By Daphne Rasehei – EMTV Online
When it comes to treating cancer, prevention and detection is probably the best way to go. We should always go for regular health screenings to detect cancer in its early stages and isolate it.
All the studies on cancer and nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their phytonutrients and other special compounds.
Plant-Based Foods are becoming more crucial in cancer prevention as researchers continue to study the benefits.
Plant-based foods include: Fruits, Vegetables, Whole grains (wheat, barley, rye) Herbs, Spices and Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts).
But, What Makes Plant-Based Foods Special?
The unique anti-inflammatory and protective mechanisms of these fruits stem from their phytochemicals and antioxidants.
- Phytochemicals help protect our body from damage triggered by cancer-causing agents, also known as carcinogens. They also protect against heart disease, aging, inflammation, arthritis and muscular degeneration, a loss of vision. Some well-known phytochemicals include: Lycopene in tomatoes and Polyphenols in tea and grapes.
- Antioxidants are a type of phytochemical, but they also include vitamins and other nutrients that help protect the body from the damaging effects of molecules that can damage healthy cells, also known as free radicals.
In short, they fight disease from the inside out. There are more than 10,000 known phytochemicals, and this number continues to increase.
Aim for five to nine daily servings of all kinds of fruits and vegetables—especially these five superstars that you can find in local markets around Port Moresby;
1. Cruciferous Vegetable
all plant foods — grains, fruits, and vegetables — contain small amounts of phytonutrients: naturally occurring chemical compounds that are just as important as vitamins and minerals are for maintaining health.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain a particularly potent compound called sulforaphane that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals
Helps fight: breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers
How to add that into your diet: The more broccolis, the better -so add it wherever you can, from salads to omelettes to the top of your pizza.
Tomatoes help your body release more lycopene, a specific phytochemical that provides cancer fighting benefits.
Tomatoes also provide you with lots of antioxidants for your body, and are known to be useful to treat or prevent prostate cancer
Helps fight: endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers
How to add that into your diet: The biggest benefits come from cooked tomatoes (think pasta sauce!), since the heating process increases the amount of lycopene your body is able to absorb.
Studies have shown that ginger actually works better than cancer drugs in fighting against cancer cells! This is especially noted in a study done examining the effects of ginger has on prostate cancer cells.
What’s most impressive regarding ginger’s place in protection against cancer, though, is it’s ability to outperform dangerous cancer drugs.
Helps fight: lung, ovarian, colon, breast, skin carcinoma, prostate, and pancreatic.
How to add that into your diet: Ginger in your chicken soup or ginger in your tea. You can add ginger to anything that you eat!
4. Sweet Potato / Kaukau
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that people who eat a diet high in beta-carotene — found primarily in orange vegetables and leafy greens.
Among premenopausal women, one study found that eating a lot of vegetables that include beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, and fibre – like sweet potatoes — reduced the risk of breast cancer by about half.
Helps fight: lung, breast, stomach, and colon cancer.
How to add that into your diet: Cook at least one Kaukau a day to go with whatever you are eating.
Garlic is an important food that helps to fight cancer. Garlic contains a powerful plant phytonutrient called allicin that has been shown to protect the body against cancer.
Garlic can have a powerful antioxidant effect in the body, which means it helps to protect against damaging free radicals which can cause cancer. Studies have found that high consumption of raw or cooked garlic decreases the risk of colon cancer and stomach cancer by up to 50%.
Helps fight: breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers
How to add that into your diet: Chop a clove of fresh, crushed garlic (crushing helps release beneficial enzymes), and sprinkle it into any home cooked meal.
There are many other foods that are not listed here that would help as well.
In general, ingesting the super foods listed above along with a lot of organic vegetables will help to minimize your risk of developing cancer.