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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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The Healthiest Mushrooms

Certain fungi are potent disease fighters and a wise addition to your diet. Though some are more effective than others, we’ve sorted out which mushrooms pack the most powerful – and healthy – punch.

White button mushrooms: Studies have shown that this popular mushroom has been effective in preventing breast and prostate cancer in both animal and human cells. Not getting enough? Nix the chips or crackers for dips, and try using white button mushrooms to dip instead. They’re the perfect bite-sized substitution and can be easily found at any grocery store.

Crimini mushrooms: These mini-Portobello mushrooms have a delicious meaty flavor. If you’re trying to lose weight, blending crimini mushrooms with ground turkey is a great way to cut half the fat without losing taste. The high-fiber mushroom mixture works well for any meat-based dish — tacos, meat sauce, hamburgers and more.

Maitake mushrooms: Loaded with antioxidants and potassium, these hearty mushrooms have been known to lower the risks of high blood pressure and stroke. Also known as “Hen of the Woods,” Maitake mushrooms have a nutty, woodsy flavor that’s perfect for soups and sides. You can even drink them! There are mushroom-based coffees that taste the same as the regular stuff, but are packed with Maitake’s disease-fighting nutrients.

mushrooms

 

8 Types of Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

There are many types of mushrooms that offer a long list of health benefits. Mushrooms are an odd looking group that goes by the name of fungi pronounced, fun gee or fun guy. Essentially it is neither a plant nor an animal it is a fungus, hence the group name. Although mushrooms may not be a number one menu favorite you may think twice about pushing them aside during your next encounter.
Note: If you have gout do not eat mushrooms.

White Mushroom for Weight Loss and Prostate Cancer Prevention- This category includes the familiar button mushroom, cremini and the Portobello. The white mushroom has a special carbohydrate that stokes the metabolic fire and maintains blood sugar levels. A strong metabolism means more burned fat. Three ounces per day for four to six weeks has been said to yield substantial weight loss (this does not mean that exercise and healthy eating is not required). These mushrooms are also high in selenium which not only aids weight loss but is showing to have positive effects on prostate cancer.

Shiitake Can Fight Tumors- These flavorful, meaty mushrooms contain lentinan which is a natural anti-tumor compound. It has been developed by the Japanese into a beneficial anti-cancer treatment. In turn, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and fighting infection. Four to five ounces per day is recommended.

Reishi: The Super Anti-‘Shroom- This mushroom that looks like a large brown and white flower made of wood, has the following properties: anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. In addition, reishi mushrooms contain gandodermic acid which helps reduce cholesterol which in turn can lower high blood pressure. A few ounces per day is a good addition to a meal.

Maitake Mushrooms for Breast Cancer- A half of a cup per day of maitake mushrooms is said to be able to sweep the system, find abnormal cells and cause them to self-destruct. At the same time, these trumpeting bushels can trigger the body to release killer immune system cells.

Oysters for HIV – Oyster mushrooms are being studied as a possible defense against HIV. Due to its high anti-oxidant compounds, these mushrooms can be a life saving ingredient.

Chanterelle: The Other Anti ‘Shroom – Looking like a single mini-trumpet this mushroom has been associated with anti-microbial, bacterial and fungal properties. They are also high in vitamin C, D and potassium.

Porcini for Anti-Inflammation- A meaty mushroom similar to the Portabello has been used as a successful anti-inflammatory. It contains the compound ergosterol which is capable of cytotoxicity which is the process of attacking enemy cells.

Shimeji Fights Tumors Asthma and More- These are the tiny capped, long stemmed species that can be found in many Asian soups or as a garnish. Be sure and pay close attention to this one as it contains beta-glucans. According to the National Cancer Institute of Japan this compound is a successful remedy for retarding and destroying growing tumors. Shimeji mushrooms can also help diabetes, asthma and certain allergies by enhancing the immune system and boosting its healing capabilities.
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7 Fruits and Vegetables That Boost Your Immune System

With cold and flu season just around the corner, now it’s more important than ever to get your immune system in the best shape you can. Getting enough sleep and exercise, and keeping your stress level down, can really do a lot for your health. But having a right diet is just, if not more, important. Luckily, there are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables out there that have immunity-boosting properties.

