Fighting Cancer with Nutrition and Natural Remedies
Nature has produced many foods, herbs and plants that have been shown to help prevent, reduce and possibly even help cure the effects of many types of cancer. Some of these foods already exist in most households, and the lesser known plants can often be obtained over the counter in a variety of medicinal forms (please consult with your healthcare professional first, though).
Antioxidants and flavonoids are vital chemicals found in many foods we eat. Antioxidants are a major defense against cancer because they may help reduce cell damage and can help stop the free radicals that create cancer cells. Flavonoids have anti-carcinogenic properties by preventing cancer-promoting estrogen from entering cells and suppressing an enzyme (COX-2) that helps cancer grow and spread.
The best sources of antioxidants and flavonoids are any brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, uncooked if possible. The best of these are:
Fruits: prunes, raisins and red grapes, berries, plums, oranges, cherries, tomatoes and kiwifruit
Vegetables: spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beetroot and red peppers.
Alternative sources of antioxidants: pulses, grains, tea, red wine, olive oil and dark chocolate.
Helpful over the counter remedies include:
Huang qi (Astragalus membranaceus) - A traditional Chinese herbal tonic thought by some to be a cancer preventative because it stimulates the immune system. Sometimes used in chemotherapy patients for the same reason.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) - Japanese mushroom that has been greatly researched for its anti-cancer/anti-tumor and immune stimulation properties.
Amachazuru (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) - Member of the pumpkin family and used in Japan and China for its Anti- cancer properties amongst other things.
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) - Indian mulberry with some potential anti-cancer activity.
Paratudo (Pfaffia paniculata) - A derivative of this, pfaffic acid, has been used as an anti-tumor drug, but the whole herb itself has been used for some cancer treatment.
Pau d'arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) - used to help treat breast and prostrate cancer.
Peruvian cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) - thought by some to be a cancer preventative and immune stimulant.
Yucca - It has been suggested that yucca extracts might be able to shrink tumors.
In addition to being used as nutritional support for cancer, many of these remedies have other beneficial health applications. As always with our health, we should try to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and exercise regularly. Products discussed here are of course just for nutritional support, it is important that you consult your doctor and pharmacist before trying any remedies and do plenty of research to make sure they are right for you.
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