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By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Rates of cancer in our country have been trending upward at an alarming rate. In the 1900s, one in 20 developed cancer, nowadays, it’s one in three! The cancer industry spends most of its time creating new guidelines for treating cancer, rather than preventing it. And when we look at how much money is brought in through chemotherapy drugs, radiotherapy, surgeries, and all other aspects of typical cancer diagnostics and treatments, it’s clear that we have to take prevention into our own hands.
Everyone creates cancerous cells in their bodies, however, in healthy bodies with strong immune systems, they mutated cells are quickly disposed of. There are many health aspects to consider in cancer prevention, in this article we are going to focus on the top cancer-fighting foods.
Foods such as berries, lemons, and tomatoes are more than just pretty to look at, they are antioxidant powerhouses!
Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries all have a high ORAC score (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) and are rich in gallic acid (which is antiviral and antifungal). Superfood berries such as goji and Camu Camu berries also boost your immune system.
Have you ever heard that eating carrots boosts your eyesight? Well, you have more options than just carrots, and boost more than just your eyesight! Eating the rainbow actually helps your body deal with harmful blue light, which prevents eye-related disorders as well and protects your cells.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale, collard greens, arugula, and spinach are all rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. They are antiviral and antifungal, and the chlorophyll that gives these veggies their green color purifies the blood, eliminates toxins, and rebuilds new blood cells.
Many conventional oils actually destroy cell membranes and lead to diseased cells. Opt instead for olive oil, coconut oil, or even grass-fed butter! The phenols present in these oils will boost your immune system and contain anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Powerful mushrooms have been used for centuries to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Reishi, Cordyceps, and maitake are some of the most powerful mushrooms for a wide range of health benefits. They can be consumed whole or taken in capsule and tincture form.
Over 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, so a healthy microbiome is crucial for a healthy you. Eating probiotics, even taking them in capsule form, has been suggested to have the ability to stop tumor growth! Probiotics can be found in foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and raw milk kefir and yogurt.
If you aren’t getting enough probiotics in your diet, check out our probiotic supplement!
Herbs and Spices
Ginger, turmeric (used alongside black pepper to ensure proper absorption), ginseng, oregano, raw garlic, thyme, cayenne, parsley… the list goes on and on! Herbs and spices are great immune boosters that contain a wide variety of micronutrients and antioxidants. Several of these are not only immune-boosting but also stimulate your natural detoxification processes and are anti-inflammatory!
- Ginseng is widely studied for its role in protecting the body against a variety of serious diseases and disorders, including cancer.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant with many benefits, including its ability to defend against cancer and infection. Pharmaceutical companies try to imitate the abilities of turmeric in the creation of drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. An alternative to eating turmeric is taking Curcumin Supreme, which contains three different bioactive forms of curcuminoids from the spice turmeric.
- Oregano is an estrogen-removing herb, which makes it particularly powerful in preventing prostate, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
- Ginger boosts the body’s glutathione levels and is also anti-parasitic.
More green vegetables that are rich in vitamin C include brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Glutathione, known as the master antioxidant, is present in these veggies, along with other powerful antioxidants called sulforaphane and indoles, which are responsible for the stimulation of detox enzymes which protect the structure of DNA.
Nuts and Seeds
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds are all full of healthy fatty acids. You can take your health-game to the next level by finding these nuts and seeds sprouted (or by doing it yourself!).
Dark chocolate, when 70% cacao or above, contains magnesium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effects are probably related to its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which in turn helps prevent the growth of tumors.
Sprouts, particularly broccoli and kale sprouts, contain the same compounds as the whole vegetables, but in up to 100x concentrated forms! These nutrients decrease the body’s carcinogenic load by stimulating detoxification processed.
Make your meals count! Food can be more than just tasty, it can be medicine. The simple addition of a side of green vegetables, seasoning your meal with fresh herbs and spices, garnishing your plate with sprouts, or indulging in dark chocolate or raw yogurt topped with berries for dessert can all contribute to your health and longevity in the long-term.
Stay tuned for our upcoming article in this series, featuring supplements and lifestyle changes for cancer-prevention.