8 Magical Indian Spices that prevent Cancer

The goodness of Indian spices with cancer-fighting properties and the necessity of their inclusion to our eating habits.

Turmeric/Curcumin: This is the king of spices Turmeric contains the powerful polyphenol Curcumin that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing prostate cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and leukemia amongst a host of others. Curcumin promotes ‘Apoptosis’- (programmed cell death/cell suicide) that safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells.

Fennel: Loaded with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants, cancer cells have nothing but to accept defeat when the spice is fennel. ‘Anethole’, a major constituent of fennel resists and restricts the invasive activities of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic regulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication. A tomato-fennel soup with garlic make for an ideal entry prior to course meal.

Saffron: A natural carotenoid compound called ‘Crocetin’ is the primary cancer-fighting element that saffron contains. It not only inhibits the progression of the disease but also decreases the size of the tumour by half, a complete goodbye to cancer. Though it is the most expensive spice in the world a few saffron threads come loaded with benefits you won’t regret paying for. Saffron threads can be used in milk, soups, and porridges.

Cumin: Yes, it aids digestion and that is why we like chewing a handful of cumin seeds at the end of every meal. However, its health benefits go beyond. A portent herb with anti-oxidant characteristics, cumin seeds contains a compound called ‘Thymoquinone’ that checks proliferation of cells responsible for prostate cancer. So, instead of loading your usual snack options with calories and oil, add this seasoning to your bread, fried beans or sauce, tadka dal and make the dish rich in flavour and high on health.

Cinnamon: It takes not more than a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder every day to keep cancer risk away. A natural food preservative, cinnamon is a source of iron and calcium. Useful in reducing tumour growth, it blocks the formation of new vessels in the human body. Some of the effective ways of including cinnamon in your diet are:

-Start your day with a cup of cinnamon tea

-Make your breakfast meal a super healthy one by adding this spice to your
morning oatmeal!

-Honey and cinnamon in your glass of milk before going to bed.

Capsaicin (Chilli/Bell peppers): A promising spice with anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin induces the process of apoptosis that destroys potential cancer cells and reduces the size of leukemia tumour cells considerably. It can be concluded that apart from setting our tongues on fire, bell peppers can scare cancer pathogens off too.

Ginger: This humble spice boasts of medicinal qualities that help lowering cholesterol, boost metabolism and kill cancer cells. Easily added to vegetable dishes, fish preparations and salads, ginger enhances the flavour in cooking.

Garlic: The most powerful anti-cancer spice. It lowers the risk of developing all types of cancers especially colon, stomach, intestinal, and prostate cancer. It has strong antibacterial properties as well as the ability to block formation and halt activation of cancer-causing substances. It stops cancer growth and kills cancer cells. Recommended adult dosage of fresh garlic approximately one clove per day.

Others: Cloves, anise, basil, fenugreek, mustard, mint leaves, rosemary, Limonin (fresh lemon), virgin olive, vinegar and avocado are other cancer-fighting diet components.

Likes 23 Dislikes 1

ORAL CANCER and its prevention

Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers,
if caught early.

Oral cancer is the most common cancer in India; as 4 in 10 of all cancers are oral cancers. Annually 130,000 people succumb to oral cancer in India The reason for high prevalence of oral cancer in India is primarily because tobacco is consumed in the form of gutkha, quid, snuff or misri. Oral cancer belongs to a larger group of cancers called head and neck cancers. Most develop in the squamous cells found in the tissues that line the mouth and lips. They are most often discovered after they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Early detection is key to surviving oral cancer.

One of the biggest risk factors of oral cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use, especially when both products are used on a regular basis. Other risk factors include HPV infection (a sexually transmitted virus),chronic facial sun exposure, a previous diagnosis of oral cancer, a family history of oral or other types of cancer.

Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore on the lips or mouth that won’t heal,a mass or growth anywhere in the mouth, bleeding from the mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty with swallowing, trouble wearing dentures, lump in neck, ear-ache that won’t go away, dramatic weight loss; lower lip, face, neck, or chin numbness, white, red patches in mouth or lip . Many times people will notice a sore mouth but usually will not take it too seriously and just wait for it to go away. During this period of waiting, the cancer may be metastasizing or spreading. Regular dental or doctor examinations usually discover many oral cancers. Some of the tests used to confirm the diagnosis include a biopsy along with X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans to determine if the cancer has spread. Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers. One of the most important things you can do is visit a doctor once a year for a complete oral examination.

Likes 21 Dislikes 0

Prevent Cancer naturally with Minerals

A variety of different nutrients are crucial for our body to prevent cancer. The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a life-style to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 minerals that help protect against cancer

 

1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines, sea fish.

2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues. Salt fortified with high amount of Iodine is always better.

3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material–RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.

