10 Best Cancer Killing Phytonutrients to Eat

August 30, 2019 Updated: August 30, 2019

Thirty years of research reveals 10 of the best food phytonutrients to ingest to protect against and even treat the root cause of most cancers.

A new medical model is fast emerging in line with ancient wisdom: one that aims to strike to the root cause of disease and resolve it permanently. Some call it “functional medicine,” a medical practice that focuses on supporting the optimal functioning of the body and its organs.

In cancer treatment, this highly rational approach involves targeting the cancer stem cells (CSCs) at the root of cancer malignancy. We now know that CSCs can be resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and some research suggests these cancer stem cells may even increase in number and invasiveness when exposed to these therapies. A superior cancer treatment should be capable of selectively killing and/or inducing suicide programs (apoptosis) within cancer cells without harming non-cancerous cells.

A review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences titled, “Phytochemicals as Innovative Therapeutic Tools against Cancer Stem Cells,” evaluated the possibility of just that. It found evidence that natural compounds within various foods and spices can provide treatments capable of targeting CSCs.

According to the review of 30 years worth of literature on the topic, the following 10 natural substances have been demonstrated to be the most effective chemopreventive dietary agents against CSCs:

  1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): A green tea extract

  2. Curcumin: The primary polyphenol in turmeric root

  3. Resveratrol: A phytochemical found in grapes, peanuts, Japanese knotweed

  4. Lycopene: A red carotenoid found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, and tomatoes

  5. Pomegranate extracts

  6. Luteolin: A flavonoid found in peppers and various green vegetables

  7. Genistein: A phytochemical found in soy, red clover, and coffee

  8. Piperine: A phytochemicals found in black pepper

  9. β-carotene: An orange carotenoid found in various vegetables

  10. Sulforaphane: A sulfurous phytochemical found in Cruciferous vegetables

The researchers described the discovery that phytochemicals can selectively target CSCs as “a milestone in the improvement of cancer treatment because the synthetic anticancer drugs that are currently used are often highly toxic for healthy organs and weakens the patient’s immune system.”

They also pointed out that the phytochemicals or extracts identified above, due to their “low levels of toxicity for normal cells,” can be used in combination with other phytochemicals, “yielding powerful synergistic effects.”

They identified several key areas of focus for the future:

  • Finding a way to combine these compounds into “very active cocktails of phytochemicals” to address the multiple areas of treatment resistance often found in CSCs.

  • Comparing the effects of natural phytochemicals with synthetic drugs, the latter of which they anticipate will be found to be less efficient.

  • Further researching the signaling pathways that govern the self-renewal and survival function of cancer stem cells.

The authors concluded, “[T]he use of phytochemicals may be a true therapeutic strategy for eradicating cancer through the elimination of CSCs.”

The discovery that natural substances may be superior to chemotherapy and radiation in selectively killing the root cause of cancer is could usher in a new era of cancer prevention and treatment that looks at our dietary decisions as the most important factor in our health destiny.

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, vice chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and steering committee member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation. This article was originally published on GreenMedinfo.com

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