicals that stimulate detoxifying enzymes to inhibit tumor cell growth.

Because these chemicals are mainly in the outer bran layer or inner germ part of the grain, make sure you eat whole-grain products to get the benefit. There is a 200- to 300-fold loss of these compounds with refinement process.

6. Soy. Soybeans are remarkable in the amounts and kinds of compounds with anti-cancer activity.

Soybeans are part of a regular diet in the Orient, and consumption of soybeans is thought of as the reason for low incidence of breast, prostate, stomach, colon, rectum and lung cancer compared to Westerners who consume few soybeans.

8. Fish. Coldwater fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids exist mainly in seafoods, although some omega-3 fatty acids are also in soy oil and flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolized to short-lived compounds in the body that have remarkably profound activities.

They can relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammatory reactions. They can regulate heart beat and aid in digestion.

Questions? Comments? Write editor@heraldguide.com

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