4. Selenium: This mineral help proper detoxification of the body. Because toxins/toxics build- up in the body is linked to cancer, hence assisting your body with its natural, ongoing detoxification processes helps lessen your risk of cancer. In research, low dietary levels of selenium have been correlated with higher cancer incidence. Supplementation with selenium is a valuable cancer prevention tool.

5. Zinc: A powerful protective agent against prostate cancer, this mineral is also necessary for the formation of RNA and DNA and a healthy immune system. And, you guessed it: a healthy immune system is better able to kill cancer cells. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, seafood, whole grains, soybeans, and onions.

It’s important to get a wide range of nutrients to fight off cancer, let’s start with some !!!

Likes 21 Dislikes 0

Applied Ayurveda & Cancer treatment

The main idea behind Ayurvedic medicine is that health problems happen because one’s mind, body and spirit are out of balance, which depends upon the Metabolism of body. Ayurveda aim to bring balance and harmony back into a patient’s body, which in turn prevents or cures disease.

 

“Swasthsya Swastha Rakshanam, Aaturasya Vikar Prashaman Cha”

The above mention sutra states that certain combinations of Ayurveda helps to:

• Increase energy and wellbeing

• Balance mind, body and spirit

• Decrease stress

• Possibly prevent and cure disease

Ayurvedic concept of cancer diathesis and its pathogenesis in terms of the theory of body tissue, the metabolism of food, channels of the body who carry the nutrition to required tissue, and the generic sequence of events in the genesis of a disease. All this depicts a new paradigm of the disease state. This paper also examines the scope of plant drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

Principles of Ayurvedic treatment:

Abuse of nature’s law upsets the human system and ends up in disease like cancer. It is again the nature, the foremost physician who brings the cure. The Ayurvedic system of medicine was well founded on the basic principles of nature and its elements after a careful and thorough study of human physiology. This is the first system to emphasize health as the perfect state of physical, psychological, social and spiritual component of a human being.

The therapeutic approach of Ayurveda has been divided into four categories as health maintenance, disease cure, restoration of normal function and spiritual approach.

Finding the cause of an illness is the basic goal of Ayurvedic therapy. Classification of disease development has been done into six stages that include Aggravation, Accumulation, Overflow, Re-Location, Build-up in a new location, and Manifestation into are cognizable diseases. Ayurveda helps diagnosing an illness at even initial stages of body imbalance and the therapeutic approach maintains a balance by supplying deficient substances as well as reducing the excessive ones. Surgery is considered only for advanced cases Cancer effects.

“Rectifying the metabolism of body helps in achieving the set target of treating the Cancer as a tumor is formed because of Cancer, which is in whole a disease tumor itself is not the disease .”

To treat Cancer we need to treat the root cause of disease, only treating the symptoms will not help in eradicating the disease completely from body, which if not done causes recurrence of the same, so recurrence can also be prevented by following Ayurvedic line of treatment for diseases including Cancer.

Likes 23 Dislikes 0

Prevent Cancer with Phytonutrient Power

Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and legumes. These plant compounds have beneficial effects working with other essential nutrients to promote good health.

 

Plants contain thousands of natural compounds that science has shown benefit human health and shield us against chronic diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to diabetes, dementia and cancer. There are still thousands of yet unidentified chemical compounds in plants and vegetables we consume that likely work in synergy with existing phytonutrients that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to promote healthy metabolism and cellular homeostasis.

Many of us are well aware of macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein and fat, as well as micronutrients, such as the vitamins and minerals that are listed on FDA-regulated food labels. But too few of us are familiar with phytonutrients — plant-based micronutrients that offer many health benefits and may help ward off chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

 

“Phyto” means plant

• Phytonutient literally means plant nutrient.

• There are hundreds of phytonutrients that are often referred to as phytochemicals also.

• Common phytonutrients include carotenoids such as lutein, flavonoids, coumarins, indoles, isoflavones, lignans, organosulfures and plant sterols.

Powerful antioxidants

• Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the body.

• A number of phytonutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

• Experts believe that eating plenty of phytonutrient-rich foods promotes healthy aging.

Other biological roles

• Phytonutrients may have other bioactive functions for promoting health.

• Some may have positive effects on the immune system and hormones.

• Phytonutrients may also act as antibacterial or antiviral agents.

Phytonutrient rich foods

• Red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit (such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangos, melons, citrus fruits, and berries)

• Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce)

• Garlic, onions, chives and leeks

• Whole grain products (such as brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, and whole wheat whole grain breads and whole grain cereals)

• Nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds)

• Legumes (such as dried beans, peas, lentils, soy beans and soy products)

• Tea and coffee (such as green tea, black tea and other herbal teas)

Enjoy the rainbow

• Phytonutrients are responsible for the vibrant colours found in vegetables and fruit.

• For example the phytonutrient lycopene helps give tomatoes and watermelon their red color.

