The human body has specific enzymes and proteins within the immune system which can be activated to destroy cancer cells. A cancer cell that cannot be defeated by the immune system simply doesn’t exist. What we put in our bodies will either prevent or boost the growth of cancer.
The proteins in the body can be completely ineffective if the cells experience uncontrolled growth due to damage or mutations to DNA or if harmful toxins from food or chemical pollution disrupt the functioning of the immune system.
This is yet another reason why healthy eating is essential and why it needs to be practiced by each and everyone of us. For that reason, we will present you a list of 10 superfoods which can effectively suppress tumor growth.
10 FUNCTIONAL FOODS THAT INHIBIT TUMORS
A vast majority of the health benefits of this popular Indian spice are due to its active ingredient called Curcumin. A recent study that was conducted by a research team from Munich, Germany, has shown that it can inhibit the formation of metastasis.
Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), suggesting that its effect on endothelial function may be mediated by the suppression of inflammation (and/or oxidative stress) via down-regulation of TNF-alpha.
Probably the most comprehensive summary regarding turmeric was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke. His review, containing an analysis of more than 700 turmeric studies, has shown that this healing spice can treat several debilitating diseases more effectively than many pharmaceuticals. On top of that, turmeric won’t cause any of the side effects which are commonly associated with the use of pharmaceuticals.
- Sea Vegetables
Nori, wakame, kombu, hijiki, arame, and kelp are just some of the sea vegetables that are known for their cancer-fighting properties. They are full of many important minerals, including magnesium, iron, calcium, and bioavailable iodine.
Numerous studies in the last few years have found that the variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in these sea veggies significantly reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including colon cancer.
The researchers have also discovered that see vegetables have the ability to modify various aspects of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle in such a way that over long periods of time (tens of years), the total cumulative estrogen secretion that occurs during the follicular phase of the cycle gets reduced.
- Grapes and Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, a type of phenol, and a phytoalexin that contributes to the antioxidant potential of red grapes.
This phenolic compound is not only a powerful antioxidant and antimutagen, but it also reduces oxidant-caused cell death. Resveratrol can inhibit the production of nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-A) by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated Kuppfer cells. Kuppfer cells are macrophages fixed in place in the liver. Their excessive production of nitric oxide and TNF-A due to chronic infection can lead to a severe liver damage.
Most scientists agree that the most important property of Resveratrol is its ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (CoX-2). CoX-2 is linked to cancers and abnormal growths in the intestinal tract. Natural CoX-2 inhibitors like resveratrol can effectively reduce the occurrence of cancers and pre-cancerous growths. So, while pharmaceutical giants are trying to find complex agents that inhibit CoX-2, the ingredient is already present in red grapes. If consumed daily (or via organic grape juice), they will provide the best natural protection from tumors.
- Chlorella and Spirulina
South Korean scientists have discovered that carotenoids found in chlorella could be used to prevent the development of cancer in humans. They have found that the primary carotenoid from C. ellipsoidea is violaxanthin, while the major carotenoid from C. vulgaris is lutein. After a thorough examination of the activity of semi-purified extracts of these carotenoids against human cancer, the researchers found that they have the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner.
Chlorophyll can neutralize environmental toxins. It helps the blood carry oxygen to all cells and tissues. Cancer cannot develop in cells that are fully oxygenated. Chlorophyll plays a big role in chlorella’s ability to remove heavy metals from the body, and it is also a natural wound healer. There is a wealth of evidence which suggests that chlorophyll reduces the ability of carcinogens to bind with DNA in major organs. Its anti-mutagenic properties make it protective against toxins found is most pharmaceuticals.
