Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Best Ways to Fight Cancer

When you think about cancer and how many people develop cancer in our world it’s quite a high number to give you an idea that number 12 million people in the last year have been diagnosed and are living with cancer. Cancer is the second largest cause of death with close to 2,000 deaths per day caused by cancer. So how do we battle cancer? What can be done about it? Today I'm going to cover over some ways you can use to help avoid getting cancer and I'll go over some of the food and herbs which can help aid in the fight if you have cancer.

Avoiding getting cancer can be quite a challenge because we are exposed to many dangerous elements on a daily basis but there are some steps that you can do which will help the situation. Like for example when buying a house it’s a good idea to investigate the town and neighborhood you’re buying in to make sure that there are no Superfund sites which were dumping pollution nearby to your house location.  If a house falls in an area like that there’s a good chance that the ground water might be polluted. This also goes for living close to power plants while there is so much information out there to say power plants are safe to live near there’s still a certain amount of radiation which has to be released. And while the sun gives off radiation power plants don’t have sun standards of radiation release they can’t control the amount that is released and in the event that there’s a major accident your chance for risk goes up even more. 

Another thing that many people might not think about when buying a house is the age of the house and the paint used any houses which still have lead based paint open more opportunities for types of cancers. Another serious danger is asbestos which can cause mesothelioma one of the most aggressive cancers. And while house buying can put you at risk for these there are even some career choices which can be just as dangerous. Some of these include Fireman, building or construction, architect and some manufacturing careers just to name a few. Working with fiberglass is just as dangerous and can result in mesothelioma so if you have to work with hazardous material always be sure to use the correct certified equipment when dealing with it if you cannot avoid it. 

All of the above might sound like quite a lot to try and avoid but part of avoiding cancer can be done by your diet and what you’re eating.  Believe it or not there are many great foods out which provide some of the important keys to fighting cancer or preventing it.  

Of course like anything everyone’s body reacts differently to different methods. What I mean by this is let’s say for example two people try taking an herbal medication like Kava Kava which relaxes you and makes you sleepy. The first person as soon as they take one notices effects right away.  The second person takes it and does not notice any effect at all. Sometimes a person’s body needs to build up enough of whatever herb or vitamin to have an effect. This is why with the Oolong tea I have not stopped drinking it. 

Another great example is a friend recommended me to an herb called Chinese mood elevator because I told them I’ve been stressing about school. I started taking it to see if it would help me but I did not notice any effect I asked them how long it took them to notice its effect and they said within a week. I continued using it and after about four weeks I finally started to notice results. So the key is not to get discouraged even if results are not right away.

Some of the foods which are extremely important to help fight and prevent cancer are foods like:
Fruits: Kiwi, Cherries, Cranberries, Guavas, Avocados, Figs, Berries, Tomatoes, Grapefruits, Grapes, Oranges, Lemon, Papayas
Vegetables: Beans, Watercress, Spinach, Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Garlic, Mushrooms, Sweet potatoes
Nuts: Walnuts
Spices: Jalapenos peppers, Chili peppers, Rosemary, Turmeric
Other: Seaweed, Soy, Licorice root
Teas: Green Tea, Black Tea, Rooibos Tea, Yerba Mate Tea, Kukicha Tea, Oolong Tea

As you can see we have a huge list of different fruits, vegetables , Spices and even tea’s which are good cancer fighters and a list like this might be overwhelming. But don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging without explaining about what each is good for and some of the benefits you can expect.
We’ll start with fruits Kiwi for example is full of antioxidant’s and also is a major source of vitamin C which helps protect against free radicals. If you’re not sure what free radicals are they are unstable molecules which lead to damage on your body’s cells and tissue. Cancer is a free radical because it attacks tissue and cells in your body and damages them. Kiwis also provide Vitamin E which is another important antioxidant and they also contain folate, carotenoids and fiber which are important cancer fighting nutrients.