• By enjoying a rainbow of vegetables and fruit everyday, you can make the most of many of the phytonutrients nature has to offer.

The following 10 natural substances have been demonstrated to be the most effective

1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): A green tea extract

2. Curcumin: The primary polyphenol in turmeric root

3. Resveratrol: A phytochemical found in grapes, peanuts, Japanese knotweed

4. Lycopene: A red carotenoid found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, and tomatoes

5. Pomegranate extracts

6. Luteolin: A flavonoid found in peppers and various green vegetables

7. Genistein: A phytochemical found in soy, red clover, and coffee

8. Piperine: A phytochemicals found in black pepper

9. β-carotene: An orange carotenoid found in various vegetables

10. Sulforaphane: A sulfurous phytochemical found in Cruciferous vegetables

 

“Phytonutrients , also a milestone in the improvement of cancer treatment because the synthetic anticancer drugs that are currently used are often highly toxic for healthy organs and weakens the patient’s immune system.”

Likes 22 Dislikes 1

PREVENTION OF CANCER BY EXERCISE

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato(427-347 B.C.)

 

Thus comes the important role of exercise to maintain our natural health. We now know that cancer is a preventable disease; atleast 70% cancers can be prevented by just altering our life-styles. There are lots of ways by which we can prevent cancer of which one is exercise of course. More than 200 epidemiologic studies have been done to show that exercise can prevent Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Lung Cancer, Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer, Kidney Cancer and probably Prostate Cancer also.

~Breast Cancer:
At least 60 studies were done till 2006 on exercise to show the reduction of Breast Cancer risk. The data show that inactive women are more prone to get Breast Cancer. On an average, around 60 percent reduction of Breast Cancer risk can be obtained by physical activity in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women by only 30- minute exercise daily.

~Colon Cancer:
Research works revealed that risk of Colon Cancer can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent relative to those who lead the sedentary life as it is evident from more than 50 studies till 2006.

~Lung Cancer:
Similarly Lung Cancer risk is also reduced by exercise and this is shown in almost 21 studies till 2005

~Endometrical Cancer:
We have got about 20 studies till 2006, which reveal the physical activity is reducing the risk of endometrial cancer incidence by 20 to 40 percent.

~Prostate Cancer:
There are about 36 research works on the relation of Prostate Cancer and physical activity till 2006. These studies show there might be probability to reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer by exercise.

How much exercise is sufficient?
Research works show that exercise for 30 minutes daily is sufficient to reduce your cancer risk.

What kind of exercise we should do?

1) Go on cycling, dancing, skipping, walking, running, swimming etc.

2) Get off the bus or tram one stop earlier and just walk the rest to reach your destination.

3) Do your household works extensively like cleaning the rooms, gardening, mowing the lawn.

4) Do the works which need sitting and standing.

5) Instead of using lift or escalator, walk up the stairs.

6) Involve with sports like football, cricket, tennis. All sorts of indoor games, athletics etc.

7) Yoga-exercise, light jogging etc. may be preferable.

8) Join a sports-club or a team.

9) Try often to walk to visit your friends rather than send them an e-mail or s.m.s.

10) Try to vary the type of physical activity, so that you would not get bored.

11) Last of all, if your job compel you to sit for a long hours, try to get up of the chair and move for two minutes at an interval of every hour.

Please remember “Prevention is better than cure” and this is applicable to cancer also.

Likes 27 Dislikes 0

ANTIOXIDANTS AS CANCER PREVENTION AGENTS

Diet is an important area of intervention for primary cancer prevention. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that high intake of food rich in beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, copper and iron decrease the risk of some cancers.



Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have potential to harm cells. Free radicals can be hazardous and damage cells, including DNA, proteins, cell membranes. These factors play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.



Antioxidants or “free radical scavengers” are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing from damage. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants.



Vitamin E or tocopherol occurs widely in nature and is a intracellular antioxidant that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (component of cell membranes) and prevents the formation of carcinogens from cancer causing compounds. Lycopene is the most effective singlet-oxygen quenchers, it helps in destruction of free radicals. Increase intake of lycopene has reduced the risk of oral, breast, cervix, pancreas, colon, lung cancers. Vitamin A and C, folic acid have protective role at the molecular level in cancer development. Dietary deficiencies of antioxidant are known risk factors in the pathogenesis of cancer to stop further development.



SOURCES:



BETA CAROTENE – Green leafy vegetables, ripe yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, musk melon, mango, pumpkin, carrots.



VITAMIN C – Citrus fruits like orange, lemon and sweet lime, guava, goose berry, sprouted pulses.



VITAMIN E – Cereals, cereal products, oil seeds, nuts.



SELENIUM, ZINC – Sea foods and cereals.



COPPER – Oysters, liver, mushroom, nuts.



