Did you know that we all have cancer growing inside our bodies? It’s true! Every single one of us has microscopic tumors that are typically harmless unless given the proper conditions to grow and spread. Our lifestyle plays a huge role in how these cancers effect, or don’t effect, our well-being. That’s why today we’re sharing 8 foods that fight cancer and increase your overall quality of life.
Our bodies have built-in defense systems designed to prevent and even reverse disease. Among these is a system known as Angiogenesis.
There are over 60,000 miles of blood vessels coursing through our bodies. In fact, if we were to line up all out blood vessels in a row, they’d stretch around the entire world nearly 3 times over! These blood vessels are responsible for bringing oxygen and nutrients to our cells and organs and angiogenesis is the process in which these blood vessels are developed and maintained.
These blood vessels are our lifeline and as long as our angiogenesis system operates correctly, blood vessels will grow in the right place, at the right time (not too many, and not to few, but just the right amount).
Our angiogenesis system is constantly sensing when and where more vessels are needed or even when blood vessels should be pruned back to keep our organs healthy. In other words, this powerful defense system naturally keeps microscopic cancers small by starving them of the blood supply and nutrients they need to grow.
Thus, by optimizing our angiogenesis system we can prevent cancer from becoming a disease regardless of our family history.
Using Food To Fight Cancer
You guessed it, our strongest (and most cost-effective) weapon to keep these tumors at bay can be found in great abundance right at your local grocery store, farmers market, or even in your own garden! Scientists are learning more about how nutrition can effect not only angiogenesis, but all of the major natural defense systems in our bodies. There are over 100 foods that can be used to fight cancer growth, so we’ll just name a few of our favorites here.
People who eat just 1/5 cup of mixed seasonal berries per day are found to have a 22% reduced risk of developing lung cancer.
Tip: Blueberries in particular are known to activates multiple natural health defense systems in the body. Eating just one cup per week is proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 31%.
Remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Apples have been found to contain a number of antiangiogenic polyphenols. In fact, eating 1-2 apples per day (specifically granny smith or red delicious) is associated with a reduction in the risk of bladder cancer by 10%, colon cancer by 20%, and lung cancer by 18%.
Stone fruits are those with sweet juicy flesh and a pit in the center. Think; plums, apricots, cherries, and peaches. Stone fruits pack a powerful mix of angiogenic, regenetive and even DNA protective bioactives. Consuming 2 stone-fruits per day has been associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer by 66% and lung cancer by 18%.
Tip: Plums are known to contain 3 times the cancer-fighting polyphenols in comparison to peaches and apricots contain the lutein cartenoid which prevents formation of the brain damaging fibrils linked to abnormal angiogenesis found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Contrary to popular belief phytoestrogens in soy act as antiestrogens which interfere with the ability of estrogen to fuel certain cancers. Not only is soy an excellent source of protein for plant-based eaters, but human evidence shows that including soy foods in our diet reduces our risk of breast cancer. As a general rule of thumb you’ll want to avoid highly processed soy options and add more traditional soy foods to your routine such as soybeans, soymilk or tofu.
Broccoli contains potent antiangiogenic bioactive such as brasilin and sulforaphanes. Consuming just 1-2 cups per week is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer by 59%, ovarian cancer by 33%, lung cancer by 28%, melanoma by 28%, and breast cancer by 17%.
Researchers have found that the higher the intake of marine Omega-3, the greater the benefit. The Singapore Chinese Health Study, involving over 35 thousand women, found that by eating 3 ounces of fish or shellfish per day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 26%.
Who would have thought fighting cancer could taste so good! As many of us are becoming aware, modern research has revealed many benefits of cocoa consumption, one of which is it’s antioangiogenic effects. Be careful not to go all Willy Wonka and submerge yourself into a river of chocolate thinking you’re doing something good for yourself. It’s important to choose the cleanest, purest sources for your cocoa to provide these benefits but as a general rule of thumb, always choose dark chocolate if given the option.
Wine lovers rejoice! Red wine (in moderation) is known to improve heart health and also fight cancer. The most potent red wines in this respect would be Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
So next time the opportunity arises, drink responsibly, and choose red.
As we mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of foods that fight cancer. These are just a few of our favorites.
Isn’t it amazing to know that we can prevent cancer from growing in our bodies, just by practicing conscious consumption? It’s as the saying goes, “what you put in, you get out”. Just as what we feed our minds with shapes our thoughts and actions, how we feed our bodies determines how our body performs for us.
We hope this information has been both enlightening and inspiring for you.