Eating Vegetables and Fruits to beat cancer
We all know that vegetables are good for us - but some are better than others.
A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, for example, can almost halve the risk of colon cancer, scientists at Liverpool University reported recently.
Here, femail.co.uk lists ten of the top 'super veg' - along with the ailments they can heal or prevent.
According to research at Liverpool University, broccoli and other leafy greens contain a fibre rich in the sugar galactose, which could help prevent proteins called lectins from binding to the lining of the colon and causing damage.
Cabbage is claimed to ease stomach ulcers due to the presence of glutamine and of s-methylmethionine.One U.S. study showed people who ate cabbage more than once a week reduced their chance of contracting bowel cancer by twothirds, though other studies haven't shown such conclusive results.
One of the main active ingredients in tomatoes is the phytochemical lycopene, which fights free radicals that can cause cancer.The evidence for tomatoes' beneficial effect is strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach, but it can also be shown for the colon, pancreas, oesophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix.
Research studying more than 1,000 U.S. and European men found those with the highest levels of lycopene were about half as likely to have had a heart attack.
Two antioxidants in spinach - lutein and zeaxanthin - seem to protect against age- related eye diseases, including cataracts as well as macular degeneration.In one American study, people who ate spinach 5-6 times a week had an 86pc lower risk of having advanced macular degeneration.
Carrots contain a lot of beta carotene, which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bladder, prostate and breast. Some research indicated beta carotene may actually cause cancer, but this has not proven that eating carrots, unless in very large quantities - 2 to 3 kilos a day, can cause cancer. In fact, a substance called falcarinol that is found in carrots has been found to reduce the risk of cancer, according to researchers at DIAS.
Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.
Red peppers are a rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene - boosting the immune system and protecting against everything-from colds to cancer.
Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compounds (dialyl sultides) that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer causing substances.The sulphur compounds in garlic mean that a regular intake can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood clotting.A recent study of women in Iowa, U.S., found that those who ate garlic more than once a week were only half as likely as non-garlic eaters to develop colon cancer. Dr. Lenore Arab, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the UNC-CH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) schools of public health and medicine and colleagues analyzed a number of studies and reported their findings in the October 2000 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. According to the report, people who consume raw or cooked garlic regularly face about half the risk of stomach cancer and two-thirds the risk of colorectal cancer as people who eat little or none. Their studies didn't show garlic supplements had the same effect. It is believed garlic may help prevent stomach cancer because it has anti-bacterial effects against a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, found in the stomach and known to promote cancer there.
Licorice root has a chemical, glycyrrhizin, that blocks a component of testosterone and therefore may help prevent the growth of prostate cancer. However, excessive amounts can lead to elevated blood pressure.
Mushrooms - There are a number of mushrooms that appear to help the body fight cancer and build the immune systemThey are a source of Beta Glucan. They also have a protein called lectin, which attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying. They also contain Thioproline. These mushrooms can stimulate the production of interferon in the body.
Green Tea and Black tea
According to a report in the July 2001 issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, these polyphenols that are abundant in green tea, red wine and olive oil, may protect against various types of cancer. Dry green tea leaves, which are about 40% polyphenols by weight, may also reduce the risk of cancer of the stomach, lung, colon, rectum, liver and pancreas, study findings have suggested.
Rosemary can be used as a seasoning. It can also be consumed as a tea: Use 1 tsp. dried leaves per cup of hot water; steep for 15 minutes. Rosemary may help increase the activity of detoxification enzymes. An extract of rosemary, termed carnosol, has inhibited the development of both breast and skin tumors in animals.