One of my favorites is Cherries and they contain a chemical known as perilly alcohol which has been studied for the ability to cause cell death to tumors. They also contain anthocyanins a chemical that not only helps cherry with its beautiful red color but can help by making cancer cells die faster and stop the growth of tumors and specifically deal with colon cancer. They also have quercetin, cox inhibitors, ellagic acid, and melatonin all chemicals which help fight cancer. They hold other positive effects too like for example in Chinese medicine they are used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout and have also been linked to lowering risk for heart attack and stroke. One thing to keep in mind when buying them is they are seasonal and you might have to stock up frozen cherries off season. You might also want to consider buying organic versions since most supermarkets use pesticides on fruit which can be harmful to your health.

One fruit you might not expect to be a cancer fighter is Cranberries since they are normally associated with treating urinary infections. Cranberries contain a special chemical called proathocyanidins and studies show that proathenocyanidins are toxic to cancer cells. This helps by causing cancer cell suicide and reduction of cancer cells and blockage of tumor growth. Cranberries also provide vitamin C and carry beneficial antioxidants.  With cranberry’s to get the most benefit the whole berry is better than only drinking the juice and most cranberry juices do not contain much cranberry to begin with.  Since cranberries are tart you can always add them to a fruit salad to make them easier to eat.

Guavas are another fruit which has great cancer fighting properties although since they are a fruit which is harder to track down coming from South America it might not be something you can obtain.  Guava’s contains the antioxidant called lycopene and contain more of it than any other fruit about twenty percent more. Lycopene is important in the cancer fight because it helps protect our healthy cells from free radicals which cause blocked arteries, problems with nervous systems and cancer. Lycopene is associated with lowering the rates of prostate cancer. Men who took lycopene supplements showed significant improvements and it has also been found to help stop the growth of breast cancer. Other research shows that lycopene can also help protect against coronary artery disease. With this fruit when you can find the whole fruit that is what you’ll want you can’t usually find it in the freezer section and juices usually are sweetened and don’t provide much of the benefits as eating the actual fruit does.

Avocados are another cancer fighting fruit which has great benefits they provide a powerful antioxidant called glutathione which attacks free radicals by blocking intestinal absorption of different types of fats. Surprisingly they also provide more potassium then a banana and are also a strong source of beta carotene. Scientists believe that they also might be useful in treating hepatitis which is a cause of liver cancer as well as other sources of liver damage.

Figs provide the chemical benzaldehyde which investigators at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Tokyo say that benzaldehyde is very effective at shrinking tumors. Figs also provide calcium and vitamins C, and A and also help improve weight loss efforts. Fig juice is also powerful at killing bacteria.

Berries are great in the cancer fight because they are packed with phytonutrient’s. Black raspberries are especially high in anthocyanins which slow the growth of premalignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming which would feed a cancerous tumor. In studies using rat’s black raspberries have been shown to decrease tumors by forty to sixty percent and can help fight colon cancer similar to that of cherries and also esophageal, oral, and skin cancers. Black raspberries contain more antioxidants then other berries like strawberries and blueberries but any of these fruits are still cancer fighters.  

Tomatoes are another fruit which contain cancer fighting properties the same as guavas because they also contain lycopene. Something interesting to keep in mind the hotter the weather is the more lycopene tomatoes produce. So if you’re like me and have a garden in a hot climate you’re going to have tomatoes rich in lycopene. Tomatoes also contain vitamin C. red peppers and watermelons also contain these but in much lesser qualities. Some scientists in Israel have found that lycopene can also help kill cancers of the mouth and reduced risk of breast, endometrial, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas cancers.

Grapefruits are similar to other citrus fruits and contain monoterpenes which are believed to help prevent cancer by removing carcinogens out of the body.  Certain studies show that grapefruits can help in the fight of breast cancer. And grapefruits also contain vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. 

Grapes are a great source of bioflavonoids particularly red grapes. Bioflavonoid is a powerful antioxidant which helps as a cancer preventive.  Grapes also contain resveratrol which helps by preventing the enzymes that causes cancer cells to grow and suppresses immune response.  Grapes also contain ellagic acid which is a compound that blocks enzymes that cancer cells depend on which slows the growth of tumors. 

Both oranges and lemons are useful in the cancer fighting because they contain limonene which helps by stimulating cancer killing immune cells which also might break down cancer causing substances. Lemon's and oranges are also a good source of vitamin C.

Papaya’s are useful because they have vitamin C and may also reduce absorption of nitrosamines from soil or processed foods which cause cancer.  Papaya also contains folic acid which is known to reduce cervical dysplasia and types cancers.

