Cancer-Fighting Foods

Foods that fight cancer

Organosulfur compounds-   known as glucosinolates are present in cruciferous vegetables.  These are broken down into potent anticancer compounds called isothiocyanates in the body.  These are powerful inducers of cancer-destroying enzymes and inhibitors of carcinogenesis.  Scientists have found that sulforaphane, a glucosinolate that is formed when certain vegetables are chopped or chewed, works by altering how your genes will express themselves. Additionally, sulforaphane helps to clear carcinogenic substances from the body more quickly by stimulating the liver to produce detoxification enzymes called phase II enzymes, these help to neutralize and eliminate cancer-causing substances.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, arugula, horse radish, radish, wasabi, and watercress.

Beets-are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best studied betalains that are obtained from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.

Broccoli– contains more sulforaphane (a cancer fighting compound) than any other veggie. This compound targets prostate and other hormone dependent cancer lines and leaves normal healthy cells unaffected. Cruciferous vegetables have long been associated with a lowered risk of prostate cancer, but this is the first study to demonstrate the `search and attack` capability of the natural chemical compound. Consuming small amounts of cruciferus vegetables several times each week can help to significantly lower your risk of developing many types of potentially deadly cancer lines.  Additionally, broccoli sprouts — which are usually sold next to alfalfa sprouts in grocery stores –have more than 50 times more sulforaphane than broccoli that is matured.

Brussels sprouts– the cancer protection is related to the four glucosinolates that are found in this vegetable: glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin and glucanasturtiian.  Research shows that Brussels sprouts offer these cancer preventive components in a special combination.

Cabbage: Each 22-calorie cup of cabbage is loaded with sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body’s production of the enzymes that disarm cell-damaging, cancer-causing free radicals.

Fruits (eaten raw) -work to specifically target and cleanse the lymphatic fluids which is extremely important when you are fighting cancer.  They contain antioxidants, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that can prevent an reverse cellular damage and reduce overall inflammation. Some powerful fruits to include are: berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, grapes (yes, grapes are classified as berries), etc, and these can be eaten in unlimited amounts.  Others cancer-fighters to include are cherries,  pomegranates, cantaloupe, watermelon, lemons, limes, and oranges.  Fruits are very easily digested and should be eaten separately from your main meals, or they can be blended into green smoothies.  They can be eaten about 1/2 hour before your regular meal to keep them separate, one way to do this is to start your day with a big bowl of fresh fruit.

Garlic- Garlic has been show to stop the growth against these tumor cell lines:  breast, brain, lung, pancreatic, prostate, childhood brain cancer, and stomach cancer.  Garlic has anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial qualities. You can eat this raw or take it in Supplement Form. If taking it raw, try sandwiching it between apple slices.  Also chewing it with an open mouth helps to lessen the burn!

Kale: is a rich source of organosulfur compounds, which have been shown to reduce the risk of many cancers, especially one of the most deadly,  cancer of the colon. The cancer-protective compounds in kale have thus been the subject of intense research, particularly their role in blocking the growth of cancer cells and inducing cancer cell death (apoptosis).

Leeks-for breast cancer, garlic, leeks and scallions are recognized as the top 3 foods which inhibit cancer cell growth, according to Dr. Richard Beliveau, a Canadian cancer researcher.  Leeks were also the most effective for destroying cancerous cells located in the kidney.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Mushrooms– Turkey tail, maitake, reishi,  Agaricus blazei, and Chaga mushrooms are well known for their immune-enhancing and anti-cancer effects. Maitake has anti-cancer, anti-viral and immune-enhancing properties, and may also reduce blood pressure and blood sugar. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)  is widely available in tea bags, capsules and as liquid extracts. Animal studies have shown that reishi improves immune function and inhibits the growth of some malignant tumors; it is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Agaricus blazei contains beta glucans, a group of polysaccharides (complex sugars) believed to be the compounds responsible for its immune-boosting effects. Research has also shown that Agaricus blazei has anti-tumor and anti-viral activity, as well as moderating effects on blood sugar and cholesterol.

Chaga mushrooms have demonstrated anticancer, antiviral, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune stimulating properties in vitro, and hypoglycemic effects in mice. Chaga extract has inhibitory and proapoptotic effects against colon cancer  and hepatoma  cells. It also reduced toxicity associated with radiation  and inhibited tumor cell growth in animal models. In some studies, Chaga demonstrates selective apoptosis in tumor cells with no effects on healthy cells.

Studies confirm maitake extract induces apoptosis (cancer cell destruction) in breast cancer cells

Chaga mushroom and cancer

Onions-shallots and western yellow are particularly effective for liver cancer cells and northern red onions and pungent yellow and western yellow are effective for colon cancer cells

Watercress: Over 50 scientific studies have found it contains compounds shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells with some of the most conclusive studies finding positive results on colon prostate and breast cancer cells. In fact it is the richest known food source of a plant chemical called glucosinolates which release an anti-cancer substance called Petic – it’s this that gives watercress its distinctive peppery flavor. Glucosinolates are also the substances which pep-up and regulate detoxification enzymes in the liver. Watercress is considered part of the cabbage family and is rich in chlorophyll, potassium, and sulfur, is a great addition to any salad. Watercress is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, and carotene. It also contains calcium, fiber, iron and copper.

Eat from all the colors of the rainbow

Eat foods from all of the colors of the rainbows.


Red– is a sign of vitamin A (beta carotene) and vitamin C content. Typically, red produce is also high in manganese and fiber. Some selections include red bell peppers, tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranates, and beets. Red apples also contain quercetin, a compound that seems to fight colds, the flu, and allergies. Tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit are loaded with lycopene, a compound that also appears to have cancer-fighting properties.

Orange– though just a shade away from red, orange in fruits and vegetables signifies a similar vitamin and mineral profile. You’ll get vitamins C, A, and B6, potassium, and fiber in choices such as butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, oranges, pumpkins, orange peppers, nectarines, and peaches.

Yellow– a banana delivers potassium, fiber, plus manganese, and vitamin A. Other yellow foods include spaghetti squash, summer squash, and yellow bell peppers.

Green– dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients, this group offers far more vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce. Spinach is rich in lutein content, which aids eyesight, and folate, which supports cell reproduction. Broccoli and asparagus also contain these compounds.

Blue– blueberries are one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, and are also loaded with fiber. Eat them by the handful, or add them to smoothies and salads.

Purple– includes vegetables like red onions and eggplant, and fruits such as blackberries, Concord grapes, currants, and plums. Purple indicates the presence of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that protect blood vessels and preserve healthy skin. You can also find vitamin A and flavonoids in purple vegetables like radicchio, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and purple carrots.

White– such as cauliflower, rutabagas, and parsnips, still shine with vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, K, and folate, and they contain fiber; and onions and garlic, which have a compound called allicin that seems to protect the heart and blood vessels from damage.




In this study broccoli extract was found to kill the “beating heart” of cancerous tumors, which are the cancer stem cells that are resistant to chemo and radiation treatment.  Broccoli Sprout Extract also has the ability to assist the body in metabolizing excess estrogen so it can be excreted from the body.


Dr Judy Seeger on 10 cancer fighting foods that you should be eating.



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