Ginger Root And The Prevention Of Cancer

Ginger Root For The Prevention Of Cancer

Ginger has long been known to possess a number of therapeutic properties. It is being used in remedies for coughs, colds, sore throats, bronchitis, and even to reduce nausea. However, a recent study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, indicated that it also could be used as a supplement to prevent colon/bowel cancer.

Participants in the study were noted as having significantly reduced markers of colon inflammation. Such inflammation has been shown in prior studies to be a significant precursor to colorectal cancer. The levels of Ginger Root used in the study were 2g of ginger extract, which is the equivalent to eating 20g of raw ginger.

Other US studies have also shown ginger to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can help to relieve the discomfort from arthritis, and more importantly where cancer is concerned, gingerols, an active ingredient within ginger, have been shown to kill cancer cells.

Interestingly, a US study indicated that ginger was just as effective in the treatment of arthritis as the standard and currently available anti-inflammatory drugs, but did not display any of the dangerous side effects.

In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, ginger was found to be excellent at killing cancer cells. When researchers dissolved ginger powder into a solution containing ovarian cancer cultures, the mutated cells died.

It was found that the ginger destroyed the ovarian cancer cells in two different ways. Firstly, the ginger triggered programmed cell death, (apoptosis), and secondly, the ginger triggered autophagy, which is where the cancer cells digest themselves. The researchers discovered that ginger caused the exact same rate of apoptosis that chemotherapy drugs achieve, yet ginger does not cause any side-effects.

The researchers also highlighted the fact that Ginger Root helps to control inflammation, which can be a precursor to ovarian cancer.

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Rice (Brown Rice) And Cancer Prevention

Rice (Brown Rice) For Cancer Prevention

If you are choosing a source of carbohydrate to go with your meals, brown rice is an excellent choice over wheat-based products, such as pasta. Another great choice is sweet potato.

Brown Rice uses the whole grain, which contains numerous benefits related to heart health. In addition to the vitamin E, potassium, iron, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, brown rice contains a range of lignans, phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens.

Just like flaxseed, brown rice contains lignans, including enterolactone, which helps your body establish the right kinds of healthy bacteria in your intestines, (which are credited with defending against a range of hormone-dependent cancers, including breast cancer).

A Danish study of postmenopausal women discovered that those women consuming the largest quantities of whole grains, including brown rice, were found to have significantly higher levels of enterolactone.

Previous studies have shown that women with a high level of enterolactone (which is associated with a high lignan intake from foods such as brown rice, flax and rye), experienced a decrease in their breast cancer risk by 58%.

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Can Figs Prevent Cancer?

Do Figs Prevent Cancer?

Figs have the greatest amount of fibre, in comparison with any other fresh or dried fruit, which makes them excellent for your digestive system.

They also contain digestive enzymes that promote regular bowel movement. This helps to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Figs also contain a number of antioxidants, which help to protect your cells and DNA from free radical damage.

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Can Lemons Help With Cancer Prevention?

Will Lemons Help With Cancer Prevention?

Lemons contain folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and a compound that has demonstrated anti-cancer properties called limonene. All citrus fruit are high in flavonoids, which are highly potent antioxidants.

In laboratory studies, citrus limonoids have been shown to exert an anti-proliferation effect on cancers of the colon, lung, breast, stomach, mouth, liver, skin and even human neuroblastoma tumours, which are more common in children.

Whilst cranberries were also shown to provide a benefit, lemons showed the greatest level of activity. It is believed that the difference in effectiveness is due to the fact that limonoids remain in the bloodstream for longer. Other products studied, such as the phenols in green tea, only remained in the bloodstream for 4 to 6 hours.

In relation to rheumatoid arthritis, a study involving over 20,000 people discovered that those who consumed the least foods rich in vitamin C were over three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who maintained a high vitamin C diet.

Add lemon to your drinks, squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish and salad and try to include lemon zest in your cookery.

Please also see the Citrus Fruit section for other fruit with similar properties.

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Preventing Cancer With Raspberries

Preventing Cancer Using Raspberries

There are actually a wide variety of different raspberries, but many people are more familiar with the red variety, than the less common black raspberries found in North America.

Black raspberries can easily be confused with blackberries, but they are different. Blackberries are more shiny, and when you pick the fruit from the stem, black raspberries are hollow, whereas blackberries retain a central core from the plant.

Raspberries contain a generous amount of vitamin C, along with other nutrients such as selenium, phosphorus and dietary fibre. They are packed with antioxidants and a wide range of phytochemicals that are known to help prevent disease.

