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Feed Yourself, Starve a Tumor

Jan. 23, 2014|191 views

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I have a friend who has battled Breast Cancer on and off for quite a few years now. One of the main things they told her to get off of was sugar, because it was feeding the cancer. Looking for something sweet to eat? Fruit is your answer. I have been a walking text book for the same advice! Be proactive and fill your plates with the color of the rainbow.

We’re fortunate to live in an age when we’ve conquered once-feared diseases. Smallpox, polio, tuberculosis, plague…for dozens of generations people lived in fear of these dread diseases. When would they strike, and whom? Smallpox has been eradicated completely, and polio is all but vanquished.

These days it’s cancer that stalks the land and strikes fear into the hearts of men and women. Cancer isn’t even our number one killer, but it’s arguably our most-feared enemy. Massive amounts of time, money and energy are expended fighting the many diverse diseases collectively known as cancer. It seems like just about everyone knows someone who’s been affected.

I reported last week that there’s some reason for celebration. According to the American Cancer Society, there’s been about a 20% drop in the overall risk of dying from cancer in the past two decades. Some of that progress has been due to advances in treatment, and some is due to changing behaviors. People are smoking less, eating better, and using sunscreen.

Part of eating better includes eating more vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables contain cancer-fighting compounds that literally nip cancer in the bud before it can grow and cause trouble. Many of these beneficial compounds work by preventing angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. Most cancer begins as a small cluster of abnormal cells. They need an independent blood supply to become a full-blown tumor. Many cancer cells never grow this new network of blood vessels, so they shrink and die. Why? Because dozens of plant foods contain compounds that prevent angiogenesis. It’s a great way to stop cancer before it can really get started.

Prime angiogenesis-fighting compounds are found in the following foods, but this list is far from exhaustive: green tea, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, broccoli, bok choy, apples, cherries, grapes, kale, dark chocolate, turmeric, olive oil…and many more. Bon appetit!

Tags:  antioxidant, cancer risks, mediterranean diet
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