5 Cancer-Fighting Spices That Make Your Food Delicious
The scientific community believes that cancer will be cured by modern medicine, but few realize that you might be able to fight cancer just by changing how you spice your food!
While science has achieved great leaps in the past two centuries, improving the global quality of life and extending life expectancies, cancer remains one of the most nefarious, widespread, and painful diseases afflicting the human race. According to data collected between 2010 and 2012, nearly 40 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes.
The solution might be simpler than developments in the fields of organic chemistry or radiology. Many experts agree that you can significantly reduce the risks of cancer merely by changing your diet. Studies have shown that we regularly consume several spices that contain natural cancer-fighting compounds. By emphasizing these flavors in your diet, you’ll simultaneously lower your risk of cancer while adding rich, new tastes to your cuisine.
How it works
Naturally growing spices do not just produce a rich variety of flavors, colors, and textures, but they also contain diverse chemical systems. Many of the compounds that spices produce, known in medicine as phytochemicals, can stimulate the immune system, regulate blood pressure, or reduce inflammation.
A healthy dose of phytochemicals in your diet can both fight cancer and reduce the chance of cancer growth in the first place.
The following spices can help to keep you and your family healthy and help to ward off cancer.
Garlic is known and loved as one of the most potent, flavorful allium vegetable found on earth. Along with onions, leeks, shallots, and scallions, garlic contains organosulfur, a phytochemical believed to reduce the risk of cancer in several areas throughout the body. You’ve felt the effects of organosulfur before whether you know it or not. It’s the stuff that makes you cry when you chop onions with a dull knife.
According to Doctors S. H. Omar and N. A. Al-Webel, organosulfur inhibits carcinogens in the stomach, mammary gland, colon and esophagus. “Organosulfur compounds,” according to the authors, “modulate the activity of several metabolizing enzymes that activate or detoxify carcinogens and inhibit the formation of DNA adducts in several target tissues.” The only negative effect is bad breath.
In addition to warding off vampires, garlic can keep away bacterial infections. Garlic contains something called allicin, a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal. This odorous member of the onion family is also known to contain anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties.
Add garlic to everything you can. Chop raw garlic and let it “rest” for 10 or 15 minutes before cooking or adding it to foods. This increases the level of antioxidants.
Traditional East Asian medicine has employed turmeric for centuries to treat a variety of illnesses. One of the main phytochemicals in turmeric is curcumin, which also gives the spice its vibrant yellow-orange color. Experts believe the compound has antioxidant properties, making it an effective natural anti-inflammatory phytochemical.
Cancer growth often occurs in nutrient-rich, inflamed areas of the body. Any compound that can modulate blood pressure and regulate blood circulation has the potential to prevent cancer from forming. Curcumin does just that. Dr. Timothy Moynihan writes that studies on the effects of curcumin on cancer patients are still in preliminary stages, but lab studies on animals suggest that “curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.” Just don’t spill it on your clothing because it stains.
Read more about Turmeric Health Benefits Here.
Research has also shown that a compound in black pepper, piperine, can behave in a similar fashion. The phytochemical has proven especially effective when matched with curcumin from turmeric, and the two appear to work in tandem. Dr. Madhuri Kakarala, a cancer patient herself, found that piperine combined with curcumin fought breast cancer cells more effectively than traditional radiation therapy.
The beauty of these two phytochemicals lies in their ability to target cancer cells. Many cancer prevention medications will kill cancerous cells along with a variety of other healthy tissue. According to Kakarala, “Women at high risk of breast cancer right now can choose to take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most women won’t take these drugs because there is too much toxicity. The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”
Pepper goes great with just about everything besides chocolate. Why else would the pepper mills at restaurants be so comically huge?
Several exciting new studies on the effects of ginger on cancer have emerged recently. The main cancer-fighting phytochemical in ginger is known as 6-Shogaol, and in 2015, a team of researchers found that it was 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells than chemotherapy.
Cancer stem cells may only constitute about .15 percent of the total mass of a tumor, but they produce every cancerous cell. Kill the cancer stem cells, and you can halt the growth of cancer and easily treat it. The compound 6-Shogaol, therefore, has enormous implications for cancer-fighting strategies. If you already have a significant amount flowing through your blood stream, you may be able to ward off cancer completely.
The primary cancer-fighting phytochemical present in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. Like curcumin, traditional Eastern medicine makes heavy use of this compound for a variety of maladies.
While high levels of cayenne pepper in your diet will not help to reduce the risk of cancer, it will actively fight malignant tumors. Researchers from the UCLA School of Medicine found that capsaicin not only slowed the growth of breast cancer cells, it also helped kill them. Other research indicates it can be highly effective against prostate cancer.
Some doctors and scientists have been wary of capsaicin due to a 2011 study that found it promoted the growth of skin cell cancer in animals. Subsequent research into human cancer is not yet complete, but many believe that its effects are mostly positive for humans.
Many doctors and pharmaceutical companies would have you believe that your medical risks and issues can be solved with medication. But as an array of research shows, the first step towards cancer prevention lies in your diet. By emphasizing cancer-fighting phytochemicals, you can make some amazingly flavorful food while reducing your risk of cancer at the same time.