Kitchen herbs and spices for fighting cancer

Kitchen herbs and spices for fighting cancer
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Highlights

On World Cancer Day, I want you to remember that the food you eat has a direct effect on your health. Prevention is better than cure and luckily in India we have a treasure trove of herbs and spices to help us save our lives.

On World Cancer Day, I want you to remember that the food you eat has a direct effect on your health. Prevention is better than cure and luckily in India we have a treasure trove of herbs and spices to help us save our lives.

A byproduct of breathing are free radicals that damage healthy cells, lowering immunity and could be the cause of cancer. We can't stop breathing. Luckily Nature has a solution. The natural colours abundantly found in the plant kingdom. We call them antioxidants. So add in yellow, green, orange, red foods daily. The more the merrier.

The rates of cancer are increasing as it is not only free radical damage but also a number of carcinogens. These are pollution, stress, chemical and pesticides in foods, moving away from ethnic diets, processed foods, excess sugar, eating non-seasonal foods and not following the circadian rhythm.

In the last 22 years, I have researched nutritional immunology intensively. Food can prevent, retard and reverse diseases. To ease the life of cancer patients, I have incorporated some wonderful herbs and spices found in the Indian diet. So fear not the dreaded C word. Instead let's look at solutions that can stop this onslaught.

Turmeric – This great spice of Indian foods has a natural chemical called Cucurmin. It has a positive effect on practically all kinds of cancers due to its anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It needs good quality fat to be absorbed so toss turmeric in your food while cooking.

Tulsi – For Indians this plant is part of daily life. This delicious herb, fresh or dried, has anti-carcinogenic power. You can toss it in soups, salads or just chew the fresh leaves. No wonder we worship it.

Coriander – Coriander contains excellent antioxidants and phytochemicals that are thought to be cancer fighters. Sprinkle all your foods with fresh green coriander and use the dried coriander seeds in your cooking.

Garlic –This spice has undergone great deal of study and is one of the top foods to include in your diet regularly to reduce the effects of cancer. Add about 5 garlic cloves daily for anticancer effects.

Neem – India's miraculous healing plant has been used for more than 4,000 years for medicinal purposes. This leaf is known to boost the immune system on all levels without destroying beneficial bacteria. Throughout south-east asia including India, neem has been used successfully to reduce tumours and cancers. In Japan, several cancer patients included hot water neem bark extracts.

It's so simple and easy to toss these herbs and condiments in your food daily. Just remember that spices need to be cooked in good quality fat like cow's ghee to increase their bioavailability.

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