Bean's are the magical vegetable like fruit that’s good for more than just making music. They contain many of good effects like lowering cholesterol and help by regulating blood sugar and aid in the production of insulin. They also help by fighting cancer because they contain an assortment of phytochemicals that help protect cells from cancer and stop cancer cells from being able to reproduce which slows tumor growth. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health reported that women who ate beans twice a week had twenty percent less of a chance of developing breast cancer. Beans also contain the chemical tryptophan which will help regulate appetite and aid in the process of weight loss. Many of the types of beans are rich in folate which can help your heart health. Beans also contain many of different minerals such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and B2, and vitamin K. 

Watercress does not only have high nutritional value but it has multiple antioxidant carotenoids and protective phytochemicals. Watercress helps fight cancer in three ways. The first way is by killing cancer cells then it blocks carcinogens and helps by protecting healthy cells from carcinogens making watercress armed and dangerous versus cancer.  Watercress provides as much vitamin C as an orange and provides a ton of iron. It also comes with vitamin A and a ton of vitamin A.

I’m sure you know spinach is a good vegetable for you since Popeye always told you to eat your spinach but you might not have known all of the benefits of eating it. Spinach helps by protecting against vision loss and eye disease. It also helps by improving brain function and guards against colon, prostate and breast cancer. Spinach provides tons of vitamin K and helps build strong bones by helping calcium join to bones. 

Onions help by lowering the risk for prostate and esophageal cancers they also help fight coronary heart disease. Some research also shows that onions may help by protecting against stomach cancer. They also contain sulfides which can help by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and contain peptide which helps prevent bone loss. Onions contain natural antihistamine that helps by reducing breathing inflammation and helps relieve allergy symptoms like hay fever. Onions have high levels of vitamin C and contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight pain and swelling which is associated with types of arthritis such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Yellow onions provide the highest amount of antioxidants and raw onions provide the most nutrition but they still provide a good amount when lightly cooked.

Carrots are of bugs bunny’s favorite snacks but they also help in the cancer fight because they carry carotenoids which have been tied to decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer and also help with bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx and esophagus cancers.  Researchers say that eating one carrot a day could reduce your risk of lung cancer by half. Carrots might also help by reducing the risk of kidney and ovarian cancers.  Carrots contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C and contain a very high amount of vitamin A. In Chinese medicine carrots have been used for treating kidney stones, arthritis, tumors, night blindness, indigestion and ear infections.  Whole carrots are the best option because they contain the most nutrients. Baby carrots which are made from whole carrots lose important nutrients when they are being processed making them less beneficial. 

Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have a compound called indole-3-carbinol that can help fight breast cancer by changing cancer promoting estrogen into a protective variety.  Broccoli has phytochemical sulforaphane which is a product of glucoraphanin which helps prevent types of cancers like colon, rectal cancer breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers. Broccoli sprouts have twenty percent more of sulforaphane then mature broccoli and sulforaphane can help by activating enzymes which help by deactivating free radicals and carcinogens.  Cabbage is packed with vitamins K and C and has ninety percent of the recommended amount of vitamin K. 

Kale has compounds which might help stop the conversion of cancerous cells in estrogen tissues. Kale also provides insothiocyanates which are thought to suppress tumor growth and help block cancer causing substances from reaching their targets.  Kale comes packed with vitamin K, A and C. It is a good source of iron and calcium.  Kale contains beta carotene about seven times as much as broccoli and contains lutein and zeaxanthin with ten times the amount found in broccoli. In Chinese medicine kale is used to help lung congestion.

Brussel sprouts protect against heterocyclic amines which are a carcinogenic compound which is found in grilled and charcoal broiled meats which are associated with colon cancer. Brussel sprouts also help defend against breast, prostate, and bladder cancer.

While garlic has a smell that can wake the dead and ward off Dracula it also has cancer fighting properties.  Garlic contains compounds which help by enhancing the immune system by increasing the number of immune cells which fight cancer and can indirectly help by breaking down substances which can cause cancer. Garlic contains diallyl sulfide which is a component of garlic oil and studies show that it can render carcinogens in the liver inactive. When it comes to whether or not supplements are as good as having real garlic nothing can beat eating the actual vegetable so I would not use supplements as a replacement for garlic. Garlic may also help stomach cancer since it has high anti-bacterial properties.

