Cancer is one of the most fear inducing words in our culture; and it is the number one disease American’s wish to avoid, according to on-line surveys. While cancer research has yet to find the magic bullet for knocking out cancer, there is good news about this deadly disease.
As far back as November of 1996, Harvard School of Public Health published a 15 year study which evidenced that cancer is largely preventable by improved diet and lifestyle. The study stated that upwards of 70% of all cancers could be prevented with better nutrition for Americans.
And now the good news continues. In 2007, several new studies are showing that certain foods, when eaten in combination, enhance the prevention of cancer. If you are interested in preventing yourself from getting cancer, here are some food combinations to pay attention to:
- From the American Institute of Cancer Research International Research Conference, the combination of broccoli and tomatoes, when fed to laboratory rats, evidenced significantly smaller cancerous growths than when the rats were fed either the broccoli or tomato exclusively.
The anti-cancer effect is credited to the combination of the lycopene from the tomatoes and the glucosinolates from the broccoli. These two powerful phytoneutrients (plant nutrients) combine to prevent damage to our cells as well as aid in flushing out carcinogens (things that cause cancer) from our body.
- Another study published by the Institute of Food Research in the UK identified that the combination of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables with foods high in the mineral selenium enhances the anti-cancer effect that each of these foods by themselves. Foods rich in selenium are shell fish and nuts, such as Brazil nuts.
- Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology; showed that individuals who consumed large amounts of curcumcin, which is found in the spice turmeric, and quercetin found in white onions had a greater reduction of colon polyps, which can become cancerous.
- Another recent research article, published in the Journal of Nutrition, identified study cohorts of 102 women who were instructed to add 10 fruits and vegetables a day to their diet for two weeks. A second control group was instructed to add foods from 18 botanical groups, including garlic, onions, and the cruciferous foods, such as broccoli and cabbage. While at the end of the study, women in both groups showed a decrease in peri-oxidation which contributes to cancer, the women in the 18 botanical food group showed a decrease in DNA oxidation, a precursor step in the development of cancer.
This is excellent news for all of us who wish to take greater control over our health and longevity. Thanks for scientific research, by adding these food combinations, and eating a largely plant based diet; we may reduce or eliminate the threat of cancer for ourselves and share this information with others.
- Dr. Georgianna Donadio
American Institute for Cancer Research.