Posted on Dec 29, 2020, 3 p.m.
Adding a splash of this and a dash of that can transform almost any bland dish into something scrumptious, but adding that zing to your meal may also be helping you to prevent cancer. Yes, food can be medicine, and prevention is always better than cure.
From ginger to pepper and apples and berries to cruciferous vegetables, certain foods, herbs, and spices contain phytochemicals that affect the body biologically, and through their ability to stimulate the immune system these phytochemicals may assist in keeping cancer at bay while adding a touch of zest to your plate to keep you in good health.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories that have been identified to date. Cancer tumors have a network of blood vessels that feed them and curcumin can work against these blood vessels to essentially choke the cancer cells to death. Mixing turmeric with black pepper and olive oil can activate curcumin’s potent powers, and with the mild pleasant flavor this can be used as a dry rub on chicken or even vegetables, or 1-2 teaspoons can be added to soups, stews, salsas, and sauces as a tasty way to practice cancer prevention.
Garlic, onions, shallots, scallions, and leeks are allium vegetables that can help to prevent cancer, especially in the stomach. This type of veggies contain eye-watering organosulfur compounds that have immune strengthening and anti-cancer qualities. Garlic is fairly versatile in cooking essentialities, such as sauteed in olive oil and served with whole-grain bread and eggs or baked in the oven to mash into a spread, or added to a variety of vegetable and meat dishes.
Fresh ginger is another potent weapon in a kitchen cancer prevention arsenal. Fresh ginger contains gingerol while dried ginger forms zingerone, both are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may be protective against cancer. You could store some ginger in the freezer and grate a bit into lentils or rice when cooking or into smoothies. You can create a calming to by steeping a few thin slices into hot water for 10-15 minutes that may also help with nausea while helping to decrease this risk of cancer.
Black pepper contains piperine, this is a naturally occurring chemical compound with very strong antioxidant properties. A study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that pepper along with turmeric inhibited the growth of cancerous stem cells of breast tumors, but the spice did not destroy healthy cells. This spice is a staple in most kitchens because it can add flavor to a variety of dishes ranging from eggs to salads and soups to casseroles. Additionally, it is an all-round healthful alternative to table salt that can help to keep cancer at bay.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which is a well known potent antioxidant that has been shown to be toxic to cancer cells in lab studies. One study from the University of California found capsaicin to stifle the growth of prostate cancer cells and even killed them off. Cayenne pepper adds a tasty spicy touch to a host of foods while fighting off cancer, add it popcorn, in dips, soups, stews, salsa, spice up snacks, or mix it in with other spices for a bit of a smoky heat taste.
The herbs mint, thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram, and oregano contain carvacrol which is a molecule that may help to offset the spread of cancer cells by working as a natural disinfectant. Marinating foods with oregano may help to reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines which are chemicals that are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures, and these HCAs have been found to increase the cancer risk in animals. Oregano is fragrant and can be added to salads, salsa, dips, soup, stew, marinades, pizza, pasta, sauces, and tuna salad to name a few flavor-enhancing uses that may help you to prevent cancer.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Materials provided by:
Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement