5 Foods and Herbs for Healing Cancer
Much research has been done on cancer treatments in recent decades to improve therapies for the millions of Americans who are fighting this disease. What some may not be aware of, however, is that many foods and herbs have demonstrated potent anti-cancer properties and can improve both longevity and quality of life. Five of these are discussed below.
Popular in Asia, sea vegetables such as kombu, kelp and nori (the seaweed best known in the preparation of sushi dishes) have all demonstrated remarkable abilities to fight cancer. They are a rich source of natural iodine, a deficiency of which has shown up in many ovarian and breast cancer patients. They also alkalize the body with high levels of calcium and potassium: the alkaline environment is very unfriendly to cancer cells.
Consumption of algae has been commonplace in Africa and Asia for generations, and the publicity received in recent years for the remarkable properties of algae like chlorella and spirulina has introduced it to the West. Algae are wonderful detoxifiers that can remove heavy metals from the body and strengthen the immune system by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria. They are also rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K as well as minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium. In addition, they contain incredibly potent antioxidants like beta-carotene which are renowned for their cancer-fighting power.
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower and are another powerful and natural way to fight cancer. Vegetables from this family all contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical that is able to detoxify cancer-causing agents before they are able to damage healthy cells; it also contains chemicals which believe help activate enzymes that detoxify the body. Inclusion of these vegetables in the diet is believed to lower the risk for cancer and halt the growth of tumors in the breast, female reproductive tract, colon, liver and lung.
Mushrooms like reishi and chaga also have the ability to fight cancer; this is due to the fact that they contain a rich array of active compounds including polysaccharides (a complex carbohydrate which can boost the immune system), polyphenols (molecules that are strong anti-oxidants), as well as flavonoids, folates, carotenoids and various enzymes and organic acids. This combination packs quite a powerful punch and have drawn the interest of researchers and oncologists. One recent study showed that regular inclusion of reishi in the diet did in fact prohibit the growth and proliferation of tumors.
Most people are aware of aloe vera as a topical medicine only, but when taken orally, its polysaccharides have been proven to modulate the immune system and fight the formation and growth of cancerous tumors. One study published in International Immunopharmacology found that these polysaccharides were able to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which inhibits tumors. Aloe vera is also rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and phytochemicals that can eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi from the body. This can make it a powerful tool for the body to use when fighting cancer.
A diet which includes any or all of the following foods does more than just boost the health. It nourishes the immune system and can help those battling cancer to live longer and have a better quality of life.