Although spirulina is unable to remove heavy metals in the same way as chlorella, it still has strong immune-boosting properties. Spirulina is full of vitamins B, E, K, iron, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. In addition to this, it also contains amino acids that can improve brain function, increase the energy levels, and normalize blood sugar. According to a study that was published in China, selenium-infused spirulina can prevent the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Green Tea
Green tea has a number of health benefits due to the presence of plant flavonoids called catechins. Most researchers who conducted studies about green tea were especially interested in learning more about the effects of epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), the primary catechin in green tea. One good example is a South Korean study in which the researchers discovered that EGGG can block TNF by interfering with the ability of certain pro-inflammatory chemicals to bind to cells of smooth muscle tissue of the vascular system. The 2009 study conducted at the Chonbuk National University Medical School has shown that the specific mechanism of action of EGCG in terms of blocking TNF is the suppression of fractalkine, which is an inflammatory agent that plays a major role in the development of arteriosclerosis (also known as hardening of the arteries).
- Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, kale, arugula, turnips, cabbage, and collard green are just some of the cruciferous vegetables that are rich in nutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), vitamins C, E, and K, magnesium, iron, potassium, etc. Additionally, they also contain chemicals known as glucosinolates, which are known for their ability to break down into several biologically active compounds that have strong anticancer properties. Biologically active compounds such as nitriles, indoles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates in these veggies help prevent the development of cancer by protecting cells from DNA damage. To get the most of the health benefits of glucosinolates, you should eat turnip greens more often because this veggie has higher glucosinolate content when compared to the other veggies in the family of cruciferous veggies.
Many studies have found that regular consumption of tomatoes significantly reduces the risk of several types of cancer and heart diseases. Among all tomato components that are known for their healing properties, carotenoids and lycopene are the ones with most potent anti-cancer properties.
- Medicinal Mushrooms
You may find it hard to believe, but many animal and in vitro studies in the last few decades have shown that more than 50 mushroom species have strong antiviral and anti-cancer properties. Six components of these mushrooms have been investigated for their activity in human cancers: the lentinan component of shiitake, schizophyllan, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), maitake D-fraction and two components of Coriolus versicolor.
Coriolus versicolor is a common polypore mushroom which can be found in many places around the world. Versicolor means ‘of several colors’ and it is true that this mushroom can be found in many different colors. Coriolus versicolor is also recognized as a medical mushroom by the Chinese medicine.
Polysaccharide-K (PSK), is a protein-bound polysaccharide isolated from Trametes versicolor, which is used to boost the immune system in the treatment of cancer in Japan, China, and some European countries. In Japan, PSK is commonly used as an adjuvant for cancer therapy and is covered by government health insurance.
Some recent in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that PSK has cancer-fighting properties. Preliminary research suggests that the PSK might reduce mutagen-induced, radiation-induced, and spontaneously-induced development of experimental cancer cell preparations.
Several studies conducted in the last few decades have found a connection between the increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of various types of cancers (such as stomach, colon, and breast cancer). For example, in one Chinese study which involved more than 5000 men and women that were at high risk of developing stomach cancer, the researchers compared the effects of taking a combination of 200 mg synthetic allitridum (an extract of garlic that is used as a medicine in China for more than 3000 years) daily and 100 micrograms selenium every other day with taking a placebo (an inactive substance or treatment that looks the same as, and is given the same way as, an active drug or treatment being tested) for 5 years. The results of the study have shown that in the group that received allitridum and selenium, the risk for all tumors combined was reduced by 33% and the risk for stomach cancer was reduced by 52% in comparison with the group that received only the placebo.
Hemp oil encourages the pineal gland to produce more melatonin. Many studies have shown that this hormone has the ability to slow or stop the growth of several types of cancer cells. Some of the studies even suggest that melatonin may extend survival and improve the quality of life in patients who are suffering from certain types of untreatable cancers (examples: advanced lung cancer and melanoma).
Peer-reviewed and published research suggests that melatonin offers particularly strong protection against reproductive cancers. Cells throughout your body — even cancer cells — have melatonin receptors. So when melatonin makes its nightly rounds, cell division slows. When this hormone latches onto a breast cancer cell, it has been found to counteract estrogen’s tendency to stimulate cell growth.
In addition to this, hemp oil is also one of the best sources of essential fatty acids, and provides an excellent balance between omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids.