Diet changes believed to prevent cancer

Published 5:24 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

You can hardly pick up any health magazine or newsletter these days without reading something about cancer.

Much research has been done on the importance of a healthy diet in fighting disease, but changing one’s diet requires a lifestyle change, and so many people would rather just take a pill and forget about it. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting folks should forgo medical attention from their physician, or that anyone should refuse needed medical treatment. Also, there are so many factors that come into play with regards to the causes of diseases like cancer, but still, much research done in the last decade shows that one’s diet can have a profound effect on protection against diseases like cancer. This column is going to be one of a two- part series, because of the number of foods recommended. Here is a list of foods shown to maximize your protection.

1) Pomegranate juice. This juice has been used in Persian medicine for thousands of years. Studies show consumption of pomegranate juice substantially reduces the development of prostate cancer  (among others), and drinking it daily slows the spread of established prostate cancer. I recommend drinking at least 8 ounces daily.

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2) Turmeric. This spice is found in curry powder, and is one of the most powerful natural “anti-inflammatories” available. The effects of turmeric can be enhanced by mixing it with black pepper and dissolving in olive or canola oil. Some researchers found turmeric encouraged cancer cell death, inhibited tumor growth, and even enhanced the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Curry mixes contain only 20 percent turmeric, so it’s best to obtain pure turmeric powder from a spice store. I recommend mixing a teaspoon (a tablespoon if your already have cancer) of turmeric with black pepper with olive or canola oil and use in soups or salad dressings. If this mixture seems too bitter, add a few drops of honey.

3) Green tea. Green teas are rich in chemical substances known as polyphenols. These include compounds called catechins and particularly “EGCG.” That stands for “Epigallocatechin gallate.” This catechin is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. It also reduces blood vessels that “feed” tumors. Studies performed have even shown it to increase the effect of radiation on cancer cells. I recommend letting green tea steep for at least 10 minutes after brewing, to release its catechins, then sip two to four cups daily.