Foods to add to your anti-cancer arsenal

antiWe are bombarded with toxins in the world today.  From air pollution, to toxic body products, pharmaceuticals, over the counter drugs, processed foods, household toxins on furniture and in building materials and even herbicides, fungicides and pesticides on our food, and the list goes on and on and on.  Our poor bodies are in a constant state of trying to detoxify and eliminate all of the toxic overload that is impossible to avoid.  But there are steps you can take to help your precious body keep the toxic load at a minimum.

Let’s talk food and “anti-cancer” diets.

Most of us consume three square meals a day with the odd snack in between.  We are constantly putting things into our body in order to nourish, energize and hydrate.  So I think that what we put in our bodies all day everyday is of utmost importance to promoting good health and protecting us from cancer and other diseases of our modern times.

You should adopt the practice of “only putting health promoting foods into your body”.  Like a car, you must put clean fuel into the engine to keep it running smoothly.   The “anti-cancer diet” is your best strategy to keeping your body running healthy and strong.

The Cancer Society recommends that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and to eat the right amount of food to maintain a healthy weight.  Researchers are finding that there are certain foods that are useful in protecting you from cancer.  In my opinion, those would be the foods I would consume on a regular basis.

1.  Garlic:  Studies show that those who eat more garlic are less likely to develop certain kinds of cancer, namely digestive system cancers of the stomach, esophagus and colon.  Garlic contains ingredients that kill and/or keep the bad cells from multiplying.  Like the “apple a day” rule, add a garlic clove a day to your anti-cancer arsenal.

2.  Tomatoes:  Eating tomatoes may help keep prostate cancer away.  Research shows that when men eat tomatoes cooked with olive oil they are eating a very high concentration of an antioxidant called lycopene shown to fight prostate cancer.  Tomatoes are good for all of us, not just men.

3.  Berries:  I  love berries and make sure I get one serving of colourful berries a day.  Berries are very high in antioxidants halting the creation of free radicals in the body that damage healthy cells.  The power of berries is such that they can help keep cancer from growing and/or spreading.  Add berries to your day in cereal, salads, dessert, smoothies etc.  Definitely a anti-cancer powerhouse.

4.  Cruciferous vegetables have been proven in many studies to protect the body against cancer.  Getting more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts etc. in your day to day diet is a must.

5.  Green Tea…I’m addicted to it.  I must consume 5 cups of green tea a day.  Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins which keep free radicals from damaging cells.  In lab studies catechins in tea can shrink tumors and reduce tumor cell growth.  Make sure you are drinking a very good quality organic green tea.  Loose leaf is best as tea bags quite often contain bleach.  Matcha Green Tea is outstanding in providing high quality catechins.

6.  Whole grains might help to lower your risk of colorectal cancer as they provide fiber to keep things moving and also carry with them antioxidants which are important in fighting the big C.  Brown rice instead of white rice, whole grain breads instead of fluffy white stuff, oatmeal for breakfast….there are many ways to get whole grains into your day.

7.  Turmeric:  Something I take every single day of my life.  Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and the curcumin is very powerful against cancer.  I take turmeric capsules daily and also have a liquid tincture of turmeric from India that I add to my green juice.  Cooking with turmeric is a good way to get it into your diet.  Make sure you buy a good quality organic turmeric product to get the best bang for your buck.

8.  Greens, greens and more greens:  Leafy greens such as spinach, arugala, green lettuces (not iceburg which is empty of anything good), kale, collards, chards are loaded with beta-carotene and lutein.  Make sure you are getting a large raw salad of leafy greens at least once a day.  Include these greens in your smoothies, as side dishes at dinner time, inside your sandwich etc.  I eat and drink so much green stuff you think I would be turning green….ha ha.

9.  Beans and legumes:  Pinto and red kidney beans are the best of the bunch, providing high levels of antioxidants and plenty of fiber.  Being vegan I eat beans pretty well every day as my source of protein.  Beans are so versatile and can be made into many outstanding meals.  Trust me on this one.  I’m a bean-aholic.

10.  Grapes:  In their raw form and in juice or wine, provide the antioxidant resveratrol, known to be useful in keeping cancer cells at bay.  If you are getting your resveratrol via wine….remember the rule….one glass a day is the norm.  Of course, the raw form is always the best way to get the most benefits.

My suggestion with all of the above foods is to include them daily.  My biggest suggestion is to BUY ORGANIC wherever possible.  Avoiding the herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and chemicals of processing are of utmost importance when following your anti-cancer diet.  Of course there are more good foods to include in your nutrition plan that will help keep your body disease free and strong.  Just remember one very important rule of thumb….”DO NOT PUT ANYTHING INTO YOUR BODY THAT ISN’T HEALTH PROMOTING”.

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