Tag Archives: cancer

Super Foods – What Are They and What Do They Do?

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Super foods have become popular in recent times, but are they really worth consuming?
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Celebrity endorsements have helped to spread the superfood craze – Gwyneth Paltrow uses agave nectar, Miranda Kerr swears by quinoa and açai berries and now coconut water has become the latest superfood to be seen consuming in Hollywood – stars Gisele Bündchen and Anna Paquin both fans of this electrolyte laden drink.

But what are ‘superfoods’ and how can they help us?

Superfoods – A Definition

Superfoods are a category of foods that are found in nature and which contain superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients that the human body does not make.
Superfoods are very low in calories and very high in nutrients, providing the body with an ultimate goodness kick!

Expert Opinion

Medical and health experts say that ‘superfoods’ can help protect against dangerous health conditions and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cholesterol and others.
Experts stress that the foods do need to be in their natural, unprocessed forms to be of any benefit.
Elizabeth Somer, author of The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals says,

“Every superfood is going to be a ‘real’ (unprocessed) food. You don’t find fortified potato chips in the superfood category.”

“Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing,” Somer says. “I’d say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension can all be impacted.”

The Superfoods

This list is not inclusive, there are many more ‘superfoods’, this is a list of 10 of the more well-known and popular.

1. Açai and Goji berries – very high in anti-oxidants which attack harmful free radicals in the body.

2. Coconut water – fresh coconut is extremely high in electrolytes and potassium. 

3. Quinoa – a seed from South America is gluten free, high in protein, low G.I. and contains essential fatty acids – a nutritional gold-star!

4. Agave nectar – used as an alternative to processed sugars, makes a healthier alternative, although nutritionists say it is usually heat treated and loses its nutritional value.

5. Salmon – is a super food due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help to maintain a healthy heart. Salmon is low in calories, contains lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat.

6. Broccoli – a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight.

7. Olive oil – studies suggest that the monosaturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart as it lowers bad cholesterol levels and increases the good cholesterol levels. Olive oil is also high in anti-oxidants.

8. Tea – black or green, contains a high level of the antioxidant named catechins. Studies suggest that catechins protect the artery walls against the damage that leads to heart disease and inhibits the development of blood clots.

9. Brazil nuts – full of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. Brazil nuts contain a high level of selenium that may help protect against diseases such as cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s. 

10. Yogurt – source of calcium. Helps to improve the health of the large intestine and aids in the relief of gastrointestinal upsets. Yogurt can be used as a milk substitute for those people who are lactose intolerant.

Information for this article sourced from websites http://www.foodmatters.tv, http://www.webmd.com and http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

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Cancer Fighting Foods

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Cancer Fighting Foods

Having a healthy diet is one of the most effective and easiest ways to help protect against cancer.  Eating certain foods may even slow down cancer cell growth or reduce the size of cancerous tumors.

This list of cancer-fighting foods is by all means not inclusive, there are other anti-cancer foods, but this list provides a great starting point for any anti-cancer shopping list.

Vegetables

Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower

These vegetables contain a chemical called indole-3-carbinol that converts a cancer-promoting estrogen into a protective estrogen, which helps to fight breast cancer.  Broccoli contains phytochemical sulforaphane which is believed to help prevent colon and rectal cancer and the sulforaphane produces enzymes that have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors.

Carrots

Carrots contain beta carotene – good for your eyesight, but also good for staving off cancer. Beta carotene may help reduce many cancers including lung, throat, stomach, intestine, prostate and breast cancers.

Some research has suggested that beta carotene may actually cause cancer; however this is only by eating a large amount – 2-3 kilos a day.

 

Mushrooms

Various types of mushrooms can help the body fight cancer and build the immune system. Shiitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor mushrooms contain polysaccharides, powerful compounds that help build immunity. A protein called lectin, which attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying, is also found in these mushrooms.

Seaweed

Seaweed contains beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fibre, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones– fatty acids that can aid in the battle against breast cancer.

Turmeric                                                                                                                                                        

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  It can help reduce the production of inflammation-related enzymes (cyclo-oxygenase 2) which are abnormally high in certain cancers such as bowel and colon cancers.

Fruit

Avocados 

Avocados are rich in the potent antioxidant glutathione, which attacks free radicals in the body by blocking the absorption of certain fats in the intestines. Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium and beta-carotene.

Chili peppers   

Chili peppers and jalapeno peppers contain capsaicin, which may neutralize certain cancer-causing elements called nitrosamines and may assist in preventing cancers such as stomach cancer.

Tomatoes                                                                                                                                        

Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene which attacks free radicals in the body that are suspected of causing cancer.  Tomatoes also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer.

Figs   

Figs contain a chemical called benzaldehyde.  Studies conducted at theInstitute ofPhysical and Chemical Research inTokyo found benzaldehyde is highly effective at shrinking tumors.

Garlic                                                                                                                                                 

Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and breakdown cancer-causing matter. Garlic contains the compound allium and this helps block carcinogens from entering cells and helps slow down the growth of tumors.   Studies have found the garlic must be fresh garlic, garlic supplements do not contain these properties.

Nuts 

Nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may curb the development of cancers. Brazil nuts contain a high amount of selenium, which is significant to help those with prostate cancer.

Flax or Flaxseed  

Flaxseed contains lignans, which can have an antioxidant effect and may suppress cancerous changes. Flax is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to protect against colon cancer and heart disease.

Drinks

Green Tea and Black Tea                                                                                                                 

Green tea has been known to help prevent skin, esophageal, stomach, colon, pancreas, lung, bladder, prostate and breast cancers.   Green tea, and to a lesser extent black tea, contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that polyphenols can minimize and prevent cancerous tumors by cutting off the blood supply to the tumors.

Red Wine    

Red wine has polyphenols that may protect against various types of cancer. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants and help neutralize disease-causing free radicals.

It is helpful and recommended to seek advice and assistance from a health care professional if you suspect you may have cancer and to follow their instructions.

Eating a well-balanced diet and including these anti-cancer foods should be a part of a daily routine and not seen as a cure or treatment for any type of cancer.

The information used for this article was sourced from the website http://www.care2.com and an article from http://www.foxnews.com.