Tip: Look for foods that are rich in color — that’s a surefire sign that they’re also high in immunity-boosting antioxidants. Red, yellow, purple, blue, and orange fruits and vegetables really fit the bill here.

1. Sweet Potatoes.

And just in time for Thanksgiving! Sweet potatoes owe their orange hue to beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for fighting against disease. Sweet potatoes are actually one of the best fresh sources of immunity-boosting properties out there.

2. Berries.

Packed with Vitamins C and E,berries truly are a nutritional powerhouse. Some of your best bests are common berries like raspberries and blueberries, as well as less common ones like acai and goji. Try eating berries with yogurt, another great-immunity boosting food.

3. Mushrooms.

Mushrooms are one of, if not the best, vegetarian foods for preventing and fighting disease. That’s because mushrooms help the maturation of your white blood cells, and, as some research suggest, might actually help them ward off disease better!


4. Carrots.

Though they probably won’t help you see in the dark, carrots might just help you ward off seasonal colds and flus. Like sweet potatoes, carrots are full of beta-carotene. For the best immune system-boosting results, stick to eating raw carrots.

5. Garlic.

People have been using garlic to ward of disease for thousands of years. And, more and more research suggest, it’s more than just folk medicine. One  prominent study (PDF) found that people who took garlic supplements got few cold symptoms, and, if they did get sick, they were ill for less time than the placebo group.

If you can handle it, try eating a clove of garlic every day. But it doesn’t just have to be the hard way — adding some minced garlic, fresh or cooked, is beneficial.

6. Kiwi.

Kiwifruit is a great natural source of vitamin E, a key nutrient for your immune system. Vitamin E helps protect your body from viral and bacterial infections. Though the jury is still out on whether or not vitamin C helps boost immunity, kiwifruit does have more of the stuff than most citrus fruits, including oranges!

7. Spinach.

Like kiwi, spinach is loaded with vitamin E. But that’s not all. Spinach really packs a huge nutritional punch. it has loads of beta-carotene, folate and vitamins A, C and K, as well as minerals like copper and iron — all nutrients vital to maintaining a healthy immune system.

Katie Waldeck     November 23, 2013


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3 reasons to eat more mushrooms

By Canadian Living

From fighting cancer to reducing the risk of heart disease, mushrooms are a tasty source of nutrition. Discover three great reasons to eat more mushrooms, plus three tested-till-perfect mushroom recipes from our Test Kitchen.
 
Mushrooms make a meaty and nutritious addition to any meal, from rich pasta sauces to refreshing salads. Bursting with antioxidants and Vitamin D, the regular consumption of mushrooms can help protect against breast cancer and other health problems. 

 


Here are three great reasons to eat more mushrooms:

1. They fight cancer
Recent studies suggest that consuming mushrooms may help protect against breast cancer. Maitake, cremini, portobello, oyster and white button varieties all showed promising effects, so sauté a mix of mushrooms in tonight’s stir-fry.

2. They’re high in heart-healthy antioxidants
Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease and high triglyceride levels. Exotic mushrooms, such as maitake and shiitake, have the highest amounts of ergothioneine.

3. They’re a rich source of vitamin D
Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D, a hard to find nutrient that’s important for the health of your bones and immune system. Health Canada recommends you get 600 IU of vitamin D a day. Shiitake mushrooms have the most vitamin D (five percent of your daily value per 100-gram serving), followed by white button mushrooms (one percent).

Be sure to try out some of our delicious mushroom recipes:

Lots of Mushrooms Lasagna
Wild Mushrooms In Phyllo Crowns
Swiss Pork and Mushrooms
 

source: CanadianLiving.com


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3 reasons to eat more mushrooms

By Canadian Living


From fighting cancer to reducing the risk of heart disease, mushrooms are a tasty source of nutrition. Discover three great reasons to eat more mushrooms, plus three tested-till-perfect mushroom recipes from our Test Kitchen.

Mushrooms make a meaty and nutritious addition to any meal, from rich pasta sauces to refreshing salads. Bursting with antioxidants and Vitamin D, the regular consumption of mushrooms can help protect against breast cancer and other health problems. 


