October 26 – Strategy 26 – Spice up Your Life for Prevention
Eating a variety of spices is just as important as eating a variety of fruits and vegetables when it comes to recruiting allies in the fight against cancer. Traditional Chinese Medicine promotes the use of herb teas and spices as natural remedies for almost any ailment, but especially for cancer prevention. I have already spoken at length about the power of Tumeric and its undisputed use even by conventional medicine in preventing inflammation and the formation of free radicals that lead to cancer. Some other common herbs that help fight cancer are basil, parsley, oregano, mint, dill and garlic.
Oregano, perhaps one of the more frequently used herbs for Mediterranean dishes, has potent antioxidants that protect the cell. Just one tablespoon of oregano has more protection than an entire apple. Of course, you probably wouldn't simply eat a tablespoon full, but adding it to a blend of cancer fighting tomatos, garlic, onion and peppers to make a delicious sauce can satisfy any hungry family and help protect them at the same time.
Basil contains numerous compounds and other substances that have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Basil may help alleviate type 2 Diabetes by improving insulin control. Carnosol, a component of basil, has been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells. While the evidence is mixed as to whether basil can slow the growth of liver tumors in experimental mice, it has been shown to inhibit liver cancer from spreading.
There are increasing numbers of studies on the health effects of parsley. Its phytochemicals affect the speed of cell division, leaving time for the cell to correct DNA mistakes or to activate cell death. It has phytochemicals that effect and reduce inflammation.
Mint has been shown to be effective in destroying blood vessels that supply tumors. Cancer needs to invade blood vessels so it can travel to other parts of the body, and needs to hijack nutrients from the blood to nourish tumors and multiply.
Dill has many medicinal properties, which mainly come from certain compounds called Monoterpenes, flavonoids, minerals and certain amino acids. The chemoprotective Monoterpenes are very effective in neutralizing carcinogens, particularly Cyano- and Benzo- derivatives and free radicals, thereby protecting from cancer. The other anti-oxidants in essential oils of dill also contribute to this.
Garlic belongs to the family of vegetables called Allium, which also includes onions, scallions, leeks and chives. In animal studies, components in Allium vegetables have slowed the development of cancer in several stages and at various body sites including stomach, breast, esophagus, colon and lung.
The moral of the story is once again, cancer prevention begins in your kitchen. Stir fry some colorful vegetables in olive oil, garlic, basil or oregano and you have a powerful cancer-fighting combination. It’s also wonderfully delicious!
Check out a new video on the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine:
To see all the tips for prevention, or purchase my book, A Teacher’s Journey…What Breast Cancer Taught Me, go to www.sisters4prevention.com.