IRON – Green leafy vegetables, cereals millet, pulses, green peas, soy bean, Bengal gram dhal., garden cress seeds.



LYCOPENE – Tomatoes, guava, dried apricots.

Likes 30 Dislikes 0

HUMAN CELLS AND CANCER

Human body is made of millions of cells coming together to form different systems and performing various functions in our body. Thus in every human being cells grow and divide to form new cells. This way the older damaged cells die and new healthy cells take their place. This cycle of cell formation and destruction ensures proper function of every system in our body.

In Cancer some of the body cells begin to divide when they are not needed and some cells survive and remain in the body when they should die. This causes break down of the orderly cycle of cell formation resulting in unwanted multiplication of cells. Thus the beginning of this disease occurs with abnormal cell division and hence prevention should aim at avoiding or restricting the same.

Since cells play a major role in pathophysiology of this disease, maintaining healthy cells in our body is a way which can help us to overcome their ability of dividing abnormally.

Healthier the cells, lesser are their chances of starting abnormal division.

In an event of uncontrolled cell division these healthier cells can themselves take over the abnormally dividing cells and stop the disease process right away.

A balance diet, good physical activity like exercise, yoga etc., breathing exercises like pranayama & positive attitude in life can certainly help us nourish our body cells.

Avoiding excess exposure to harmful radiations emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi stations etc., excess consumption of hybridized food and exposure to harmful chemicals in the form of herbicides, chemical cleansers, toxic cosmetics etc. are certain ways we can adopt to maintain the health of our body cells.

Likes 36 Dislikes 0

YOGA & AYURVEDA

  The Ayurveda views of our embodied nature (body, mind and soul) and how it works, the causes of disease and the treatment of disease are all connected together in a beautiful, clear, and wonderful system of optimal health and total well-being.

      The term Yoga itself means to unite, combine, harmonize, or integrate. A truly yogic approach is inherently an integrative approach, harmonizing Body, Prana, Senses, Mind, and Consciousness. Modern Yoga has defined itself primarily in terms of asana or physical postures. It largely consists of the application of Yoga asana as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine.

      According to Ayurveda, Yoga therapy must consider all eight limbs of Yoga Practice known as Ashtang Yoga. Ashtang is translated as “eight-limbs”. The classical yoga as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras includes the following eight limbs. The path of yoga is most effectively practiced in this order.

    1. Yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
    2. Niyam (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
    3. Asana (posture)
    4. Pranayama (moderation of the movements of Prana)
    5. Pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
    6. Dharana (concentration)
    7. Dhyana (meditation)
    8. Samadhi (meditative absorption)


      A yogic approach to healing is not a specialization or a sideline technique but requires synthesis of all levels and aspects of healing.Yoga has an eightfold approach from life-style practices and values through asana, pranayama, to Samadhi. If we reduce Yoga to asana, we are not practicing Yoga or an integrative approach

      Yoga promotes a natural way to help us relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression.Yoga could help to reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue and stress for some patients. And it improved the quality of sleep, mood and spiritual well being for some people.

  • Yoga & Cancer: An overview
  • Yoga used as therapy for cancer can help clear out toxins accumulated during cancer treatment more effectively.

    Yoga asana stimulate not just muscles, but also increases blood flow, balances the glands and enhances the lymphatic flow in the body, all of which enhances the body’s internal purification processes.

    The deep, relaxing breathing often emphasized in yoga for cancer therapy also increases the current of oxygen-rich blood to the cells, delivering vital nutrients to tired cells and further clearing out toxins.

    Yoga for cancer survivors and patients also provides an internal anchor of calm. Many practicing yoga therapy have discovered an interesting, subtle benefit, an increased awareness of a great, internal stillness and sense of unity.

 

Likes 36 Dislikes 0

HEALTHY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CANCER RISK

A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Be in right weight:Weight gain, overweight and obesity increase the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel, breast, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, kidney, gallbladder, oesophageal, and ovarian cancers.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day: Physical activity decreases the risk of colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy-dense food : Foods that are high in fats, added sugars, and low in fiber, such as many fast and convenience foods, as well as sodas promote weight gain that is associated with a higher cancer risk.
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pulses such as beans.:Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks: Alcohol increases the risk of several cancers.
  • Limit consumption of salt and avoid moldy grains and cereals: Limit consumption of processed foods with added salt to ensure an intake of less than 2.4g sodium a day. Do not eat moldy grains or legumes.
  • Where possible, aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone, instead of using supplements to try to protect against cancer.
  • It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to be overweight as children or adults.
  • After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.Follow the recommendations for diet, healthy weight, and physical activity.

A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Author:Ms. Kalpana Rani, Dietician, DSRC Hyderabad
  • Tags:Cancer, Cancer prevention, Nutrition, Diet
Likes 45 Dislikes 0