The 6 Cancer-Fighting Superfoods You Should Eat Every Day

SAVE 

The average American eats about 1,100 meals every year. Unfortunately, much of what they eat is drawn from the Standard American Diet (SAD): foods that are high in animal products, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates. This kind of diet is destructive and dangerous, increasing your risk of cancer, leading to weight gain, and contributing to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In short, this nutritionally deficient diet is — pardon the pun — a recipe for disaster.

But people don’t need to die from diseases brought on by poor eating habits. For this reason, I developed the nutrient-dense, plant-rich Nutritarian eating style, which harnesses the power of superior nutrition to prevent diseases such as cancer, and prevent and even reverse diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

One of the key components of the Nutritarian diet is what I call the immune system’s “Anti-Cancer Special Forces” division: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds, which you can remember using the acronym “G-BOMBS.”

The G-BOMBS are foods that have incredible anti-cancer properties, and they should make up a significant portion of your daily diet. Let’s take a look at each component in the G-BOMBS lineup and examine its benefits to your overall health.

Photo Credit: Stocksy

G: Greens

Raw, leafy greens are the most nutrient-dense of all foods. They contain substances that protect blood vessels, and are associated with reduced risk of diabetes. Several leafy greens and other green vegetables belong to thecruciferous family of veggies, which contain compounds with potent anti-cancer properties.

About half of the calories in green vegetables, including leafy greens, come from protein, and this plant protein is packaged with beneficial phytochemicals: folate, calcium, and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

B: Beans

Beans and other legumes are the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. They act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which promotes satiety and helps to prevent food cravings.

They are rich in soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels, as well as high levels of resistant starch, which are not broken down by digestive enzymes. Fiber and resistant starch not only reduce the total number of calories absorbed from beans but are also fermented by intestinal bacteria into fatty acids that help to prevent colon cancer.

O: Onions

Onions, along with leeks, garlic, chives, shallots, and scallions, make up the allium family of vegetables, which play a powerful role in fighting cancer, as well as being anti-diabetic and having beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Allium vegetables are known for their characteristic organosulfur compounds, which are released when onions are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Studies have found that increased consumption of allium vegetables isassociated with lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers because they contain compounds that detoxify carcinogens, halt cancer cell growth, and block angiogenesis.

M: Mushrooms

White, cremini, Portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer properties. Some are anti-inflammatory; others stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth, cause programmed cancer cell death, and inhibit angiogenesis.Mushrooms contain aromatase inhibitors, which can limit the production of estrogen and protect breast tissue from excess estrogen stimulation. There are other anti-cancer compounds in mushrooms that collectively account for their powerful effects against breast cancer.

Note that mushrooms should always be cooked before you eat them: they contain small amounts of a mild toxin called agaritine, which is greatly reduced in the cooking process.

B: Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are true super foods. Berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients, and their vibrant colors mean that they are full of antioxidants, including flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins.

These antioxidants provide cardio-protective and anti-cancer effects, and stimulate the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Berry consumption has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancers, and cognitive decline, and have been shown to improve both motor coordination and memory.

S: Seeds And Nuts

Seeds and nuts contain healthy fats and are rich in a spectrum of micronutrients including phytosterols, minerals, and antioxidants. Countless studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, and including nuts in the diet aids in weight maintenance and diabetes prevention.

Seeds are similar to nuts when it comes to healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, but seeds are also abundant in trace minerals and are higher in protein than nuts. Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fats, and flax, chia, and sesame seeds are rich in lignans, which have strong anti-cancer effects.

One study on flax that followed a group of women with breast cancer for 10 years found a 71 percent reduced risk of breast-cancer-related deaths in the group that consumed the most lignans. The healthy fats in seeds and nuts also aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables.

Advertisements

Sweet Potato Proteins vs. Cancer

on November 19th, 2015

Anti Cancer Potential of Sweet Potato Proteins

Sweet potatoes can be considered a superfood. They are one of the healthiest and cheapest vegetables on the planet. (And one day, perhaps, even off the planet, as NASA haschosen the sweet potato for space missions.) A study out of the University of Washington aimed to identify which vegetables provided the most nutrients per dollar. In my video,Anti-Cancer Potential of Sweet Potato Proteins, you can see a graph of affordability versus nutrition for different foods. The healthiest foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, may also be the cheapest, and the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar were obtained for sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are not just packed with nutrition but may also have special cancer-fighting properties. In 1931, a unique protein was discovered in sweet potatoes. It turns out that 80% of the protein in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with potential anticancer effects. These proteins were originally tested against leukemia and appeared to suppress the growth of leukemia cells in a petri dish.

