There has been a growing concern over the increased incidence of terminal diseases. Since these diseases have eluded a cure, prevention has been widely advocated for. Although cancer is a terminal disease, especially if not detected early enough, there are various foods that can help to stave off its incidence, inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and reduce the size of tumors. Such foods, which can be found in organic markets and grocery stores, contain certain properties that fight or prevent cancer. For instance, some fruits contain anti-oxidants which neutralize free radicals and heal the resultant damage. Below is an analysis of various foods that are vital to the human body in the fight against various forms of cancer.
One of the most important fruits is the avocado. It contains a strong and powerful antioxidant, glutathione. This antioxidant blocks the absorption of certain fats in the intestines and attacks free radicals in the human body. In addition, avocados are a rich source of potassium and beta-carotene. Finally, avocados contain important chemicals that are used in the treatment of viral hepatitis, which is a leading cause of the cancer of the liver.
Secondly, various vegetables, such as the cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, contain indole-3-carbinol. This chemical converts several undesirable properties in the estrogen hormone into protective components. Therefore, it aids in combating breast cancer. Sprouts, a sub-group of the broccoli, contains sulforaphane, a vital phytochemical that combats rectal and colon cancers by stimulating the production of enzymes which deactivate carcinogens and other free radicals. These enzymes have also successfully inhibited the growth of tumors, though such tests have not been carried out conclusively.
Thirdly, carrots contain large amounts of beta-carotene This chemical aids in the fight against various forms of cancer such as throat, mouth, lung, intestinal, prostrate, bladder and breast cancer. In addition, carrots contain falcarinol which reduces the risk of contracting cancer. Brandt (2003) observed that isolated cancerous cells multiplied less quickly in the presence of falcarinol. However, since falcarinol is a polyacethylen, carrots should be eaten raw.
Garlic contains allium compounds such as dialyl sultides that enhance immunity. These compounds stimulate the activity of immunity-enhancing cells which then fight cancerous cells and break down all causative substances. In addition, they slow down the development of tumors by blocking carcinogens from destroying unaffected cells. Garlic oil contains Diallyl Sulfide, which deactivates carcinogens in the liver. Arab and Fleischauer (2001) found out that individuals who regularly consumed raw or cooked garlic faced half as much risk of contracting stomach cancer. In addition, the risk of contracting colorectal cancer was lowered by a third. Finally, garlic wipes out bacteria which promote stomach cancer such as Helicobacter Pylor.
Mushrooms and nuts are vital in the fight against various forms of cancer. Several mushrooms, such as maitak, shiitake, reishi, murill and Agaricus Blazei, help the body in building a strong immune system. They contain lentinan and other vital polysaccharides that promote immunity. In addition, they are an important source of Beta Glucan and lectin proteins which attack cancerous cells and inhibit their multiplication. Finally, mushrooms contain thioproline which stimulates the body into production of interferons. Various studies have capitalized on this and have successfully shown that mushrooms can be used in chemotherapy. Finally, nuts contain various antioxidants such as campferol and quercetin which suppress the multiplication of cancerous cells. The Brazilian nut is known to contain selenium, which is used in the treatment of prostrate cancer.
In conclusion, there are other foods that are used in the prevention and treatment of cancer. However, the above listed foods are very vital if an individual is to successfully combat various forms of cancer. By combining food with various other precautionary measures, individuals will successfully reduce their exposure to risks associated with cancer.