As our section on an "Anticancer environment" concludes, certain foods in the western world are carcinogenic. As a result, it is suggested that an "anticancer diet" should be followed. As Dr. Servan-Schreiber indicates in his book (Anticancer, a new way of life), the anticancer diet is principally composed of vegetables (and legumes) accompanied by olive (or canola, or flaxseed) oil, or organic butter, garlic, herbs and spices. Meat or eggs are also optional. We have inserted the following image which depicts the "anticancer plate", which can be found in the "everything you need to know pocket guide".
Aside from the "anticancer plate" there is also a list of recommended foods that can help prevent and fight cancer:
Green Tea - Reduces the growth of the new vessels needed for tumor growth and metastases. Japanese green tea (Sencha, Gyokuro, Matcha, etc.) is more effective than Chinese green tea.
Tumeric and Curry - the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory identified today. It also helps stimulate apoptosis in cancer cells and inhibits angiogenesis. In laboratory, it enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces tumor growth. note: to be assimilated by the body, tumeric must be mixed with black powder (not simply with peppers). Ideally it must also be dissolved in oil (olive, canola or linseed oil).
Ginger - acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It also helps reduce the creation of new blood vessels. A ginger infusion also helps alleviate nausea from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Cruciform Vegetables - Cabbages (Brussels sprouts, bok choi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) contain anticancer molecules which are capable of detoxifying certain carcinogenic substances. They prevent pre-cancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors. They also promote the suicide of cancer cells and block angiogenesis.
Garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, chives - The sulfur compounds of this family reduce the carcinogenic effects of nitrosamines and n-nitroso compounds, which are created in over-grilled meat and during tobacco combustion. They promote cell death in colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer, as well as in leukemia.
Vegetables and Fruits Rich in Carotenoids - Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, certain varieties of potimarron squash (also known as Hokkaido squash), tomatoes, persimmons, apricots, beetroot and all the bright-colored fruits and vegetables (orange, red, yellow, green) contain vitamin A and lycopene, which have the proven capacity to inhibit the growth of cells of several cancer lines, some of which are particularly aggressive (such as brain gliomas).
Tomatoes - It has been proven that lycopene in tomatoes leas to longer survival from prostate cancer in men who consumed tomato sauce in at least two meals a week. note: tomatoes must be cooked in order to release their lycopene. Moreover, olive oil improves its assimilation.
Soy - Soy isoflavones (including genistein, daidzein and glycitein) block the simulation of cancer cells by sex hormones (such as oestrogens and testosterone). They also intervene by blocking angiogenesis. note: Isoflavone supplements (in pill form) have been associated with an aggravation of certain breast cancers, but not soy taken in as food. Furthermore, in many areas of the world today, soy is grown from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The impact of these genetically-modified plants on cancer growth is unknown.
Mushrooms - Shiitake, maitake, enoki, crimini, portabello, oyster mushroom and thistle oyster mushrooms, and trametes (coriolus) all contain polysaccharides and lentinian, which stimulate the reproduction and the activity of immune cells. These mushrooms are often used in Japan as a complement to chemotherapy to support the immune system.
Herbs and Spices - Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint promote apoptosis in cancer cells and reduce their speed by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighboring tissues. Carnosol in rosemary is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Its capacity to enhance the effectiveness of certain chemotherapies has been demonstrated. Parsley and celery contain apigenin, an anti-inflammatory that promotes apoptosis and blocks angiogenesis using a mechanism similar to Gleevec's.
Seaweed - Several varieties of seaweed commonly eaten in Asia contain molecules that slow cancer growth, especially breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer.
Omega-3s - Long-chain omega-3s found in fatty fish reduce inflammation. In cell cultures, they reduce cancer cell growth in a large number of tumors (lung, breast, colon, prostate, kidney, etc.). They also act to reduce the spread of tumors in the form of metastases.
Foods rich in Selenium - Selenium is an oligoelement found in the soil. Vegetables and cereals grown organically also contain large quantities of selenium. Selenium stimulates immune cells and particularly NK cells.
Vitamin D - It has recently been shown that a significant supply of vitamin D reduces considerably the risk of several different cancers. Skin cells produce vitamin D when exposed directly to the sun, but can also be obtained through vitamin pills.
Berries - Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries contain ellagic acid and a large number of polyphenols. They stimulate the mechanisms of elimination of carcinogenic substances and inhibit angiogenesis. Anthocyanidines and proanthocyanidines also promote apoptosis in cancer cells.
Citrus Fruit - Oranges, tangerines, lemons, and grapefruit contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids. They also stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens by the liver. It has even been shown that flavonoids in the skin of tangerines - tangeritin and nobiletin - penetrate brain cancer cells for invading neighbouring tissues.
Dark chocolate - Dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa) contains a number of antioxidants, proanthocyanidines and many polyphenols. These molecules slow the growth of cancer cells and limit angiogenesis. note: mixing dairy products with chocolate cancels the beneficial effects of the molecules of cocoa. Avoid milk chocolate.
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note: all the above information and images are derived from "anticancer, a new way of life", courtesy of Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.