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Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News

Anti-Cancer Foods; Anti-Cancer Herbs

This is a nutshell on leading anti-cancer foods & herbs. Our cancer nutrient pages detail many of the most active anti-cancer nutrient compounds found in these foods & herbs. Follow all the links for a depth of understanding on how to help avoid cancer and more effectively support cancer treatments with foods & herbs.

  • All Cruciferous Vegetables (Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage have been linked to lower cancer risks and have the ability to halt growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, lung, colon, liver, and cervix. It appears that a phytochemical called sulforaphane can stimulate enzymes that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells, as well as indole 3-carbinol and crambene, which are also suspected of activating detoxification enzymes)
  • Aloe Vera - Research shows strong immunomodulatory and anti-tumor properties for polysaccharides in aloe vera, which means it boosts immune system function and destroys cancer tumors. A study in International Immunopharmacology showed that aloe vera polysaccharides exhibited potent macrophage activating activities including producing increased volumes of nitric oxide, which has anti-tumor potential.
  • Eat Organic to avoid toxins and increase nutrients
  • Astragalus
  • Burdock root
  • Cat’s claw
  • Cranberry
  • Curcumin
  • Garlic (A double blind, randomized study with over 3000 human subjects for seven clinical years showed that cancer risk was cut by 60% for those with the highest intake of allium containing vegetables, including aged garlic. The miracle nutrient appears to be the enzyme alliinase (a nutrient in the Allium genus) which produces the anti-cancer compounds. The key is to crush it and let it sit for 15 minutes in order to release these anti-cancer compounds)
  • Green tea (EGCG catechins)
  • Fermented Wheat Germ
  • Hemp Seed  (The hemp plant contains balanced and rich sources of oils, with an ideal ratio of 3:1 for omega 6 to omega 3. Hemp seed oil also contains 80% essential fatty acids, believed the the highest of any plant. Essential fatty acids are fundamental to immune function due to their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which helps oxidize the cells and restores health at a cellular level. Since cancer cannot survive in a highly oxygenated environment, the superb EFA content in hemp makes it a great option for healing cancer)
  • Wheat Grass
  • Golden Root
  • Mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, maitake – see below)
  • Tomatoes
  • Tumeric – The Life Extension Foundation has conducted extensive research into the anti-cancer properties of turmeric and found that it targets 10 causative factors involved in cancer development, including DNA damage, chronic inflammation, and disruption of cell signaling pathways.
  • Legumes
  • Fiber
  • Good Bacteria (probiotics)
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon peel
  • Water – pure high frequency and lots of it
  • Flaxseed – see hemp
  • Chia seed – see hemp
  • Grape seed – see hemp
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Chlorella (to detox and nourish)
  • Spirulina (Chlorella and spirulina are two of the most potent algae and are proven cancer fighters. Due to their incredible detoxification action (including binding to and eliminating heavy metals) and immune boosting properties (by promoting production of healthy gut flora and fighting candida overgrowth), they are a must have when healing cancer)
  • Seaweeds (kelp, dulci, nori, brown etc are some of the more common sea vegetables with remarkable effects on cancer. They are one of the richest and most bioavailable sources of iodine, a substance lacking in the average diet that is implicated in many patients with breast and ovarian cancer. They are also rich in calcium and potassium, as well as all minerals, which assist in promoting a very alkaline environment, which makes it very difficult for existing cancer to survive)
  • Fennel
  • Maca
  • Licorice
  • Milk Thistle
  • Pau d’arco
  • red clover
  • Barley grass
  • Oat grass
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • other whole grains
  • Rosemary
  • thyme
  • Sage
  • Essiac Tea (believed very useful)
  • Hemp (concentrated hemp oil is believed very useful – watch the controversial video “Run From the Cure” part of Dr. Rudderham’s article on medical marijuana)
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Yams
  • Super berries (blueberries, blackberries, cranberry, acai, noni, sea buckthorne, goji)
  • Pomegranate
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Plant proteins (Many suggest avoiding animal proteins but evidence supports use of high quality grass fed whey and animal protein sources may be beneficial depending on your nutrition “type”)
  • Sprouted nuts and seeds
  • Raw almonds (soak)
  • Beets
  • Juice juice juice (juicing fresh vegetables and fruits increases bioavailability and nutrient concentration – best to juice and take one or more of our Meal Replacement and Superfood products in the OWC member Shop)
  • Willow Bark
  • Avoid refined sugars and processed carbohydrates (See our article on foods to avoid), saturated fats and salt
  • Avoid processed meats and preservatives
  • asparagus
  • celery
  • carrots
  • Minimize dairy and cheeses (avoid pasteurized products) … organic only
  • While touching in lifestyle issues article coming … consider in food preparation and serving…
  • Avoiding microwaving, minimize use of high heat frying
  • Using glass or stainless cookware and wooden utensils (chopsticks too!)
  • See our article by Doctor Haas on 10 Tips to Avoid Cancer


Follow the links above for more detail but the brief summaries below are useful and have some unique information as well.

