Top Cancer-Fighting Foods
Mounting evidence shows that the foods we eat weigh heavily in the war against cancer.
Cruciferous Vegetables continued...
In lab experiments, substances released during either cutting or chewing
cruciferous vegetables produced a cancer-killing effect.
Recent studies on cruciferous vegetables show promising results against
prostate and colon cancers. In mice grafted with human prostate tumors and then
treated with one of these cancer-killing substances, tumors began to shrink to
half their size after 31 days. In another experiment, mice engineered to be a
model for an inherited colon polyp condition that is at high risk for
developing into colon cancer were fed the antioxidant called sulforaphane, also
released when chewing cruciferous vegetables. The mice developed about half as
many polyps as expected.
How to Get Them
Swallowing them whole won't do. The protective effect of cruciferous
vegetables seems to occur when they are cut or chewed. They're great in stir
fry, as side dishes, or tossed into salads raw. Experiment with flavors like
lemon or garlic. "Vegetables can be a fabulous-tasting centerpiece of cuisine,"
By sprinkling curcumin into your favorite dishes, you could be adding much
more than a little zest to your meal -- you could add years to your life.
How It Works
Experts credit curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects for its ability
to fight cancer. "Most diseases are caused by chronic inflammation that
persists over long periods of time," says Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, a biochemist
at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Recent studies have
shown curcumin to interfere with cell-signaling pathways, thereby suppressing
the transformation, proliferation, and invasion of cancerous
Curcumin's protective effects may extend to bladder and gastrointestinal
cancers. Some say they don't stop with these types of cancer. "Among all the
cancers we and others have examined, no cancer yet has been found which is not
affected by curcumin. This is expected, as inflammation is the mediator for
most cancer," Aggarwal tells WebMD.
How to Get It
Curcumin flavors lots of popular Indian dishes, as it is the main ingredient
in curry powder. It complements rice, chicken, vegetable, and lentils. Some
chefs sprinkle the bright, yellow powder into recipes for a burst of color.
This popular spice, long used to quell nausea, may soon be used to fight
How It Works
Working directly on cancer cells, researchers discovered ginger's ability to
kill cancer cells in two ways. In apoptosis, the cancer cells essentially
commit suicide without harming surrounding cells. In autophagy, "the cells are
tricked into digesting themselves," explains J. Rebecca Liu, assistant
professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor, who has been studying ginger's effects on ovarian
cancercells. While this preliminary evidence shows promise, ginger's
cancer-fighting effects must still be proven in animal and human trials.