Cooking with anti cancer herbs and spices better than some medicines

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Jan 19 2010 - 1:05pm

Cooking with anti cancer herbs may be better than the therapeutic effect of some medicines. Most diseases are related to some sort of inflammatory response in the body. An anti cancer herb studied extensively comes from the Asian turmeric plant. Curcumin from turmeric has been extensively studied for its anti cancer properties, specifically by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD., professor of experimental therapeutics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Turmeric and other spices as good as many prescriptions

According to Dr. Aggarwal, “Everyone’s talking about how to get more affordable health care – cooking with spices is the easiest way to do it. The anti inflammatory abilities of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne are absolutely remarkable – more effective than aspirin and many prescription meds, with no side effects.” There is a strong link between cancer and inflammation, making turmeric a top anti cancer spice worth adding to your daily dish. Dr. Aggarwal discovered in 1995 that turmeric is a powerful tumor suppressor. You can add turmeric in combination with other anti inflammatory herbs and spices to potatoes, white meats, and rice.

Individuals in cultures who cook with spices are found to be healthier. Compared to India, the incidence of breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers is 50 times higher in the United States, and may be the result of cooking with anti cancer herbs and spices that should be combined for better health.

Garlic is a beneficial anti cancer herb that can be used to spice up most any dish, including a simple salad. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast. Population studies are multidisciplinary studies of population groups that investigate the cause, incidence, or spread of a disease or examine the effect of health-related interventions, dietary and nutritional intakes, or environmental exposures. An analysis of data from seven population studies showed that the higher the amount of raw and cooked garlic consumed, the lower the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.”

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Ginger is a medicinal anti cancer herb that can be easily added to fish and vegetable dishes to provide a warm “flowery” taste to entrees or side dishes. Ginger can be used to cook chicken, added to salads for an Asian flare, and is delicious with broccoli that is also shown to prevent cancer. A study published 2006 from University of Michigan researchers showed that ginger could kill ovarian cancer cells. According to Jennifer Rhode, M.D., a gynecologic oncology fellow at the U-M Medical School, preliminary results of the study revealed “ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer."

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