Here are three great reasons to eat more mushrooms:

1. They fight cancer
Recent studies suggest that consuming mushrooms may help protect against breast cancer. Maitake, cremini, portobello, oyster and white button varieties all showed promising effects, so sauté a mix of mushrooms in tonight’s stir-fry.

2. They’re high in heart-healthy antioxidants
Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease and high triglyceride levels. Exotic mushrooms, such as maitake and shiitake, have the highest amounts of ergothioneine.

3. They’re a rich source of vitamin D
Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D, a hard to find nutrient that’s important for the health of your bones and immune system. Health Canada recommends you get 600 IU of vitamin D a day. Shiitake mushrooms have the most vitamin D (five percent of your daily value per 100-gram serving), followed by white button mushrooms (one percent).


Be sure to try out some of our delicious mushroom recipes:
Lots of Mushrooms Lasagna
Wild Mushrooms In Phyllo Crowns
Swiss Pork and Mushrooms



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7 foods to fortify your body for winter

Boost your immune system: Most everyone knows that vitamin C is key to a healthy immune system. But did you know that drinking green tea can also boost your ability to fight off viruses? 

Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which are known to have flu-fighting properties, according to Health.com. The tea also contains theophylline, which opens your airways to help you breathe easier if mucus has taken hold. 

In a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants who took two green tea capsules a day experienced fewer symptoms and instances of the cold and flu compared with a placebo group. 

The bonus? Green tea has also been shown to raise your metabolism, reduce your risk of heart disease and reactivate dying skin cells to help your face retrieve its spring glow. Experts recommend drinking two or three cups a day for optimum benefits.


Prevent dry skin: Niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A … oh my! The list of nutrients needed to keep your skin healthy is longer than Santa’s. The good news is that that means everything from cereal to carrots can play a role in keeping dry skin away. 

Let’s start with niacin. The B vitamin is helpful in preventing the skin rashes and inflammation that can occur in dry weather, according to the National Institute of Health. Niacin can be found in eggs, lean meats and legumes. 

Riboflavin is another B vitamin required for healthy skin. Breads and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin, the institute says, but you can also get it from eggs, milk and green leafy vegetables. 

Vitamin A helps cells reproduce, which will aid in turning old, dry skin into new, supple skin. Eating vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupe, passion fruit, tomatoes, sweet potato, carrots and spinach, can help your skin retain moisture.


Tame dry hair: Your mother probably told you to eat your broccoli, but she may not have told you that it would be good for your looks. 

“The unique combination of emollient oils and fatty acids in broccoli can make hair stronger and more lustrous,” said Dr. Charles Crutchfield, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. 

Because of the lack of moisture in the air, hair can be brittle and easily damaged during winter. Any food with a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids will help soothe stressed strands. Look for fish, olive oil and nuts in your local grocery store.




Protect your nails: Has a walnut brownie caught your eye? There’s a healthy component to that tempting treat. Walnuts contain biotin, a B vitamin that helps strengthen nails, according to Crutchfield. Strawberries are another good source of the important nutrient.

Fingernails also contain the protein keratin, which helps protect your nails from environmental damage. Eat foods that are also high in protein like lean meats and low-fat dairy products to prevent weakness.


Bone up: Winter weather is extra dangerous for bones, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Protect yourself from the inside by building strong bones with Vitamin D. 

Unfortunately, the Office of Dietary Supplements says very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Beef liver, mushrooms, cheese and egg yolks top the list. 

If you’re not ready to dish yourself a heaping plate of liver, look for products that have been fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals. Spending some time in the sunshine will also help your body absorb the nutrient; just make sure to slather on some SPF!


Avoid the vampire look: You may blame pasty skin on the lack of sunshine this time of year, but your diet can have a lot to do with your face’s rosy glow. 

People who aren’t getting enough iron have lower red blood cell counts, which may make them appear pale, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and mollusks like oysters, clams and scallops are iron-rich foods that will help bring back your pinch-able cheeks. 

Other vegetables can also help brighten a dull exterior. Carotenoids are natural pigments that produce the color in vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center; they’ll do the same for your skin. 


