Continuing cancer-fighting food list

Published 7:27 pm Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last week, we discovered foods with natural cancer-fighting potential.

The list was long enough to make this a two-part column. This is second in the series. As stated before, these articles are not to suggest anyone should abandon medical attention. It’s advantageous to use common sense. I feel medical and natural approaches to healing should work in concert to affect desired results, so make sure your doctor and nutritionist are on the same page.

The foods on this list not only assist in detoxifying cancer-causing toxins and blocking inflammation, they also in many cases increase the effectiveness of medicines used in treating disease.

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To continue the list…

6) Cruciferous greens. This is the cabbage family. They include broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These vegetables all contain sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinols (I3Cs), which are potent anticancer molecules. Research has shown these to help detoxify certain carcinogenic substances, and help prevent precancerous cells from developing into “malignant” tumors. Some research even suggests, these molecules can “block” tumor growth. I recommend briefly steaming, or rapidly stir-frying vegetables. Avoid boiling which destroys their cancer-fighting compounds.

7) Citrus. Lemons, oranges, grapefruit and tangerines contain anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids. These flavonoids stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens by the liver. Also, flavonoids in the skin of tangerines – tangeritin and nobiletin can help promote the death of brain cancer cells. I recommend eating several citrus fruits daily. You can also sprinkle grated citrus zest into salad dressings, tea and other hot drinks. For weight watchers citrus is also low in calories and fat free.

8) Onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots belong to the alliaceous family, and contain sulfur compounds that promote the death of colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells. Also, studies show a lower risk of kidney and prostate cancer in people who consume the most garlic. Plant cells have cell walls, which aren’t easily digested, so I recommend crushing or chewing these vegetables well to release their healthful compounds. Also, these substances are absorbed more easily when mixed with small amounts of olive oil.

9) Soy. Soy contains isoflavones, which may block the stimulation of cancer cells by sex hormones such as estrogens and testosterone. One study in Asia showed that women who had eaten soy since adolescence had significantly fewer cases of breast cancer, and in those who did, their tumors were usually less aggressive, and patient’s survival rates were higher. To get more soy, I recommend replacing milk products with soy milk or soy yogurts. Also, use tofu in your food recipes.

10) Dark chocolate. I saved possibly your favorite for last. Chocolates that contain more than 70 percent cocoa provide a number of antioxidants, proanthocyanidins and many polyphenols. In fact, just one small square of dark chocolate contains almost as many of these cancer-fighting compounds as a cup of green tea, and twice as many as red wine. These molecules slow the growth of cancer cells, and actually limit the blood vessels feeding them. While no one has all the answers with regard to understanding the complexities of cancers or even, which treatment options are better, it seems logical to incorporate the best of both worlds – science and nature for effective results in fighting disease.

David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 26 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A.,  head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corp, lead  trainer to L.H. Fields modeling and agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.