Whether benign or malignant, the minute the doctor spells the cancer out to you, you almost begin to believe that you are about to die, and soon. Not all cancers are terminal and not all cancers can be cured. It depends upon the level and amount of metastasis that has occurred and the area or areas affected thereby. Medications, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, palliative therapy are all the terms that we commonly hear around cancer patients. But doctors have more to advice.
As the patient loses his/ her appetite along with the progress of the treatment, he/ she miss the benefits of several strong cancer fighting foods. These foods will work wonders if ingested in a proper dietary manner by healthy individuals and help keep cancers at bay. Let us have a look at these wonder foods and their benefits:
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Some other members of this family are cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Broccoli in particular contains the nutrient called sulphoraphane, which is essential in fighting cancer. Their main function is to boost the body’s protective enzymes. In addition, it will also aid in flushing out the cancer causing chemicals from the body. It also targets the cancer stem cells present in our body that are responsible for promoting the growth of tumours. Broccoli aids in preventing cancers of lung, prostate, breast, liver, stomach and bladder. You can have it in combination with different foods like sandwiches, omelettes, burgers or even used to dress and garnish a particular dish.
As we known well, carrots contain beta-carotene. This beta-carotene fights deadly cancers like prostate, stomach, bladder, breast, liver, throat and intestine. A substance called Falcarinol, present in raw carrots has shown to reduce the risk of cancers.
Studies have found that berry powder or half a cup of berries a day is good for our overall health. This is in particular reference to the black raspberries and their benefits. These berries in particular have certain phytochemical called anthocyanin, which provide two major benefits:
- They retard the growth of premalignant cells
- They retard the process of formation of new blood vessels that feed the malignant tumour
Berries benefit us by keeping us away from cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, colon and skin.
Mushrooms offer several benefits o the body. They not only fight cancer cells but also help build immunity. The powerful protein called actins, which is present in mushrooms is responsible for attacking cancer cells and inhibiting their further proliferation. Mushrooms contain powerful immunity building polysaccharides like Lentinan. Mushrooms are responsible for the production of beta-glucan and interferon in the human body. One of the other essential elements produced by mushrooms in the human body is thioproline.
Ever wondered how a juicy fruit like tomato can be of help in fighting cancer cells? Here is the answer. Tomatoes are red due to the presence of Lycopene, which is carotenoid. It is this Lycopene, which has tremendous potential of fighting cancer cells. This has been especially studied in the case of endometrial cancer, which claims about 8000 lives per year across the world. However, Lycopene has also been found extremely potent against malignant cells found in lung, prostate and stomach cancers. Lycopene grows in amount as we heat tomatoes. Hence, freshly pureed tomatoes are best with all sorts of snack items and crunchy little munching.
Grapes (green, red and purple) are extremely juicy and great to taste! In addition, they act against cancer cells and fight them. A chemical called resveratrol, which is a potent anti-oxidant and exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties is one used in fighting cancer cells. As with the Lycopene in tomatoes, resveratrol inhibits the growth of cancer cells and thus stall the progress of malignancy in the tumours thus caused. Resveratrol is present in grape skin. Grapes fight against tumours like those of the liver, stomach, breast and colon.
Doctors always advise eating half a serving of nuts and dry fruits consisting of almonds, walnuts and pistachios every day. Walnuts here contain phytosterols, which actively participate in curbing the instances of breast cancer. These phytosterols block the oestrogen receptor sites in the case of breast cancer thus cutting off the source for the growth of cancer cells there. Walnuts help in fighting breast and prostate cancers.
Sweet potatoes contain beta- carotene, which has potent anti-cancer properties. This beta-carotene protects the DNA inside the cell nucleus from carcinogens present outside the cell nucleus.
There is a connection between a food preservative nitrate and garlic that you consume. Nitrate found as common food preservative can lead to the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. The garlic present in our food can combat these carcinogens. They can stop the formation on these nitrosamines and thus act in a preventing rather than therapeutic manner in combating cancer. Garlic acts potently against cancers of the breast, colon, oesophagus and stomach. Garlic is said to provide better results in fighting against cancer cells by crushing the separated cloves of garlic and sprinkling them onto the soups or cooking them along with different vegetables.
Tea, our daily beverage contains antioxidants called catechins, which halt the growth of cancer cells and thus reduce the size of the tumours. Tea fights against cancers of the colon, liver, prostate, lung, skin, bladder, stomach and pancreas. Green tea is better than black tea or coffee as it has three times more catechins than those present in black tea.
A balanced diet, regular exercises and a sound mind can be an answer to almost all medical questions. These need to be ably supported by the right medication, right food and right frame of mind!