Health and Wellness Fridays – Top Cancer Fighting Foods

Welcome back dear friends to Health and Wellness Fridays! May your day be filled with joy and peace and as we move into the weekend may this follow you also.

Today, we going to look at everyday foods that have been identified as cancer fighting foods but before we get into that let’s start with the basics.

What is cancer?

Cancer is not a single disease.  In fact, cancer is the term used to classify a group of more than 100 diseases all of which are characterized by their uncontrolled abnormal growth of cells.   Cancer can start anywhere in the body.  When it starts cells grow out of control as malignant cells multiply forming tumors in organs and tissues.  This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should.

What causes cancer?

Cancer is a genetic disease. When the genetic material of a cell aka ‘the DNA’ is damaged, mutations can arise and this can potentially disrupt normal cell growth and division. 

An accumulation of these mutations can turn normal cells into precancerous cells, which sometimes multiply and evolve into cancer cells. Cancer is a result of the accumulation of these cells.  Cancer development is a process and it takes time to develop and is not something that just happens overnight.

How is cancer treated?

Some treatments of cancer include but are not limited to the following:

  • Surgery – the procedure in which a surgeon removes cancer from your body.
  • Radiation – uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • Chemotherapy – uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy– a type of treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer.
  • Hormone Therapy– a treatment that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow.
  • Stem Cell Transplant– are procedures that restore blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Precision Medicine– helps doctors select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease.
  • Targeted Therapy – is a treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow, divide, and spread.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way let’s look at some foods that have been reported to help in the fight against cancer.  I’ve heard and read many stories of persons who have made simple changes to their diet and have had remarkable results.

Eat, Nutrition, Food, Healthy, Vegetables, Detox

Let’s take a look at some of the popular foods:

  • Broccoli
  • Berries – (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, goji berries)
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Beans and peas
  • Leafy Green Vegetables (e.g. spinach, lettuce, patchoi
  • Cruciferous Vegetables – (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
  • Brightly Orange – Coloured Foods – (e.g. carrots, sweet potato, squash and citrus fruits)
  • Unrefined oils- (e.g. coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax oil and cod)
  • Nuts- (e.g. walnuts, brazil nuts and almonds)
  • Seeds – (e.g. chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds)
  • Probiotic foods – (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, coconut kefir, kombucha or natto)
  • Wild-Caught Fish
  • Mushrooms
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger
  • Beetroot
  • Grapes
  • Green Tea
  • Pomegranate
  • Dark chocolate
  • Turmeric
  • Increase your intake of alkaline water

Our first course of action to reduce our risks for cancer is to improve our diet.  “One day at a time” is my motto but we have to start sooner rather than later.  So we need to pay closer attention to what we’re putting into our bodies if we want to get the maximum use of them.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

Sources:

Health and Wellness Fridays – Tomatoes

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays! Today we’re going to be looking at tomatoes scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum. Tomatoes originated in South America and can now be found all over the world.  It is the berry of a plant that comes from the Nightshade family that belong to a scientific family of plants called Solanaceae .

As a member of the nightshade family, tomatoes contain glycoalkaloids, toxic substances that act like a natural pesticides or fungicides in the plant. While glycoalkaloids are poisonous to humans, their levels are quite low in tomatoes making them safe to consume according to Food Safety Watch .

The tomato is technically a fruit but it is also categorised as a vegetable.  Tomatoes are juicy, soft and have many seeds. They vary in shape, size , colour, texture and flavour. The most common colour is red but it can also be yellow, orange or green.

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, biotin and molybdenum. They are also a good source of iron, zinc, potassium, copper, manganese, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, niacin, folate and phosphorus just to name a few.

Tomatoes have large amounts of the antioxidant known as lycopene which  some studies revealed was good at fighting and preventing cancer associated with the prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovaries, colon and pancreas.

According to some of the studies done here are some of the health benefits of including tomatoes in your diet:

  • Protects the skin against sun damage
  • Prevent kidney stones and gallstones
  • Counters the effect of cigarette smoke
  • Prevents urinary tract infections
  • Support a healthy pregnancy
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Cancer prevention
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Protects the heart
  • Strong and shiny hair
  • Stronger bones
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Help with constipation
  • Support vision health
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Aid in depression

Some Possible Risks:

  • Chemical-based tomato farming involves spraying tomatoes with large quantities of pesticides and insecticides. Hence, organically grown tomatoes are recommended to reduce pesticide exposure.
  • Tomatoes are high in potassium and should be consumed in moderation especially when taking beta-blockers.  Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional.
  • Persons who suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation. However, reactions vary from person to person.
  • Although tomato allergy is rare, they can cause allergic reactions in people allergic to grass pollen causing itching in the mouth, scratchy throat or swelling of the mouth or throat.  This condition is called pollen-food allergy syndrome or oral-allergy syndrome .

How to use tomatoes:

  • Tomatoes should always be washed before eating.
  • Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are simple and easy ways to add more tomatoes to your diet.  Add a few slices to your sandwiches, add them to your salad, make a tomato soup, make guacamole, drink it in a vegetable juice, chop them up and add them to your egg omelet.  Be creative.

Remember, not because something is reported as good for you means you should abuse it – so use in moderation.   Always consult your doctor.

Being healthy is a lifestyle and it requires discipline and some research from time to time.  I am working on improving my health one day at a time.

It is your health, your body and your life so take care of it.  I believe in the saying, “prevention is better than the cure” and this is why I started Health and Wellness Fridays to bring to your attention foods that we sometimes overlook and take for granted.

  Thanks for stopping by.  See you next week.  🙂

Sources:

  • https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/tomatoes/
  • http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/health/9-surprising-health-benefits-of-tomatoes.aspx?p=12
  • https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/tomatoes.html
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=62
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php?page=2