Posted on Dec 08, 2023, 4 p.m.
When it comes to herbs and spices, adding a splash of this and a dash of that can transform almost any bland dish into something scrumptious, but adding that zing to your meal may also help you to ward off certain cancers. Yes, food can be medicine, and prevention is always better than cure.
From ginger to pepper and apples and berries to cruciferous vegetables, certain foods, herbs, and spices contain phytochemicals that affect the body biologically, and through their ability to stimulate the immune system, these phytochemicals may assist in keeping cancer at bay while adding a touch of zest to your plate to keep you in good health.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories that have been identified to date. Cancer tumors have a network of blood vessels that feed them and curcumin can work against these blood vessels to essentially choke the cancer cells to death. Mixing turmeric with black pepper and olive oil can help to activate curcumin’s potent powers, and with the mild pleasant flavor, this can be used as a dry rub on chicken or even vegetables. Alternatively, 1-2 teaspoons can be added to soups, stews, salsas, and sauces as a tasty way to practice cancer prevention.
Garlic, onions, shallots, scallions, and leeks are allium-containing vegetables that may help to prevent certain cancers, especially in the stomach. This type of veggie contains eye-watering organosulfur compounds that have immune strengthening and anti-cancer qualities. Garlic is fairly versatile in cooking essentialities, such as sauteed in olive oil and served with whole-grain bread and eggs or baked in the oven to mash into a spread, or added to a variety of vegetable and meat dishes.
Fresh ginger is another potent weapon in a kitchen prevention arsenal. Fresh ginger contains gingerol while dried ginger forms zingerone, both are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may be protective against cancer. You could store some ginger in the freezer and grate a bit into lentils or rice when cooking or blend some into refreshing smoothies. You could create a calming tall glass of water by steeping a few thin slices into hot water for 10-15 minutes. It may also help with nausea while helping to decrease the risk of cancer.
Black pepper contains piperine, this is a naturally occurring chemical compound with very strong antioxidant properties. A study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that pepper along with turmeric inhibited the growth of cancerous stem cells of breast tumors, but the spice did not destroy healthy cells. This spice is a staple in most kitchens because it can add flavor to a variety of dishes ranging from eggs to salads and soups to casseroles. Additionally, it is an all-round healthful alternative to table salt that may help to keep cancer at bay as an added plus.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which is a well-known potent antioxidant that has been shown to be toxic to cancer cells in lab studies. One study from the University of California found capsaicin to stifle the growth of prostate cancer cells and even killed them off. Cayenne pepper adds a tasty spicy touch to a host of foods while helping to fend off cancer, add it to popcorn, in dips, soups, stews, salsa, spice up snacks, or mix it in with other spices for a bit of a smoky heat taste.
The herbs mint, thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram, and oregano contain carvacrol which is a molecule that may help to offset the spread of cancer cells by working as a natural disinfectant. Marinating foods with oregano may help to reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines which are chemicals that are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures, and these HCAs have been found to increase the cancer risk in animals. Oregano is fragrant and can be added to salads, salsa, dips, soup, stew, marinades, pizza, pasta, sauces, and tuna salad to name a few flavor-enhancing uses that may help you to prevent cancer.
Eating mindfully and making healthful choices helps keep your body in optimal condition and ensures that it has everything it needs to function properly. Eating healthy does not have to be boring when there are so many herbs and spices to experiment with. Each herb and spice has its own flavoring and essence, and many of them carry several health benefits and notable nutritional values worth trying out.
You can click here to read another article on many more meal enhancers to consider adding to your culinary arsenal.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by:
T.W. at WHN