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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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