Your best defense against cancer is a healthy diet combined with an active, nontoxic lifestyle. You do have incredible power over your health. While there may be a genetic factor involved, whether or not those genes are expressed has a tremendous amount to do with your lifestyle.
Your overall diet and keeping your body alkaline is key. You should focus on having lots of Glowing Green Smoothies (GGS), salads, digestive probiotics, and a wide variety of plant foods. But here are 10 specific foods you should be eating to increase your defenses against cancer:
You know antioxidants are good for you, and there are lots of them in berries. Berries are Beauty Foods, but they’re also anti-cancer foods (especially for cancers that occur along the digestive tract). One study says, “Through their ability to scavenge ROS [reactive oxygen species], and reduce oxidative DNA damage, stimulate antioxidant enzymes, inhibit carcinogen-induced DNA adduct formation and enhance DNA repair, berry compounds have been shown to inhibit mutagenesis and cancer initiation.” In layman’s terms, it basically means that berries protect you! You can’t live in a bubble; environmental toxins are everywhere and you’ll be exposed to them, but berries can help clean up the damage before it becomes detrimental to your health.
Gobble up those raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, acai berries—whatever kind you like! Eat a mix of them, because different berries have different specialties. They’re all total powerhouses, packed with flavonoids, vitamins, minerals.
Garlic has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer, especially of the stomach, colon, bladder, and prostate. It’s a strong detoxifier in the body and it revs up the immune system so you’re naturally more able to fight off malignant cancer cells. When your immune system is depressed, those cancer cells are more likely to thrive; garlic keeps the immune system strong.
It’s so easy to incorporate a little garlic when you’re making stir-fries, etc. It’s included in tons of my cooked recipes from Beauty Detox Foods.
I am a full-fledged kale lover! And I am proud to say that many of my clients are as well, and they now request my Dharma’s Kale Salad regularly when I am packing food for them. If you are not a kale lover yet, come join us!
It’s not just delicious and fiber-rich, it can also help prevent cancer—especially lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer. In those potential cancer sites, a study showed a 64 percent inverse association between the likelihood of developing cancer and the consumption of kale and similar vegetables. But if kale’s not your thing, you can still get the same benefits from similar veggies, like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mustards, and cauliflower. They’re all part of the brassica family (part of the mustards family).
Be like Popeye and eat your spinach! Spinach works to prevent cancer when carcinogens are introduced to the body. Carcinogens were introduced to rats via cooked meat, then found that spinach consumption could decrease the likelihood of tumor development from 58 percent to 32 percent.
Make thee thine GGS!
Broccoli sprouts (and to a certain degree, mature broccoli) contain compounds that help the liver detox the body. Some of the compounds, like glucoraphanin, stimulate the production of enzymes in the body that fight off carcinogens, too. In a study, three-day old broccoli sprouts were shown to be 10-100 times more powerful than their mature counterparts. When broccoli sprout extract was given to mice, mammary tumor suppression was remarkably higher than in previous studies that used dry, mature broccoli. That’s not to say that you should bypass mature broccoli completely; just try to work some broccoli sprouts into your diet, too.
Whole grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat have been associated with lowered levels of a protein marker that suggests inflammation that could lead to cancer and other diseases. This is all thanks to a combination of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and polyphenols that are part of whole grains. Inverse associations have been shown between the consumption of whole grains and the occurrence of gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and certain hormone-related cancers.
I do recommend avoiding gluten, so avoid wheat, barley and rye, and stick to the aforementioned, naturally gluten-free grains.
Mushrooms can inhibit the growth of hormone-dependent breast cancer by suppressing aromatase (an enzyme that contributes to the conversion of testosterone into estrogen) activity in the body. Shitake mushrooms in particular are often used to boost the immune system as preventative medicine regarding cancer and AIDS. Mushrooms also contain lentinan, a compound said to slow tumor growth or prevent them from growing at all. In addition, a study in Japan showed that mushrooms decrease the rates of stomach cancer.
Mushrooms can be used in “meat” mixes, combined with seeds or nuts for wrap fillings or salad toppings.
Do you see a trend with the high-fiber, leafy greens? They’re definitely cancer fighting foods you should be eating every day. Collards take detoxifying your body seriously, plus they’re anti-inflammatory. There are four glucosinolates that are known for their cancer-fighting abilities.
I love them because they’re so easy to use in recipes that don’t involve salads or cooking. They’re sturdy enough to be used as wraps or like little green taco shells. If you haven’t already made my Raw Taco Gorilla Wraps, try them as a way to get collards into your diet!
Tomatoes have been linked to a decreased risk for cancers, especially lung, stomach, prostate, cervix, breast, oral, pancreatic, colorectum, and esophageal. Eat them cooked or raw. When you cook them, the lycopene (an antioxidant) levels increase, but when you eat them raw, you retain all the other vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C. Create your own salsa from tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a little lime juice, and then toss it on top of a salad, or try a raw (or cooked!) tomato soup.
This one isn’t something you’d eat alone, but this spice is a big part of a lot of curries and other Indian dishes. The magic lies with curcumin, a component of turmeric that has been shown to help prevent several types of cancer, especially colorectal. Other types of cancer it may prevent include esophageal, mouth, intestinal, breast, stomach, and skin.
Food is the best preventative medicine there is, and the Beauty Detox diet ensures that you’re getting tons of alkaline-forming, cancer-fighting foods full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more.
Eat up and be healthy! You are incredibly powerful, and have lots of power over your own health and life.