Prepare for the future: There’s nothing like a hot cup of cocoa after a day frolicking in (or shoveling) snow. And since researchers at Cornell University say the delicious drink contains a healthy dose of antioxidants, you shouldn’t feel guilty about indulging. The antioxidants protect your body from free radicals that can damage cells, according to the National Institute of Health

Need more convincing? A study published in the August edition of the journal Hypertension showed that flavanols – the main type of flavonoids, or antioxidants, found in cocoa and chocolate – may even improve mild cognitive impairment in the elderly.


source: cnn


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Cancer Fighting Foods/Spices

The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related. What you eat can hurt you, but it can also help you. Many of the common foods found in grocery stores or organic markets contain cancer-fighting properties, from the antioxidants that neutralize the damage caused by free radicals to the powerful phytochemicals that scientists are just beginning to explore. There isn’t a single element in a particular food that does all the work: The best thing to do is eat a variety of foods. 

The following foods have the ability to help stave off cancer and some can even help inhibit cancer cell growth or reduce tumor size.

Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.

Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective variety. Broccoli, especially sprouts, also have the phytochemical sulforaphane, a product of glucoraphanin – believed to aid in preventing some types of cancer, like colon and rectal cancer. Sulforaphane induces the production of certain enzymes that can deactivate free radicals and carcinogens. The enzymes have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in laboratory animals.  However, be aware that the Agriculture Department studied 71 types of broccoli plants and found a 30-fold difference in the amounts of glucoraphanin. It appears that the more bitter the broccoli is, the more glucoraphanin it has. Broccoli sprouts have been developed under the trade name BroccoSprouts that have a consistent level of sulforaphane – as much as 20 times higher than the levels found in mature heads of broccoli. 

Carrots contain a lot of beta carotene, which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bladder, prostate and breast. Some research indicated beta carotene may actually cause cancer, but this has not proven that eating carrots, unless in very large quantities – 2 to 3 kilos a day, can cause cancer.  In fact, a substance called falcarinol that is found in carrots has been found to reduce the risk of cancer, according to researchers at Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS). Kirsten Brandt, head of the research department, explained that isolated cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to falcarinol. This substance is a polyacethylen, however, so it is important not to cook the carrots.

Chili peppers and jalapenos contain a chemical, capsaicin, which may neutralize certain cancer-causing substances (nitrosamines) and may help prevent cancers such as stomach cancer. 

Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage contain two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin that may help decrease prostate and other cancers. 

Figs apparently have a derivative of benzaldehyde. It has been reported that investigators at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Tokyo say benzaldehyde is highly effective at shrinking tumors, though I haven’t seen this report. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says figs, which contain vitamins A and C, and calcium, magnesium and potassium, may curtail appetite and improve weight-loss efforts. Fig juice is also a potent bacteria killer in test-tube studies.

Flax contains lignans, which may have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes. Flax is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to protect against colon cancer and heart disease. See Budwig diet for a specialized diet using flax seed oil and cottage cheese. For studies about flax seed and flax oil, go to our Important News or Archives Page.

Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compounds (dialyl sultides) that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer causing substances. These substances also help block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumor development. Diallyl sulfide, a component of garlic oil, has also been shown to render carcinogens in the liver inactive. Studies have linked garlic — as well as onions, leeks, and chives — to lower risk of stomach and colon cancer. Dr. Lenore Arab, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the UNC-CH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) schools of public health and medicine and colleagues analyzed a number of studies and reported their findings in the October 2000 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. According to the report, people who consume raw or cooked garlic regularly face about half the risk of stomach cancer and two-thirds the risk of colorectal cancer as people who eat little or none. Their studies didn’t show garlic supplements had the same effect. It is believed garlic may help prevent stomach cancer because it has anti-bacterial effects against a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, found in the stomach and known to promote cancer there.

Grapefruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits, contain monoterpenes, believed to help prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Some studies show that grapefruit may inhibit the proliferation of breast-cancer cells in vitro. They also contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.

Grapes, red contain bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants that work as cancer preventives. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol, which inhibits the enzymes that can stimulate cancer-cell growth and suppress immune response. They also contain ellagic acid, a compound that blocks enzymes that are necessary for cancer cells – this appears to help slow the growth of tumors.

Studies show that consumption of green and yellow leafy vegetables has been associated with lower levels of stomach cancer.