Freezing, drying or turning raspberries into preserves will reduce a significant proportion of the vitamin C, however the bulk of the antioxidants remain unharmed.

A number of studies have been conducted on raspberries, with particular attention paid to black raspberries, which have greater quantities of cancer-fighting substances. One particular study, observing the effect of raspberry extracts on human liver cancer cells discovered that the more raspberry extract used, the less frequently the cancer cells replicated.

A study on human oesophageal cancer cells discovered that a diet containing black raspberries substantially reduced tumour cell growth.

Hamster studies have shown that black raspberries inhibit the formation of oral tumours.

Certain attention has been paid to the phytochemicals beta-sitosterol and ferulic acid (contained within black raspberries), because in studies it stopped the growth of both premalignant and malignant oral cancer cells.

In the field of diabetes, it has also been discovered that the anthocyanins in raspberries help reduce blood glucose levels after carbohydrate-rich meals. This will help to reduce the damage caused by excess levels of glucose, which causes the ageing of your tissues.

Laboratory studies using mice that were fed high-fat diets with varying quantities of raspberries discovered that greater raspberry consumption helps to prevent fatty livers and actually reduced the level of obesity.

Whilst your current consumption of raspberries may be limited to those contained in fruit yoghurt or preserves, you can purchase freeze-dried or frozen raspberries to add to your favourite desserts, or just to eat as a tasty treat.

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Cheese And Your Cancer Risk

Cancer Prevention and Cheese

Whilst there are some question marks surrounding dairy products in relation to cancer, several notable studies have been published indicating the extraordinary benefits of vitamin K2 which is found in high concentrations in fermented or mature cheeses. Blue cheeses, feta cheese, or aged hard cheeses such as mature cheddar are all high in vitamin K2, otherwise known as menaquinone.

Vitamin K1, can be derived from a number of vegetable sources, but it is the vitamin K2 that has been shown to be so extraordinarily effective in preventing cancer.

Vitamin K2 can also be found at lower levels in chicken, beef, liver, some animal fats and sauerkraut.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010, which analysed data from over 24,000 participants covering a ten-year period, the researchers discovered that those who consumed the greatest levels of vitamin K2 were 14% less likely to develop cancer, and 28% less likely to die of it, in comparison with those who had the lowest intake.

In another study, conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, it was discovered that individuals with the highest levels of dietary vitamin K2 intake had a 45% lower risk of developing a cancer of the immune system called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Other research has also shown that vitamin K2 can be a beneficial factor in preventing or reducing additional forms of cancer including cancer of the liver, stomach, colon and mouth.

The issue with cheese is that it is high in animal fat and animal protein, and this has been shown to increase the risk of certain forms of cancer, so perhaps supplementing with vitamin K2 is the most sensible precaution.

Certainly, if you have cancer already, you should consider cutting dairy from your diet immediately so as to avoid the hormones, growth factors, antibiotics and more that are injected into cattle in many countries.  Cheese is hard to substitute, but milk can easily be replaced by almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, rice milk, soya milk and more!

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Can Avocados Prevent Cancer?

Do Avocados Prevent Cancer?

A study conducted by the UCLA Centre for Human Nutrition showed that when avocado extract was added to prostate cancer cells, cell growth was inhibited by up to 60%.

Aside from the UCLA study data, avocados are one of the rare fruit that contain an excellent source of healthy fat. They are fantastic as part of a salad, because the fat within the avocado greatly increases your body’s ability to absorb the nutrition in the rest of your food.

Many nutrients require fat to transport them into the body, which is the biggest problem with low-fat diets that can leave you malnourished. Eating avocado in combination with other fruit and vegetables, has been shown to increase your absorption of lutein four times over, your absorption of alpha-carotene, eight times over, and boost your absorption of beta-carotene, a whopping 13 times over! Beta-carotene has excellent anti-cancer properties, so being able to increase its absorption is very important.

Avocados are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, with a side order of vitamin B6 and folic acid. These key nutrients are used in the synthesis of serotonin, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter in your brain. Serotonin is vitally important when it comes to elevating your mood and fending off depression. As you will see in the psychology section of this book, your mood can have a drastic impact upon survival rates, so never underestimate the value of looking after your emotional health.

Finally, avocado contains natural antibiotic and antifungal chemicals.

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Bananas And Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention And Bananas

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fibre. Green bananas are also a source of resistant starch, which is digested more slowly and does not cause blood sugar to surge. It is believed that resistant starch could reduce the risk of a number of different types of cancer, including colon cancer.

