Tags: Cancer | food | synergy | cancer | protection | phytochemicals

7 Cancer-Fighting Food Combos

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard   |   Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:46 PM

Thousands of scientific studies over the past several decades show that certain fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods protect your body against cancer. But did you know you can boost your defenses even more? Evidence is mounting that combining specific foods can provide powerful protection through a process called synergy, in which nutrients in foods, such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, combine to work together better than they do individually. "You can put the principles of food synergy to work for you in your goal to optimize your health and prevent cancer," board-certified family practitioner Dr. David Brownstein tells Newsmax Health.
Take advantage of the cancer-fighting potential of the following combinations:
Tomatoes and broccoli. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A, and broccoli contains the phytochemicals beta-carotene, isothiocyanates, and indoles, all of which are cancer-fighters by themselves, but pack a powerful blow to prostate cancer when combined. An animal study at the University of Illinois found that the tomato/broccoli combination shrank prostate tumors more than either food alone. The only treatment that was as effective as the food combo was castration. "When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect," said UI food science and human nutrition professor John Erdman. "We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways. It’s better to eat tomatoes than to take a lycopene supplement," he added. "And cooked tomatoes may be better than raw tomatoes. Chopping and heating make the cancer-fighting constituents of tomatoes and broccoli more bioavailable."
• Tea and lemon. Tea is high in antioxidant polyphenols, including catechins and flavonoids. According to the USDA, a single cup of green tea has the same amount of flavonoids as almost five glasses of red wine or nine apples. Catechins, a particularly potent cancer-fighter, break down quickly in the intestinal tract, and usually only about 20 percent is available for absorption after digestion. However, scientists at Purdue University found that adding lemon to green tea allowed 80 percent of the catechins to remain after digestion. 

Special: These Are the Deadliest Foods in America. Read This List.

• Kale and lemon. Citrus fruits provide generous amounts of vitamin C, and dark, green leafy vegetables are rich in iron. While up to 22 percent of iron from animal foods is absorbed, only 1 to 8 percent of iron from plants is absorbed by the body. Adding vitamin C, however, turns plant-based iron into a form that closely resembles that from red meats. "The vitamin C from both foods make the plant-based iron more absorbable," says Dr. Brownstein.
• Beef and rosemary. Grilling protein-rich foods like red meat forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), carcinogens that cause changes in DNA linked to cancer. A study at the University of Minnesota found that well-done meats, regardless of cooking style, increased the risk of pancreatic cancer by 60 percent, as well as raised the risk of prostate, breast, liver, lung, and breast cancers. Rosemary contains the antioxidants rosmarinic acid, carnosol, and carnosic acid, and a study found that marinating grilled foods in rosemary extract lowered the amount of cancer-causing chemicals when grilled. A study published in The Journal of Food Science found that high concentrations of rosemary reduced cancer-causing chemicals by more than 90 percent. 
• Turmeric and black pepper. Many studies show that turmeric, a staple in Indian dishes, has anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties due to its active ingredient curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to thwart stomach, liver, lung, and breast cancer. Peperine, black pepper's spicy component may play a key role in deterring cancer. A study at the University of Michigan Cancer Center found that black pepper prevented breast cancer tumors. "Add black pepper to any food that contains turmeric," says Dr. Brownstein. "It increases the bioavailability of the curcumin." According to some experts, combining turmeric with black pepper increases bioavailability by 1000 to 2000 percent.
• Tomatoes and avocado. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that's a type of carotenoid. One study found that eating more than 10 servings of lycopene a week reduced the total risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent and the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 53 percent. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that women with the highest levels of lycopene had a 22 percent reduced risk of breast cancer. "The fat from avocados increases the bioavailability of the carotenoids in tomatoes," says Dr. Brownstein.
• Strawberries and oatmeal. All whole grains contain antioxidants, but oatmeal has higher levels than most other grains, and the phytochemicals it contains fight inflammation, a condition that's been linked to cancer. Strawberries have high amounts of ellagic acid, which studies have shown deactivate specific carcinogens and help prevent cancers of the lung, breast, bladder, esophagus, and skin.
Special: These Are the Deadliest Foods in America. Read This List.

© 2015 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

1Like our page

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved