Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anti-Angiogenesis Food

Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels in the body, has been identified as the common denominator in many diseases, says Dr. Li. The number of blood vessels in our bodies needs to stay balanced to keep our defense systems strong; we don’t want too many or too few. Too few means wounds won’t heal, and we won't be protected against serious medical conditions, such as heart attacks. But if we have too many, the abundance of blood vessels can feed cancer cells that already exist in our bodies, causing tumors to grow.

Studies have shown that 40 percent of women between 40 to 50 years old have microscopic cancers in their breasts, and 50 percent of men in their 50s and 60s have microscopic cancers in their prostates. By the time we're in our 70s, almost 100 percent of us will have microscopic cancers in our thyroid glands. The good news: Most of them are harmless. Our bodies have “anti-angiogenesis” defense systems, which stop blood vessels from harboring these cancers.

And while we can’t change our genetics or our family history, we can change our diet. Certain foods contain naturally-occurring substances that are "anti-angiogenic" -- meaning they starve cancer cells.

 Here are his top 4:

1. Squid

The active ingredient in this powerful seafood is omega-3 fatty acid. It's Mother Nature’s fat, and is protective against breast cancer and heart disease. The best way to eat squid is to cut it into rings and saute it in garlic and olive oil. The garlic contains alliin, which is also anti-angiogenic, while olive oil contains cancer-starving polyphenols. A study of 35,000 women found that just 3 ounces of squid per day could reduce the risk of breast cancer by 26 percent.

2. Tomatoes

If you eat a tomato raw, the active ingredients (lycopene, beta-cryptozanthin, and rutin) will be hard for your body to absorb. Instead, cook tomatoes to 190 degrees. Try heating San Marzano tomatoes (they contain the highest amount of lycopene) in olive oil for 20 minutes to reach the desired temperature. The cooking also changes their chemical structure so the nutrients are easier to absorb. A study, which followed 70,000 men for 20 years, found that eating 2 to 3 cups of cooked tomatoes per week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 40 to 50 percent.

3. Lentils

Incorporate healthy lentils into your diet with salads and pasta dishes. This potent bean contains kaempferol, which helps restore cells in the body, and fights the blood vessels that can lead to cancer cells. A Nurses' Health study, which followed more than 34,000 women over a 30-year period, found that eating 1/2 cup of cooked lentils four times a week can reduce the risk of colon polyps (precancers in the colon) by 33 percent.

4. Tangerine Juice

Drinking 2 cups of freshly squeezed citrus juice a day reduces the risk of esophageal cancer by 42 percent, according to a NIH-AARP Diet and Health study of 490,000 people. Orange and grapefruit juice also contain the same potent antioxidants -- hesperidin and naringenin.

Curtesy of The Martha  Stewart Show


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