Certainly in the case of kidney cancer, a large population study discovered that women who consumed bananas around 4 to 6 times per week reduced their risk of kidney cancer by up to 50% compared with women who didn’t eat bananas at all.

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How Asparagus Could Help Prevent Cancer

How Asparagus Might Help Prevent Cancer

Asparagus is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and thiamine. It also contains rutin, which is a flavonoid that is thought to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It strengthens blood vessels and can protect against oxidative tissue damage. Asparagus is also high in glutathione, which is an antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals.

Glutathione has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of types of cancer, and in fact in many cancer patients, the glutathione levels are significantly depleted.  Replacing the missing glutathione may help increase survival rates.

Another plant chemical found in Asparagus, protodioscin, has been linked to the reduction of bone loss, an increase in sexual desire and studies have indicated that it can have an impact on several different forms of cancer cells.

It is an excellent source of folic acid, which has been shown to help control your levels of homocysteine. When folate levels are low, blood levels of homocysteine may rise, which can significantly increase your risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Where diabetes is concerned, a 2006 study reported in the British Journal of Medicine, showed that an extract of Asparagus was able to improve the action of insulin, creating an 81% increase in the glucose uptake of fat cells. This is important because it would help to lower blood sugar levels, and an excess of blood sugar promotes premature ageing and damage to almost all of our issues.

In terms of digestive health, Asparagus contains inulin, which is a carbohydrate that isn’t easily digested, but does provide a food source for the friendly bacteria in our gut, helping to promote the bacteria that improve our digestion and strengthen our immune system.

Overall, asparagus is an excellent addition to your diet, even if it is less frequent than some of the other fruit and vegetables recommended within our nutritional advice section.

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Beans And The Prevention Of Cancer

Prevention Of Cancer With Beans

Beans and other pulses, are digested slowly by the body to give a sustained release of energy. This helps to moderate blood sugar levels which is a good way of slowing the ageing process. Much of the way our tissues age is due to glycation from the excess blood sugar we get from high carbohydrate food sources.

Eating beans and other pulses also helps to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid which is a substance that occurs naturally in the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin to retain water within the skin cells, basically acting as a moisturiser that keeps your skin smooth and wrinkle free. Of course collagen and elastin play their part but a good intake of vitamin C and vitamin E in fruit and nuts covers that requirement. The important thing is that levels of hyaluronic acid decrease as your skin ages.

Most importantly where cancer is concerned, is that in addition to the other phytonutrients, and protein, beans provide high levels of dietary fibre which can help keep bowel movements more regular and lowers your risk of colorectal cancer.

Studies have also indicated a reduction in breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women associated with the consumption of beans.

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Do Brazil Nuts Prevent Cancer?

Can Brazil Nuts Prevent Cancer?

Brazil nuts have been found to be more protective against cancer than pure selenium selenite. They contain an abundance of selenium, which is a mineral that has mood boosting properties, which can include relieving fatigue, anxiety and depression. They also contain ellagic acid, a compound that blocks enzymes that are necessary for the growth of cancer cells.

Combine that with the enzyme glutathione, (which suppresses free radicals and has been shown in studies to slow or halt the development of tumours), vitamin E, magnesium, iron and omega-6 essential fatty acids and you have probably the most nutritious nut of them all. You should try to eat some everyday, along with walnuts and almonds.

Power Combination: combine Brazil nuts with cabbage or broccoli or other sources of sulforaphane such as watercress, or rocket. According to the Institute of Food Research, if you combine sulforaphane with selenium (in Brazil nuts), the combined cancer fighting properties are up to 13 times more potent than either one alone.

You also get selenium in walnuts, eggs, soya beans and seafood. Try adding chopped Brazil nuts to coleslaw or sauerkraut, or a grating them onto a rocket salad.

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Preventing Cancer With Carrots

How Carrots Help With Preventing Cancer

Carrots contain a class of fat-soluble pigments called carotenoids. These carotenoids can vary in colour from yellow to orange to red. They protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and enhance the functioning of the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in the immune system, including T cells.

The most common carotenoids are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, beta-crpytoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, and can be found in other fruit and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, kale, tomatoes, spinach, red peppers and apricots.

Eating these foods raw, or lightly steaming them will help to retain the carotenoids. It is also important that they are eaten with a certain amount of oil, perhaps a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil, to ensure that they are adequately absorbed through the gut. This is because the carotenoids are fat-soluble.

There have been multiple studies showing that carotenoids substantially reduce the risk of breast cancer. In a study of 5,450 postmenopausal women studied over an eight-year period, (published in the International Journal of Cancer 2009), higher consumption of carotenoid laden vegetables almost cut their risk of invasive breast cancer in half.

