Top Cancer-Fighting Foods
Mounting evidence shows that the foods we eat weigh heavily in the war against cancer.
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.
Armed with ginger, ongoing research is taking aim against the most lethal of
gynecological cancers: ovarian cancer. "Most women [with ovarian cancer]
develop resistance to conventional chemotherapy drugs," Liu tells WebMD.
Because ginger may kill cancer cells in more than one way, researchers are
hopeful that patients would not develop resistance to it.
Because ginger's effects on cancer haven't been tested directly on human
subjects, researchers can't yet offer specific dietary recommendations. "We
don't know how it's metabolized," Liu says. But that needn't stop people from
adding ginger to their diet. "We know it's relatively nontoxic," Liu tells
How to Get It
Go beyond the obvious choices, like sipping ginger ale and eating
gingerbread cookies. Countless soups, sumptuous marinades, and zesty sauces
call for ginger.