Curcumin, extracted from the spice turmeric, has preventive and therapeutic anti-cancer properties (Aggarwal BB et al 2003; Sharma RA et al 2004). Curcumin can stop the growth of cancers of the prostate (Dorai T et al 2000; Dorai T et al 2004), colon (Narayan S 2004), and breast (Inano H et al 2000). In a phase I clinical study of colorectal cancer patients, curcumin in doses of up to 3.6 grams a day improved some clinical markers and was not associated with any toxicities (Sharma RA et al 2004). Clinical studies have shown that curcumin in doses of up to 10 grams a day had no adverse effects in humans (Aggarwal BB et al 2003). Curcumin is known to arrest the growth of established cancer (Furness MS et al 2005) by interfering with the production of growth factors that cancer cells need to establish new blood vessels and thus invade other organs, a process known as angiogenesis (Arbiser JL et al 1998; Dulak J 2005; Furness MS et al 2005).

Garlic. Garlic has long been known to have anti-cancer properties (Das S 2002; Khanum F et al 2004) due to its ability to disrupt the function of cancer-causing agents (Das S 2002). Garlic consumption lowers the risk of developing a range of cancers, including those of the stomach, colon, mammary glands, cervix (Khanum F et al 2004; Sengupta A et al 2004), and prostate (Hsing AW et al 2002). Garlic-derived allitridum, taken in combination with selenium, protects against the development of gastric cancer (Li H et al 2004). Various other garlic extracts, including aged garlic extract, allicin, and ajoene, have a range of cancer-preventive and therapeutic capabilities (Oommen S et al 2004; Tanaka S et al 2004; Xu B et al 2004). Garlic supplementation boosts immune function in cancer patients (Patya M et al 2004) by improving the function of natural killer cells and lymphocytes (Hassan ZM et al 2003; Patya M et al 2004; Tang Z et al 1997).

Green and Black Teas. Catechins and theaflavins, compounds found in green and black teas, have anti-cancer properties (Yang CS et al 2005). Clinical studies have shown that consuming five or more cups a day of green tea reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, and may help reduce the risk of recurrence in breast cancer survivors (Seely D et al 2005). Consumption of green tea also significantly improves the survival of ovarian cancer patients (Zhang M et al 2004) and reduces the risk of developing cancers of the lung, breast, and prostate (Bonner MR et al 2005; Doss MX et al 2005). The strength of data demonstrating green tea’s potential in preventing cancer that Japanese researchers are trying to develop a strategy, based on green tea consumption, for delaying cancer onset in the Japanese population, as well as reducing the risk of recurrence in cancer survivors (Fujiki H 2005). Epigallocatechin (ECGCs) in green tea has long been known to have cancer-preventive properties (Cooper R et al 2005). Epigallocatechin prevents cancer cells from forming new blood vessels and thereby spreading to other organs (Jung YD et al 2001).

Fermented Wheat Germ. Neutropenia, a condition characterized by low numbers of white blood cells known as neutrophils, is a complication of chemotherapy that leaves patients dangerously susceptible to infections (Mego M et al 2005). Supplementing with fermented wheat germ extract during conventional treatment reduces the occurrence of neutropenia (Garami M et al 2004).

Herbal Medicines such as echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus strengthen the immune system and may be beneficial to cancer patients (Block KI et al 2003; Suh SO et al 2002). Indeed, red ginseng boosts the immune system of gastric cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy after surgery (Suh SO et al 2002). Patients taking red ginseng had significantly higher overall survival (76 percent) than non-supplementing subjects (39 percent) at five years (Suh SO et al 2002).

Mushroom Extracts increase the activity of natural killer cells in gynecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (Ahn WS et al 2004). A Ganoderma lucidumpolysaccharide extract known as ganopoly (1800 mg, three times daily before meals for 12 weeks) boosted natural killer cell numbers in advanced-stage cancer patients (Gao Y et al 2003). The anti-viral properties of certain mushroom varieties are amazing. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 68 patients with advanced (stage III or IV) non-small cell lung cancer, polysaccharide peptides (PSP) isolated from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor (340 mg, three times daily for four weeks) significantly improved blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts, serum IgG and IgM, and percentage of body fat compared to the control group (Tsang KW et al 2003). In a case series of eight patients with various cancers (mostly stage II-IV), a combination of maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) MD-fraction and whole maitake powder resulted in a positive response in 23 of 36 cancer patients. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 69 percent of breast cancer patients, 63 percent of lung cancer patients, and 58 percent of liver cancer patients. The study found a less than 10 percent to 20 percent improvement in leukemia, stomach cancer, and brain cancer patients. In addition, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, immune-competent cell activities were enhanced 1.2 times to 1.4 times compared to chemotherapy alone (Kodama N et al 2002). Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and chaga have had a number of bioactive molecules, including anti-tumor agents, identified in their structure. These bioactive compounds include polysaccharides, alkaloids, tocopherols, phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, folates, ascorbic acid enzymes, and organic acids. Studies show that long-term consumption of reishi prevents tumor proliferation and growth by increasing the level of antioxidants in an individual’s blood plasma while boosting the immunity of those suffering from advanced stage cancer.

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