(NaturalNews) Industrial chemicals, synthetic food additives, and ionizing radiation are just a few examples of the many noxious substances in the modern world that are linked to causing cancer. But did you know that you can actually help protect yourself against this deadly disease by regularly consuming anti-carcinogenic foods and nutrients that have been scientifically proven to thwart the growth and spread of cancer cells?
It's true. In addition to avoiding the various environmental and dietary factors linked to cancer, you can also proactively fight the onset of cancer in your own body by eating the right foods, and eating plenty of them. Here is a list of six powerful anti-carcinogens that you can begin incorporating right now into your everyday diet to help prevent or even treat cancer:
1)Mushrooms have long been utilized in ancient Chinese and herbal medicine protocols because they possess unique antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. And mushrooms continue to play an important role in health promotion and disease prevention today, as numerous scientific studies confirm that these favorable fungi play a critical role in triggering apoptosis, or the death of cancer cells.
A 2005 review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine explains how cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis), maitake (Grifola frondosa), reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), turkey tail (Tramates versicolor), and many other varieties of the more than 38,000 species of mushrooms in existence possess unique anti-cancer properties, as well as other medicinal benefits (http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/296/review44355.html). The shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushroom varieties are also powerful cancer fighters. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com)
2) Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols, green tea is an excellent anti-carcinogenic beverage that has been scientifically shown to target cancer cells and prevent them from developing and spreading. Specifically, green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant compound that inhibits an enzyme known as dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) that is often targeted by anti-cancer drugs. (http://www.bigelowtea.com)
Like mushrooms, green tea comes in a variety of types, including Japanese Matcha and Sencha, and Chinese Gunpowder and Dragonwell (http://www.teadiscussion.com/types/green-tea-types.php). Each variety contains a different composition of unique anti-cancer compounds, with the Chinese LongJing variety ranking among the highest for catechin content. Japanese Matcha and Sencha are also said to contain some of the highest levels of EGCG and other catechins among green tea varieties.
3)Turmeric, also known as curcumin, just so happens to be one of the most powerful anti-cancer spices available. A favorite in Asian and Indian cuisine, turmeric's active ingredient curcumin has been scientifically shown not only to protect the body against tumor development, but also to cure existing cancers. A 2008 study found that consuming the equivalent of a teaspoon a day of turmeric is enough to "keep cancer at bay." (http://www.prlog.org)
Dr. Merina Anthony, Ph.D., from India's University Centre explains that turmeric also inhibits the estrogen-mimicking effects of pesticide residues found on fruit, vegetables, conventional milk, water, and other foods. Prolonged exposure to pesticides, after all, is one of the more common causes of cancer in today's world.
4)Broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing antioxidant compounds that have been scientifically shown to deter cancer. Extensive research conducted at Oregon's Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) and elsewhere continues to show that cruciferous vegetables are loaded with unique, biologically-active compounds that work synergistically to eliminate carcinogens within the body before they get the chance to damage DNA. (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/cruciferous/)
The unique metabolic processes triggered by glucosinolates after they become hydrolyzed by myrosinase enzymes also prevent the development of certain hormone-sensitive cancers. According to LPI, the vast majority of 87 case-control studies published prior to 1996 reveal that intake of cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with cancer risk in general, and particularly with lung and digestive tract cancers.
5)Fresh garlic contains a powerful anti-cancer compound known as allicin that selectively targets malignant cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in New York found back in 2003 that injecting allicin into the bloodstream of cancer patients effectively fights cancer cells without causing negative side effects (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/5064.php), while other studies have shown that healthy individuals who simply eat garlic regularly have a greatly decreased risk of developing cancer.
Garlic is also rich in diallyl disulfide, another powerful organosulfur compound that suppresses cancer cells. After a 1995 study first revealed that diallyl disulfide effectively slows the growth of breast cancer cells, New Zealand researchers discovered several years later that the compound also spurs the production of enzymes in the gut that prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in the digestive tract and bowel. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/353507.stm)
6) We talk a lot around here about the many health benefits of vitamin D, but it cannot be stressed enough that this important hormone plays a critical role in cancer treatment and prevention. There have literally been thousands of studies conducted on vitamin D over the years -- and in recent years, a great many of these studies have dealt with vitamin D's role in mitigating cancer.
The Vitamin D Council cites numerous studies which show that regular exposure to sunlight or routine supplementation with vitamin D3 can help prevent or cure breast, colon, rectal, and other forms of cancer. One particular randomized controlled trial found that supplementing with 1,100 international units (UI) daily of vitamin D3 in conjunction with 1,450 milligrams per day (mg/day) of calcium is associated with a 77 percent reduction in all forms of cancer. (http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/)