Cancer is perhaps one of the deadliest and most intimidating diseases that exist in the world today. If diagnosed early, patients still have a fair shot at recovery and getting back to their life. But the slightest delay in detection could be the sole difference between life and death. If allowed to progress, the illness becomes terminal, and the chances of survival are significantly reduced. This disease impacts individuals physically and psychologically, leaving behind scars that last a lifetime.
What is Cancer?
It is an illness characterized by mutations within the DNA of healthy cells. Genetically altered cells behave abnormally, function out of control, and multiply at a pace much faster than expected. Accumulation of cancerous cells leads to forming a lethal, malignant mass that spreads rapidly from its point of origin when developed. It invades distant organs, latches on to surrounding tissues, and comprises the integrity of the whole body.
While the definitive cause behind this life-threatening condition is unknown, scientists believe both hereditary and environmental factors come into play. The genetic tendency, existing vascular diseases, repeated exposure to toxins, pollutants, radioactive fumes, diesel exhaust, and inhalation or ingestion of carcinogens are all known agents that can cause healthy cells to malfunction. For instance, cancers like mesothelioma can be solely attributed to occupational and industrial hazards. However, studies have also shown that a person’s lifestyle and everyday habits broadly impact their chances of contracting this lethal disease. People who live healthier and active lifestyles, avoid consuming foods that fuel their bodies and boost their immunity are at much lower risk of cancer.
Superfoods For Immune Strength:
Indeed, prevention is better than cure. Making a few simple changes to your daily routine, exercising, and eating cancer-resistant foods can protect you from various health problems. Some common superfoods that not only nourish but also strengthen the body include:
Often called the phytochemical powerhouse, broccoli is the knight in shining armor for protection against cancer. This green vegetable is a potent source of cytokines and sulforaphane. These two compounds are known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that these chemicals reduce the size of breast and prostate cancer by over 75%. But that’s not all broccoli is also loaded with antioxidants. They are chemicals that neutralize damage, restore cellular health, regulate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels, and delay the progression of chronic diseases. Whether eaten raw or cooked, as a meal or as a snack, steamed or fried, broccoli is sure to enhance your physical strength.
Garlic has been utilized for healthcare since ancient times. Despite its unpleasant odor, this vegetable has various health benefits for the human body. The scientific community has termed it the ‘heart health booster’ because it releases allicin compounds when chopped or crushed. This sulfur-based chemical reduces hypertension, manages cholesterol, and dilates blood vessels, allowing proper blood flow. It also degrades blood clots, burns fat, and strengthens the walls of capillaries, vessels, and arteries. Additionally, research has demonstrated a strong link between garlic and digestive well-being. By combating viruses and bacteria like H. Pylori, this vegetable boosts gut health, reduces ulcers, acidity and thus the risk of developing gastric cancer,
When it comes to antioxidants, no fruit can top tomatoes. Their rich red color can be attributed to the lycopene. This compound has been proven against cardiac, breast, and prostate cancer. It does so by scavenging free radicals and eliminating oxidative stress, interfering with the growth of abnormal cells, and supporting the immune system. Tomatoes optimize heart health by reducing LDL – bad type of cholesterol in the blood and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes by forming a protective layer within blood vessels and arteries. Research has also proven that lycopene guards against the sun’s UV radiation and fights skin cancer. It stimulates the production of collagen and healthy cells within the skin, delaying premature aging and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Carrots are a massive source of carotenoids. A family of compounds is known for their immense oxidative properties that protect against inflammation and free radical damage. The most abundantly present catenoid is beta-carotene which is responsible for the vibrant orange color of the vegetable. It also contains alpha-carotene, lycopene, polyacetylenes, anthocyanins, and lutein, which, when broken down, produce bioactive compounds. It helps the body fight cancer by boosting the immune system’s reaction to foreign particles. They provide several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, K, B6, biotin, and potassium, to amplify and build white blood cells. Vitamin A is required for proper hormonal development and growth and good hiss. Vitamin K aids bone health by dissolving blood clots, preventing blood coagulation, and promoting bone health. While biotin and potassium are minerals that speed up fat and protein metabolism, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders and degenerative diseases like cancers.
Spinach is often considered the king of all superfoods since vegetables have an endless array of health benefits. Firstly, it is a rich source of beta-carotene-induced vitamin A and vitamin C. These two nutrients have proven to guard against oxidative stress, restore cellular and tissue health, and halt the growth of abnormal cells. Secondly, spinach is a useful weapon against obesity. It helps manage weight, and the increased fat ratio has been linked to over 12 different types of cancer. Its high fiber and water content enhances gut health and regulates fat metabolism, protecting against various gastrointestinal cancers.
Additionally, spinach is critical for cardiac health as it contains potassium. This mineral reduces hypertension by regulating blood-sodium levels and dilating blood vessels. Moreover, this vegetable contains alpha-lipoic acids that optimize blood-glucose levels, enhance insulin activity, and reduce the risk of vascular disease like diabetes. Finally, spinach includes chlorophyll, which inhibits heterocyclic amine carcinogenesis, improves vision, and delays adult blindness. No wonder Popeye grabbed a snack of spinach before the very battle.
Turmeric is a spice and medicinal herb that has been around in healthcare for centuries due to its vast array of positive effects on physical health. Turmeric is packed with curcumin, a curcuminoid best known for its strong oxidative properties. Oxidants are essential in the fight against cancer. They neutralize free radicals that target the genetic material within cells and trigger mutations. It reduces inflammation, amplifies the production of healthy cells, and prevents necrosis. Another interesting fact about curcumin is that it increases the brain level of BDNF, a protein found in regions of the brain that guide appetite, motion, and weight. It is also responsible for promoting neuron formation and plays a key role in learning and memory. Low levels of BDNF have been associated with depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. That’s not all. Curcumin is a potent element in protecting against heart attacks and cardiac cancer because it protects and reverses the damage caused by hypertension. Stimulating endothelial function helps weakened blood vessels and arteries recover while regulating blood pressure and blood clots.
Cancer is the leading cause of fatalities worldwide. Nearly 9.5 million people lose their lives to this lethal illness every year. With the increasing pollution, toxins, radiation, and rapidly degrading air quality, these numbers aren’t expected to go down any time soon. The only key to protection is prevention. The above mentioned are just a few foods that will protect against cancer, delay aging, and strengthen immunity if incorporated into your diet. It also helps you live a long and fulfilling life.