800.765.8775

Foods that Fight Cancer

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
06/30/11  8:40 PM PST
Foods that Fight Cancer

Research indicates a link between certain foods and cancer fighting effects.

Cruciferous Vegetables

The cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy and kale. According to AICR’s second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, non-starchy vegetables, like those listed above, probably protect against some types of cancers. This protective effect is strongest for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach. Research on cruciferous vegetables highlights several components that have been linked to lower cancer risk, including glucosinolates, crambene, indole-3-carbinol and, especially, isothiocyanates (which are derived from glucosinolates). Several laboratory studies have suggested that cruciferous vegetables help regulate a complex system of bodily enzymes that defend against cancer. Components of these vegetables have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in various cell, tissue and animal models, including tumors of the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, and cervix.

Garlic

Garlic belongs to the family of vegetables called Allium, which also includes onions, scallions, leeks and chives. According to AICR’s second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods belonging to the allium family of vegetables probably protect against stomach cancer. Moreover, the evidence in the report shows that garlic, in particular, probably decreases one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer. The protective effect of garlic was shown to have a dose response relationship. In other words, highest exposure to the food showed the greatest decrease in risk. For cancer protection, AICR experts suggest including garlic as part of a well-balanced predominantly plant-based diet. These allium vegetables contain many substances now being studied for their anti-cancer effects, including: allicin, allixin, allyl sulfides, quercetin and a large group of organosulfur compounds. In laboratory studies, components of garlic

have shown the ability to slow or stop the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue. Laboratory research has also shown that one garlic component, called diallyl disulfide, exerts potent preventive effects against cancers of the skin, colon and lung. Recently, this compound proved able to kill leukemia cells in the laboratory. A compound derived from garlic called ajoene has displayed similar activity. In animal studies, components in Allium vegetables have slowed the development of cancer in several stages and at various body sites: stomach, breast, esophagus, colon and lung.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, along with saponins and flavonoids. According to AICR’s second expert report, Food,Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. Researchers believe that carotenoids seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants – that is, scouring potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm. Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer. The Second Expert Report also noted probable evidence that foods containing folate decrease risk of pancreatic cancer and that foods containing dietary fiber probably reduce one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.

Source: www.aicr.org (American Institute for Cancer Research)

Comments

Post Comment