Saturday, May 22, 2010


(as published in ZEN Health Magazine November-December 2009 issue)

Beating cancer is one tedious task. People who suffer from it often turn to chemotherapy sessions, countless trips to the hospital, and taking tablets and tablets of medicines for cure; all costing more than an arm and a leg.

Despite the medical and technological advancements that abound today, nothing tops cancer prevention than the aid of the miraculous healing prowess of Mother Nature and her bountiful produce.

1 Cabbage

A cousin of broccoli in the Cruciferae family, cabbage tops the bill because of its ability to lower the risk of lung and prostate cancers when eaten regularly.

Cruciferous vegetables have hefty intensities of phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which contain cancer-fighting attributes.

A study of over a thousand men in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, has shown that those who consumed three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables every week had 41 percent lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ate less than one serving.

Also, apart from the risk-lowering attributes of cabbage and its kins, it also optimizes the cells’ ability to detoxify. So, what are you waiting for? Stop snubbing that coleslaw and dig in!

2 Green tea

Beyond its antiaging and slimming properties, green tea is also known for its ability to reduce the risk of breast cancer. When cells multiply uncontrollably, green tea aids in the prevention of the cells’ abnormal and rapid increase.

3 Onion

What’s a kitchen without the lingering smell of freshly browned onions? Or its rather pungent aroma reeking in your hands just after you’ve whipped up a mouth-watering dish?

Little do we know that this veggie that makes our eyes water is the same bulb rich in kaempferol, a flavonoid that helps protect women against ovarian cancer. In the 66,940-participant Nurses’ Health Study, women who had higher intake of kaempferol-rich foods, onion included, had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Here’s a tip: Stop your fingers from picking those onion rings in your green salad since onion contains bioflavanoids that regress a developing cancer cell back to its healthy form, explains Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS, in his book Beating Cancer with Nutrition.

4 Whole grains

The whole grain clique of rice, oats, buckwheat, corn, rye, barley, and amaranth are among women’s top body armor against breast cancer. Also, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that whole grains are found to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

5 Garlic

Ah, onion’s equally pungent cousin!

Studies have shown that allicin, a substance found in garlic, has the capacity to prevent the development of cancer cells and also protects the colon from carcinogenic chemicals (substances that can cause cancer, that is).

A study published in Archives of Dermatological Research in July 2003 revealed that ajoene, an organosulfur compound found in garlic, can be used to treat skin cancer.

So next time you’re cooking meat at high temperature, such as grilling, as much as possible, cook it with garlic to reduce the formation of carcinogenic chemicals.

6 Colorful berries

Raspberry, strawberry, cherry, blueberry, and blackberry are the most common berries that abound with ellagic acid, a potent anticancer agent that induces self-destruction to pesky cancer cells.

Stock up on fresh berry juices, or include them in your cereal. Or better yet, eat them raw in lieu of your typical afternoon snack.

7 Tomato

Often synonymous to the word lycopene, tomato is one of the most commercially identified anticancer agents. In addition, tomatoes are filled to the brim with nutrients such as vitamins A and C, with carotenoids and beta-carotene on the side. Increased consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and complications brought by diabetes.

In fact, as published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 21 studies have verified that munching on tomatoes, with emphasis on the cooked ones, gives ample protection against prostate cancer.

8 Yogurt

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points that spoonful after spoonful of yogurt, as well as other dairy products, may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

With the advent of Fro-Yos (frozen yogurt), yogurts are no longer irked at and referred to as a mere dieter’s food. Yummier, creamier, and a lot more exciting to eat, this healthy snack fortifies the body’s shield against cancer.

9 Tuna

Ideally eaten fresh, tuna now comes in flakes in water or in brine; in adobo, mechado, and lechon paksiw flavors; and now, it is even cured or pickled in salt, similar to corned beef. You can even choose if you want it spicy or plain!

Apparently tuna, one of the most versatile bounties of the sea and among the category of cold-water fishes, is well-known for its eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which boost and stimulate the immune functions and slow cancer spread, says Dr. Quillin.

And did you know that tuna has the ability to protect you from sunburn and, in the long run, skin cancer? Yes, you read it right!

Based on Dr. Lesley Rhodes’s research at the Photobiology Unit of the University of Manchester, eating omega 3-rich fish, such as tuna, could actually pacify the burning sensation or the inflammation caused by ultraviolet B radiation, which in turn helps in preventing severe sunburn and skin cancer.

Omega 3-rich fishes also aid in preventing the dreaded breast cancer among women, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2005.

10 Legumes

Researchers have discovered that the darker the color of the bean’s seed coat, the more potent its antioxidant components.

Among this category are garbanzos, which are commonly found in the local halo-halo, kidney beans, and pinto beans. These are rich in “cancer-fighting protease inhibitors” and these “have the cleansing activity of soluble fibers,” explains Dr. Quillin. These protein inhibitors prevent cancer cells from easily attacking the neighboring healthy tissues.


  1. Welcome back to the blogging wurrld :D

  2. chuchie sali ka sa contest ko :) or pls help me promote

  3. Nice one Chuchie :) I'd eat anything but the onions. Yeech. Hahaha

  4. Onions are love, Imeedoods! :)