Four Surprising Cancer Fighting Ingredients
Planning out your weekly grocery list might seem like the furthest thing from your mind after a new cancer diagnosis.
Even before treatment with your healthcare team gets underway, you can make dietary changes to set your body up for success just by adding a few key sources of nutrients.
Whether ordering groceries for delivery (thanks COVID-19) or going to your local farmer’s market, adding these four items to your cart could offer surprising health benefits.
Full of antioxidants, blueberries might be the most delicious way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C, potassium, and phytonutrients. According to a recent study at Oxford University, a handful of blueberries every day has the potential to increase cognitive abilities, blood flow, and energy levels in gerontology patients.
If you’re preparing to start a bout of chemotherapy or radiation, think of blueberries as your pre-game warmup. You’ll need fuel for the good-fight ahead.
Consider adding clean, organic blueberries to smoothies, yogurt, cereal, or even salads. For a healthful snack, stick a few cups worth in the freezer for a smart alternative to junk food during your next Netflix marathon.
- Broccoli Sprouts
No, broccoli sprouts are not quite as delicious as blueberries. Instead of sweetness, these zesty little twists pack a flavor profile that’s equal parts radish and steamed broccoli. Which can, admittedly, be a lot.
Best suited for savory dishes, broccoli sprouts are a favorite of nutritionist and best-selling author Lana Werner Grey, as she details in her hybrid text and cookbook, Cancer Free with Food.
Broccoli sprouts are also the darling of many pharmacology researchers. According to articles released by both Johns Hopkins Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center these little buggers have limitless potential.
Dr. Paul Talalay, the Yale School of Medicine dual-graduate who discovered broccoli sprouts’ cancer fighting properties, attributes their power to sulforaphane which he considers to be “chemoprotection” in composition.
Add organic broccoli sprouts to your scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, and salads. Avoid adding these to smoothies, as the flavor of broccoli sprouts can overpower milder flavors.
If superfoods could be sexy, flaxseed is perhaps the least tantalizing of all.
Flavorless and a bit homely, flaxseed takes more of a slow and steady approach when it comes to winning over advocates. In addition to being classified as an omega-3 fatty acid, which are anti-inflammatory, the consumption of flaxseed has been connected to reduced tumor growth in both breast and prostate cancers.
According to MD Anderson, this is because consuming flaxseeds helps to regulate hormones – which has been shown to make breast cancer treatments like Tamoxifen more effective.
Flaxseed is best consumed in a ground or powdered form, making it an ideal match for yogurt, cereal and smoothies. Also add flaxseed to any batter or salad dressing for an extra punch of nutrients.
- Manuka Honey
Honey is nature’s sweetener of choice, and an easy substitute for cane sugar – even in baking.
While all organic, unfiltered honey presents some antimicrobial properties, manuka honey, sourced exclusively from Australia and New Zeland, is considered the most healthful of all. According to Sloan Kettering, manuka honey is not only full of antioxidants, but is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer.
The increased health benefits come from Methylglyoxal, which occurs naturally in this dark, rich sweetener. When shopping for manuka honey, look for products with a 10+ UMF, or Unique Manuka Factor of 10 or more. Be warned, the added benefits of manuka come at a price – with each jar selling for between $20-$40.
Add a teaspoon of manuka to anything you’d normally sweeten – or simply enjoy it by the spoonful, as cancer survivor 8Greens Founder Dawn Russell recommends.