Kale has indoles, nitrogen compounds which may help stop the conversion of certain lesions to cancerous cells in estrogen-sensitive tissues. In addition, isothiocyanates, phytochemicals found in kale, are thought to suppress tumor growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets.

Licorice root has a chemical, glycyrrhizin, that blocks a component of testosterone and therefore may help prevent the growth of prostate cancer. However, excessive amounts can lead to elevated blood pressure.


Mushrooms – There are a number of mushrooms that appear to help the body fight cancer and build the immune system – Shiitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor.  These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, especially  Lentinan, powerful compounds that help in building immunity. They are a source of Beta Glucan. They also have a protein called lectin, which attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying. They also contain Thioproline. These mushrooms can stimulate the production of interferon in the body.

Extracts from mushrooms have been successfully tested in recent years in Japan as an adjunct to chemotherapy. PSK is made from the Coriolus Versicolor. Maitake mushroom extract is PCM4.
Nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may suppress the growth of cancers. Brazil nut contains 80 micrograms of selenium, which is important for those with prostate cancer. (Note: Many people are allergic to the proteins in nuts, so if you have any symptoms such as itchy mouth, tight throat, wheezing, etc. after eating nuts, stop. Consider taking a selenium supplement instead or work with someone on how to eliminate this allergy.)

Oranges and lemons contain Iimonene which stimulates cancer-killing immune cells (lymphocytes, e.g.) that may also break down cancer-causing substances.

Papayas have vitamin C that works as an antioxidant and may also reduce absorption of cancer-causing nitrosamines from the soil or processed foods. Papaya contains folacin (also known as folic acid), which has been shown to minimize cervical dysplasia and certain cancers.

Raspberries contain many vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and antioxidants known as anthocyanins that may protect against cancer. According to a recent research study reported by Cancer Research 2001;61:6112-6119, rats fed diets of 5% to 10% black raspberries saw the number of esophageal tumors decrease by 43% to 62%. A diet containing 5% black raspberries was more effective than a diet containing 10% black raspberries. Research reported in the journal Nutrition and Cancer in May 2002 shows black raspberries may also thwart colon cancerBlack raspberries are rich in antioxidants, thought to have even more cancer-preventing properties than blueberries and strawberries.

Red wine, even without alcohol, has polyphenols that may protect against various types of cancer. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants, compounds that help neutralize disease-causing free radicals.  Also, researchers at the University of North Carolina’s medical school in Chapel Hill found the compound resveratrol, which is found in grape skins. It appears that resveratrol inhibits cell proliferation and can help prevent cancer. However, the findings didn’t extend to heavy imbibers, so it should be used in moderation. In addition, alcohol can be  toxic to the liver and to the nervous system, and many wines have sulfites, which may be harmful to your health. Note:  some research indicates that alcohol is considered a class “A” carcinogen which can actually cause cancer – seehttp://www.jrussellshealth.com/alccanc.html. You should probably switch to non-alcoholic wines.
Rosemary may help increase the activity of detoxification enzymes. An extract of rosemary, termed carnosol, has inhibited the development of both breast and skin tumors in animals. We haven’t found any studies done on humans. Rosemary can be used as a seasoning. It can also be consumed as a tea: Use 1 tsp. dried leaves per cup of hot water; steep for 15 minutes.

Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones – important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer. Many sea vegetables also have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.

Soy products like tofu contain several types of phytoestrogens — weak, nonsteroidal estrogens that could help prevent both breast and prostate cancer by blocking and suppressing cancerous changes. There are a number of isoflavones in soy products, but research has shown that genistein is the most potent inhibitor of the growth and spread of cancerous cells. It appears to lower breast-cancer risk by inhibiting the growth of epithelial cells and new blood vessels that tumors require to flourish and is being scrutinized as a potential anti-cancer drug.  However, there are some precautions to consider when adding soy to your diet. Eating up to 4 or 5 ounces of tofu or other soy a day is probably ok, but research is being done to see if loading up on soy could cause hormone imbalances that stimulate cancer growth. As a precaution, women who have breast cancer or are at high risk should talk to their doctors before taking pure isoflavone powder and pills, extracted from soy.

