Nature has provided us with numerous foods – such as barley, beans and broccoli – that provide nutrients that assist the body in fighting cancer. These nutrients, in the form of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber, have the capability of preventing precancerous cells from degenerating into malignancy. However, if cancer has already developed, this same nutrients have the potency to delay, if not halt, cancer’s progression.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is the general term for more than one hundred diseases – named after the organ or cell type from which they grow and spread – that share a common characteristic: Abnormal cell growth that rapidly spreads as if out of control. These abnormal cells, in turn, invade other tissues. Cancerous cells spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Foods that Fight Cancer
The following is a list of foods that fight cancer:
Fight Cancer with Barley
Barley is a grain whose high fiber content effectively reduces the risk of colon, rectal, pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer. Protease inhibitors are found in barley. These inhibitors prevent cancer development by keeping carcinogenic agents from attaching to intestinal walls.
In an article entitled “Cancer and Nutrition,” which is included in the book Functional Foods & Neutraceuticals in Cancer Prevention by Ronald Ross Walton, Ph.D., Danine Fisher writes, “Barley contains coixenlide, amino acids, saccharide, and all alkaloids. Coix, a type of barley, is used for a variety of cancers but especially cancer of the breast, larynx, uterus and stomach.”
Beans to Fight Cancer
Beans are abundant sources of cancer-fighting nutrients like protease inhibitors, lignans, phytoestrogens and fiber. Studies have shown that individuals who consume beans as part of a regular diet are less likely to develop breast cancer, or die of pancreatic cancer.
Beans as a food group includes adzuki, black beans, black-eyed peas, brown, pinto, lima, red, navy, white and kidney beans.
Broccoli Sprouts, Broccoli and other Cruciferous Vegetables to Fight Cancer
All cruciferous vegetables are rich sources of the cancer-fighting agents sulforaphane and indole-3 carbinol. Cruciferous vegetables include arugula, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, collards, cress, daikon, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip and watercress.
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical known as isothiocyanate, which has the super power in stimulating the body in fighting cancer. Sulforaphane’s capabilities are more effective as preventive measures against cancer. The cruciferous plant with the highest concentration of sulforaphane is broccoli.
Broccoli is also very rich in glucosinolates, which are very effective in fighting cancers. Studies have found that individuals consuming large amounts of broccoli regularly significantly lower the risk for colon, breast, cervical, lung, prostate, esophageal, and bladder cancer.
Cancer may be the most frightening medical condition, but with the right knowledge of which nutrients provide the best anti-cancer potentials, a diet can be developed to prevent cancer, or fight it if it has already developed.