In another study, (published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 2009), which looked into women with all different stages of breast cancer, (from the earliest stages right up until recurrence of the disease after previously successful treatment), the study concluded that “higher biological exposure to carotenoids, when assessed over the time frame of the study, was associated with greater likelihood of breast cancer-free survival, regardless of study group assignment.”

Of course, the studies presented here relate to breast cancer, but that does not mean that carotenoids do not have an effect on other forms of cancer, or their prevention.

Power Combination: combine any sources of beta-carotene with avocado, because the fat in avocado has been shown to increase the absorption of beta-carotene by up to 13 times over. Alternatively, a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil will help too.

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Blackberries – An Anti-Cancer Food

Are Blackberries An Anti-Cancer Food?

Blackberries are an excellent source of antioxidants which help to mop up the free radicals within our bodies. This prevents the free radicals from then causing damage to your body’s tissues – particularly in the liver and colon. Studies show that blackberries have a higher antioxidant capacity than cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and even blueberries.

They contain fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, ellagic acid and the phytochemicals cyanidin, tannin and flavonoid. All of which have been shown to be anticarcinogenic.

Another active ingredient is quercetin, a form of catechin which has been shown to act as an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce allergic reactions. In lab rats, blackberries were shown to reduce the growth rates of oesophageal cancer.

Studies conducted on human lung cancer cells demonstrated that a blackberry extract (anthocyanin) inhibited further cancer growth, and this was reinforced by laboratory studies on rats that showed inhibited tumour promotion and metastasis (the spread of cancer cells). Blackberries really are a superfood where cancer is concerned.

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The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants. In fact it has a number of health benefits. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which contain more flavonols and polyphenols than many other fruit and vegetables. It also contains calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium making it helpful for maintaining your immune system and strong, healthy bones and teeth.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

In the form of dark chocolate or cocoa powder, there is more antioxidant capacity than in many fruit juices. However, hot chocolate, due to the alkalisation process, contains little, if any.

Numerous studies have shown that the flavanols in chocolate lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, blood clots and strokes, compared with individuals who do not eat chocolate. One particular study showed that people who ate chocolate once per week, were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate.

A second study found that people who ate 50g of chocolate once per week, were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn’t eat chocolate at all.

A German study published in the European Heart Journal showed that those people who averaged at least 7.5g per day of chocolate were nearly 40% less likely to have a heart attack, compared with those who ate only 1.7g per day on average.

Just having a single square of chocolate per day can make all the difference!

The main thing is to avoid drastically increasing your calorie intake, and the closer the chocolate is to unrefined pure cocoa, the better. Try to opt for the chocolate that is 70% or greater cocoa. Processing the chocolate to sweeten it, such as in the case of milk chocolate or white chocolate, substantially reduces its effectiveness.

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Amaranth and Cancer Prevention

Amaranth For Cancer Prevention

Amaranth is an ancient grain of the Aztecs, which is thought to date back as much as 8000 years ago. It was almost lost due to the conquering Spaniards burning the amaranth fields as part of their conquest.

Today, the amaranth grain is cultivated in China, Mexico, Central America and more recently in certain parts of the US including Nebraska, Illinois and Colorado.

Amaranth has the highest level of protein per serving out of all of the different grains, including an amino acid called lysine which none of the other grains have. Amaranth can be added to other plant protein sources to create whole protein, which enables humans to be vegetarian without deficiencies. It is very high in fibre, which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of bowel cancer and is a great source of iron, which enables our body to manufacture red blood cells and keep our oxygen levels high.

It also contains the cancer fighting phytochemical squalene, along with calcium, magnesium and folic acid.

In studies, the antioxidant squalene has been shown to reduce or halt the blood supply to tumours, thereby reducing their ability to grow and spread. Shark oil, only has 1% squalene content, whereas amaranth oil is 8%. Other studies also indicate that the amaranth seed can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

When it comes to heart disease, amaranth is almost as effective in lowering LDL-cholesterol as oats, and in the case of diabetics, amaranth has been found to reduce the incidence of hyperglycaemia (an excess of blood sugar). In one study, that used diabetic rats, amaranth was seen to significantly decrease serum glucose, increase insulin levels and normalised elevated liver function markers.

You can use amaranth flour to add this grain to your diet, or else you can toast the seeds in a pan, which makes them pop like popcorn. This can then be added to casseroles, salads or used as a crunchy topping for soups, lasagne or even as a replacement for breadcrumbs on fish or meat.

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