Mushrooms are also an important cancer fighter but that does not mean you should eat the ones you find on your lawn. Types of mushrooms like maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, Coriolus Versicolor, and shiitake help fight cancer and build up the immune system because they contain polysaccharides such as lentinan a powerful compound that helps build immunity. They contain beta glucan and a protein called lectin which can help by attacking cancerous cells and helps by preventing the cancerous cells from multiplying. They also have a compound called thioproline and can help promote the production of interferon.

Sweet potatoes also contain anticancer properties like beta carotene which protects cells from cancer causing chemicals.

Walnuts are one of squirrels biggest enemies mostly because of how hard they are to crack but to people walnuts are a great cancer fighter.  They contain phytosterols which can help block estrogen in breast cancer cells which helps slow the growth and can also help with prostate cancers.  Black walnuts are especially good because they contain antiseptic healing properties and can help by flushing out toxins and harmful pathogens.

Jalapeno peppers and chili peppers both contain a chemical called capsaicin which might help neutralize different kinds of substances which can cause cancer and they can help prevent stomach cancer.

Rosemary can help by detoxification of enzymes and has helped stop the development of breast and skin tumors in animals. Rosemary can easily be used as a seasoning in some of your favorite cooking dishes.

Tumeric is another cancer fighter which is in the ginger family I guess that means it has no soul but that’s okay.  Tumeric is believed to have medicinal properties because it has reduces inflammation related to enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 levels which are high with certain inflammatory diseases and cancers. It aids in cancers such as colon and bowel cancer. The in the United Kingdom a company called Phytopharm hopes on introducing a natural product P54 which contains oils that increase the potency of turmeric spice.

Seaweed isn’t just flame retardant it’s also cancer retardant. Seaweed contains beta carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber and chlorophyll and also contains chlorophylones which are important fatty acids that help fight breast cancers. Many of the oceans vegetables contain high amounts of the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and iodine.

Products which contain soy like for example my favorite tofu contains a few different types of phytoestrogens which can help prevent prostate and breast cancer by suppressing cancerous changes. Soy also contains isoflavones. Just be careful when eating soy everyday because it can cause hormone imbalances.

Licorice root contains the chemical glycyrrhizin that stops a component of testosterone and can help prevent the growth of prostate cancer but taking excessive amounts can raise your blood pressure so you would want to avoid over doing it.

Green tea contains around three hundred milligrams of polyphenols which help destroy cancer cells and prevent the formation of tumors. Green tea can also help by reducing free radicals and other harmful compounds which can damage sells and cause cancer.  Green tea is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. But there is something to keep in mind one of the chemicals which is used in tea bags is a carcinogen and may increase your risk for cancer so while tea’s can help you tea’s which are contained in bags can be harmful. Loose green tea is the best option to get the most amount of antioxidants and avoid the risk of the manufacturing chemicals besides the taste and flavor is so much better.

Black tea also contains polyphenols but not nearly as much as green tea. You would also want to avoid bagged tea for the same reason above. 

Rooibos tea (African Red Bush) is another tea which is high in antioxidants and has no caffeine and has been used to treat asthma and allergies. 

Yerba mate tea comes from the rainforests of Argentina and Brazil and has high antioxidants and contains caffeine which provides a stimulating effect without irritating the nervous system like what coffee does.  

Kukicha tea (Bancha) has high alkalizing properties which helps balance diets which are rich in foods such as meat, dairy products, sugar and carbohydrates. Kukicha tea contains calcium, zinc, selenium, copper and magnesium and also contains a high amount of antioxidants.

Oolong tea has many benefits and contains antioxidants just like green tea. Some websites claim that green tea has more but from further research when oolong tea is infused for three minutes at two hundred degrees Fahrenheit the amount of antioxidants increases. This suggests when you step oolong longer than three minutes it might enhance the cancer fighting benefits of the tea. Oolong tea helps prevent heart disease and reduces the effect of aging and different skin diseases like eczema.  

 I apologize for the lengthy size of the post but once I got writing I had to provide all of the useful information I found.

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