Sweet potatoes contain many anticancer properties, including beta-carotene, which may protect DNA in the cell nucleus from cancer-causing chemicals outside the nuclear membrane.

Teas: Green Tea and Black tea contain certain antioxidants known as polyphenols (catechins) which appear to prevent cancer cells from dividing. Green tea is best, followed by our more common black tea (herbal teas do not show this benefit). According to a report in the July 2001 issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, these polyphenols that are abundant in green tea, red wine and olive oil, may protect against various types of cancer. Dry green tea leaves, which are about 40% polyphenols by weight, may also reduce the risk of cancer of the stomach, lung, colon, rectum, liver and pancreas, study findings have suggested.

Tapioca is derived from the cassava plant. It is one of the many plants that manufactures cyanide by producing a chemical called linamarine which releases hydrogen cyanide when it is broken down by the linamarase enzyme. Spanish researches have been studying the cassava and attempting to clone the genes from the plant which are responsible for producing the hydrogen cyanide and then transfer it to a retrovirus.  However, funding for the project has run out.http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_317000/317467.stm for more information on this. For a list of other foods that contain B17, go to our laetrile page.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer. It appears that the hotter the weather, the more lycopene tomatoes produce. They also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. Watermelons, carrots, and red peppers also contain these substances, but in lesser quantities. It is concentrated by cooking tomatoes.  Scientists in Israel have shown that lycopene can kill mouth cancer cells. An increased intake of lycopene has already been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer. (Note: Recent studies indicate that for proper absorption, the body also needs some oil along with lycopene.)

Tumeric (curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is believed to have medicinal properties because it inhibits production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), levels of which are abnormally high in certain inflammatory diseases and cancers, especially bowel and colon cancer. In fact, a pharmaceutical company Phytopharm in the UK hopes to introduce a natural product, P54, that contains certain volatile oils, which greatly increase the potency of the turmeric spice. 

Turnips are said to contain glucose molaes which is a cancer fighting compound. I haven’t confirmed this.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.

There are many good books on this topic, including Vern Verona’s book on “Cancer Fighting Foods.”

source: cancure.org 


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The Most Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom

Dr. Michael Greger   July 6, 2012
Atherosclerotic plaques may be more aptly described as pimples. These inflamed pockets of pus building up in the lining of our arteries can rupture, cut off our hearts’ blood supply, and kill us. In my 2-min. video Arterial Acne, I profile a New England Journal of Medicine review that describes the process.
Death from heart disease starts with cholesterol infiltrating the lining of the coronary arteries crowning our heart. This triggers an inflammatory response. The inner lining of our artery produces adhesion molecules to snag white blood cells, called monocytes, that zoom past in the blood stream to try to repair some of the havoc cholesterol had wreaked inside the artery wall. Other inflammatory cells are called into action, more pus builds up, and it can end up like a big whitehead sticking out into the blood flow inside the artery. The blood pulsating past can rip off the cap and clot off the entire width of the artery, which can result in a fatal heart attack.
The best way to stop this life-threatening cascade is to prevent it in the first place.  As I describe in my 2-min. video Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease, we can block the buildup of cholesterol by increasing our intake of fiber-containing plant foods and decreasing our intake of trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol found in junk food and animal products.
Cholesterol-induced zits in the lining of our coronary arteries can also occur in other blood vessels. In our head they can cause a stroke (videos about stroke), in our back they can cause degenerative disk disease (Cholesterol and Lower Back Pain), in our abdomen they can cause an aneurysm (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Ticking Time Balloons), and in our pelvis they can cause sexual dysfunction in both men (Atkins Diet: Trouble Keeping It Up) and women (Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction). Thankfully, Avoiding Cholesterol Is A No Brainer. It’s Purely a Question Of Diet. Trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol should be kept to a minimum.



Some plants may be too anti-inflammatory to be used during pregnancy though. For the same reason aspirin should be avoided by pregnant women, chamomile has such powerful anti-inflammatory properties that regular consumption may result in a serious fetal heart problem, premature constriction of the fetal ductus arteriosus (which allows the fetus to “breathe” in the womb). More in my recent 2-min. video Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy.

Image credit: julie gibbons / Flickr

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

source: care2.com