Include herbs, spices in your diet to reduce cancer risk

Natural compounds found in herbs and spices can be used as complementary methods for reducing cancer risk and decreasing side effects of cancer treatment. Of the many herbs and spices, green tea and ginger have been studied for their health benefits, including inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Green Tea
As the cool fall weather sets in, warm up with a cup of brewed green tea. As you sip, you may also be reducing your risk of cancer, among other health benefits. Green tea has long been touted for its healthful properties and studies have shown that drinking two cups a day can inhibit cancer growth.

The all-star compounds of tea are polyphenols, in particular catechins. Catechins are antioxidants found in highest concentrations in green tea, especially in hot brewed green tea. According to studies by the National Cancer Institute, green tea polyphenols have proven to stop tumor cell growth and prevent tumor cell invasiveness.

A recent study at Georgia State University revealed that whole ginger extract significantly reduces the growth of cancer cells. The team also found that the extract was responsible for cell death in certain prostate cancer cells and did not negatively affect normal tissue.

According to the Mayo Clinic, ginger can help decrease side effects from chemotherapy, including nausea. Visit this Livestrong article for more information about the benefits of both ginger and green tea.

Other natural cancer-fighting compounds
If you would like to discover more information about alternative and complementary therapies, the American Cancer Society has published a detailed index of herbs, vitamins and minerals and their health effects. Be sure to discuss these options with your WVCI physician or the dietitian.

By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI

Posted October 7, 2011


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