Fight Cancer with the Colors on Your Plate

Imagine this: by eating some of the most vibrant and delectable foods available, not only could you kill cancer cells but even stop its spread? According to researchers in a study published by Nutrients (2020), flavonoids – polyphenolic compounds found in various plants – were shown to exert potent anticancer effects. Flavonoids are abundant in fruits, vegetables, plant-derived beverages such as green tea, red wine and cocoa products. Flavonoids have also been studied extensively as anticancer agents.

The aforementioned study demonstrated the ability of flavonoids to:

  • modulate reactive oxygen species-scavenging enzyme activities;
  • arrest cell cycle; induce apoptosis/autophagy; and
  • suppress cancer cell proliferation/invasiveness.

Flavonoids act as antioxidants under normal circumstances – an amazing feat – but they also play an instrumental part in initiating processes which help both reduce inflammation and cancer cell mortality simultaneously – an impressive double punch! This makes flavonoids game changers in a fight against cancer.

“Eat the rainbow” is not a simple catchphrase – it is also an effective strategy to improve your health. By including colorful foods regularly in your diet, you can harness their potential to promote wellness while fighting cancer. Experts such as retired neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Blaylock and author of Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients emphasize the necessity of choosing nutritious options as part of an overall treatment strategy. And he is particularly fond of flavonoids.

In a study in the journal Molecules, researchers noted that: “Flavonoids′ concentration and composition vary depending on the different parts of the plant. Leaves and the peels of fruits are commonly rich sources of flavonoids due to increased susceptibility to stress.”

The Extraordinary Benefits of Flavonoids

  1. Antioxidant Powerhouses. Our bodies may struggle to process and eliminate toxins effectively. Flavonoids offer our cells strong protection from damage caused by various environmental toxins that are part of modern life.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Researchers agree that chronic inflammation lies at the core of many health conditions ranging from heart disease and arthritis to cancer risk. For example, according to a study published in Annals of African Medicine: “Inflammation has long been implicated in cancer development and progression.”
  3. Cancer Prevention. Flavonoids have been shown to both suppress cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis (cell death). By including colorful foods rich in flavonoids in your diet, flavonoids may help lower the risk for cancer while supporting natural defense mechanisms in your body.

Which Foods Contain the Most Flavonoids?

Examples include:

  • Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries
  • Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit
  • Kale and Other Leafy Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions, Garlic
  • Green tea contains catechins like EGCG that have powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.
  • Black Tea contains high levels of antioxidants.
  • Dark Chocolate – look for 80-90% dark chocolate (and eat only in moderation)

Here are some steps for getting started:

It can be as simple as taking handful of fresh, chopped vegetables such as green, red, or yellow peppers, bok choy, onions, garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms – whatever you have on hand — adding in some strips of hormone-free chicken or grass-fed beef and making a quick and aromatic stir fry. Here are some other ideas:

  • Start Your Day Off Right: For an energetic start to your day, add a few blueberries or strawberries into a high protein smoothie.
  • Increase the Nutritional Impact: Add leafy greens like kale, arugula or watercress to your salads. Incorporate your favorite onions into salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Choose Ripe Red Tomatoes: Take advantage of the flavonoid-rich benefits of this fruit by including them in salads, sauces and soups.
  • Substitute sugary beverages for green or black tea. Check out our articles about Essiac Tea, Bay Leaf Tea, and Green Tea to get a better understanding of their unique benefits which cancer patients can well appreciate.

Conclusion

By adding food high in flavonoid-rich foods into your daily eating, you can do your body a world of good. It’s enormously easy to unlock their powerful natural benefits. You just have to load your plate with them!

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Selected Resources:

Blaylock RL, Maroon J. Natural plant products and extracts that reduce immunoexcitotoxicity-associated neurodegeneration and promote repair within the central nervous system. Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3:19. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.92935. Epub 2012 Feb 15. PMID: 22439110; PMCID: PMC3307240.

Kopustinskiene DM, Jakstas V, Savickas A, Bernatoniene J. Flavonoids as Anticancer Agents. Nutrients. 2020 Feb 12;12(2):457. doi: 10.3390/nu12020457. PMID: 32059369; PMCID: PMC7071196.

Wang M, Yu F, Zhang Y, Chang W, Zhou M. The Effects and Mechanisms of Flavonoids on Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Focus on Gut Microbiota. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 Jan 24;18(4):1451-1475. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.68170. PMID: 35280689; PMCID: PMC8898378.

Ponte LGS, Pavan ICB, Mancini MCS, da Silva LGS, Morelli AP, Severino MB, Bezerra RMN, Simabuco FM. The Hallmarks of Flavonoids in Cancer. Molecules. 2021 Apr 2;26(7):2029. doi: 10.3390/molecules26072029. PMID: 33918290; PMCID: PMC8038160.

Ullah A, Munir S, Badshah SL, Khan N, Ghani L, Poulson BG, Emwas AH, Jaremko M. Important Flavonoids and Their Role as a Therapeutic Agent. Molecules. 2020 Nov 11;25(22):5243. doi: 10.3390/molecules25225243. PMID: 33187049; PMCID: PMC7697716.

Singh N, Baby D, Rajguru JP, Patil PB, Thakkannavar SS, Pujari VB. Inflammation and cancer. Ann Afr Med. 2019 Jul-Sep;18(3):121-126. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_56_18. PMID: 31417011; PMCID: PMC6704802.

Ginwala R, Bhavsar R, Chigbu DI, Jain P, Khan ZK. Potential Role of Flavonoids in Treating Chronic Inflammatory Diseases with a Special Focus on the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Apigenin. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Feb 5;8(2):35. doi: 10.3390/antiox8020035. PMID: 30764536; PMCID: PMC6407021.

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