Cancer is among the most prevalent health conditions in America.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year and more than half a million people will die from the disease.
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment, but unfortunately it has a host of side-effects. This is why holistic practitioners and naturopathic doctors often focus more on preventing cancer in the first place through food and lifestyle.
According to Web MD, “some foods do show cancer-fighting properties, though no one is yet able to say one food or another can stop cancer in its tracks. Still, a body of research suggests an overall healthy diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables is the key to skirting heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer, too.”.
Some foods that are known to have anti-cancer properties include:.
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussles sprouts).
- Fresh garlic.
- Green tea.
- Citrus fruits.
- Olive oil.
In addition to the above, one common spice has gained much popularity through its healing abilities: turmeric.
Turmeric’s Effect on Cancer
Although turmeric is no miracle food and won’t actually reverse cancer, it does possess anti-cancer properties. Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its bright orange color, is the active compound in this spice 3
Preliminary studies have shown the effects of curcumin on cancer. According to Dr. Mercola, “Curcumin has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression– both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function.
It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth. As for its effect on molecular pathways, curcumin can affect more than 100 of them, once it gets into the cell. More specifically, curcumin has been found to:.
Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells.
Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they can not spread throughout your body.
Decrease inflammation” While these studies are still in their early stages, adding turmeric to your diet in general is largely seen as part of a healthy diet.
How to Consume Turmeric.
Turmeric can be consumed in a variety of ways from sprinkling the spice on your meals to blending it in smoothies to taking it in supplement form. But one thing you must remember is that in order for your body to actually absorb the nutrients, turmeric must be consumed alongside some black pepper or a good fat, such as coconut oil.
Consumption vs. Absorption.
Unbeknownst to many, just because you’re consuming a nutrient, it doesn’t mean you’re fully absorbing it. There’s a difference. For instance, if you were to consume turmeric in its root form, it only contains a curcumin concentration of about 3% meaning your body would only absorb up to 1% of the available curcumin.
Even turmeric supplements which have been prepared in such a way that there is a 95-percent concentration of curcumin doesn’t allow your body to absorb more than 1%.
That’s just one aspect of the consumption/absorption conundrum. The other issue lies in the fact that turmeric is a fat-soluble food.
As mentioned above, in order for your body to properly absorb the nutrients in turmeric, it must be prepared with some “sort of oil or fat, which improves its absorbability and bioavailability”.
Preparing turmeric in this way typically gives you seven to eight times higher absorption than the raw, unprocessed 95-percent-concentration of dry powder.
Making turmeric a part of your meal plan.
If you like making turmeric a part of your diet, you might find yourself restricted to recipes for things like curry and golden milk. This is because you need to consume it in combination with a good fat or black pepper in order for your body to be able to properly absorb the nutrients.
- 1 Lemon.
- 1 ″ Ginger Root.
- 1 ″ Turmeric Root.
- 1 tbsp Manuka Honey.
- 1/2 cup Coconut Water.
- Dash of vanilla bean and cayenne pepper.
To make a pitcher:.
- 8 ″ of turmeric,.
- 3 ″ ginger,.
- 2 lemons,.
- 1/8 cup honey,.
- 1 vanilla bean.
- 3 tablespoons of cayenne.
- 24 oz coconut water.
- 12 oz water.
Iced Turmeric and Honey Chai Latte.
- 3 cups of boiling water.
- 2 chai black tea bags.
- 1 tsp ground turmeric.
- 2-3 tbsp of raw honey.
- pinch of sea salt.
- 2 cups cashew milk (You can find a recipe for cashew milk here).
- ice cubes.
To make the tea base, pour the boiling water into a glass container. Then, add the tea bags and let them steep for 20 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and add the turmeric, honey and salt. Mix together and let the it cool.
Pour 3/4 cup of the tea base into a glass and add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the cashew milk. Throw in some ice cubes and enjoy!
Mango Turmeric Smoothie.
- 1.5 cups of water.
- 1 cup of mango.
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened toasted coconut flakes.
- 1 tbsp of raw plant based protein powder.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil.
- 1 tbsp golden flax seeds.
- 2 cm of fresh ginger.
- 2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Turmeric Chia Raspberry Parfait.
This raw mixture makes for an energizing breakfast or the perfect healthy snack.
- 1 3/4 cups of almond milk.
- 2 medjool dates (pitted).
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
- 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon.
- 1 tsp of ground turmeric.
- 6 tsp of chia seeds.
- 1 1/3 cups of buckwheat.
- 1 1/3 cups of fresh raspberries.
Place the almond milk, dates, vanilla, cinnamon and turmeric in a blender and blend until smooth. Your mixture should be a smooth paste.
Pour the paste over the chia seeds and stir for 5 minutes until you’ve smoothed out any lumps. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Place mixture into an airtight container and let it cool and thicken in the fridge overnight.
To assemble, place 1/3 cup of buckwheat into a bowl. Layer it with 1/2 cup of the chia pudding and finish with 1/3 cup of raspberries on top.