But how would a sweet potato protein ever get into our bloodstream? As soon as most proteins hit our stomach, they start getting digested. To get around the digestion issue, researchers tried sweet potato protein against tongue cancer cells (sweet potato proteins certainly come in contact with our mouth!). Tongue cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, and most of the chemo drugs for tongue cancer have adverse effects; so, it is indispensable for us to find other therapeutic strategies. Sweet potato protein rapidly diminished viability of the cancer in vitro within a matter of days, leading the researchers to propose that sweet potatoes may be useful for human tongue cancer. But could they possibly help with other cancers as well?

Remarkably, this special class of proteins doesn’t just survive digestion, but may also be absorbed into the bloodstream intact (in at least two of the nine women with advanced cervical cancer researchers tried giving them to).

Most recently, sweet potato proteins were tried on colorectal cancer cells, one of our most common and deadly cancers. Normally, we just surgically remove the colon, but that only works in the early stages since there are often “micrometastases” outside the colon that can subsequently lead to cancer recurrence and death; so, we’ve been searching for anti-metastatic agents. Not only does sweet potato protein slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, but it may also decrease cancer cell migration and invasion.

Sweet potato consumption has also been associated with lower gallbladder cancer rates, but it has never been directly put to the test, but what’s the downside?

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite snacks. During the harsh Boston winters during my medical training, I used to put two freshly microwaved sweet potatoes in my coat pockets as natural hand-warmers. When they cooled down, my hand-warmers became instant healthy snacks!

More videos on getting the most nutrition for one’s dollar:

What other vegetables might contain cancer fighting properties? See #1 AntiCancer Vegetable.

Are sweet potatoes best steamed? Should we eat the skin? Find out in my video: Best Way to Cook Sweet Potatoes.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of DeathMore Than an Apple a DayFrom Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Image Credit: thebittenword.com / Flickr

Red Meats Linked to Cancer, Global Health Group Says

meat

WHO agency’s study deems processed meats like bacon as carcinogenic

Red and processed meats have the potential to cause cancer in humans, according to a report by a World Health Organization agency that is drawing ire from meat industry groups that argue the science is inadequate.

The determination, published by a panel of researchers for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in a medical journalMonday, classifies processed meat products like salami and bacon carcinogenic to humans, the strongest level of risk for cancer, and a category shared with tobacco smoke and diesel engine exhaust.

Fresh meats like steaks and roasts are considered probably cancer-causing, a level of risk shared with the widely used herbicide glyphosate.

Pomegranates have an anti-aging effect and are good for our neurons

ripe juicy pomegranates, food

Source: AFP RelaxnewsSource:
AFP Relaxnews

To enjoy the health benefits of pomegranates, it’s better to use the fresh fruit.— AFP pic

 

EATING pomegranates regularly could provide protection from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, according to an American study published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Pomegranates have been proven scientifically to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. They are also thought to have an anti-aging effect that can protect our neurons.

The latest study from the American Chemical Society has revealed that this Asian fruit with small translucent red seeds could play an important role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers highlighted the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective action of compounds called urolithins.

These protective agents are produced when ellagitannins (a type of polyphenol that is present in pomegranates) are metabolized by intestinal bacteria. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants which are found in a large number of fruit and vegetables.

The researchers observed in vitro that these urolithins lowered the levels of the ß-amyloid protein which is responsible for the formation of toxic clumps between neurons that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team of chemists sought to understand how the pomegranate compounds were able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain, and prevent the formation of these harmful proteins.

The team isolated and identified 21 compounds — most of which were polyphenols — from pomegranate extract. These polyphenols could not cross the blood-brain barrier, but some of their metabolites, the urolithins, were able to.

The beneficial role played by urolithins has been demonstrated in previous research, notably in the prevention of certain cancers (of the colon, breast and prostate) and in lowering cholesterol (triglyceride levels in the blood).

To enjoy the health benefits of the pomegranate, it’s better to use the fresh fruit.

You can extract the juice by gently squeezing the whole fruit, piercing a hole in the skin and inserting a straw. You can also press it like an orange or a lemon (the fruit pips contain the juice).

Pomegranate juice is commercially available, but it should be 100% fruit, without any added sugar