Foods that help fight lung cancer effectively
Lung cancer-fighting foods are those foods that can help lower your risk of developing lung cancer. You might what to ask what if I’m already living with the disease? What can I eat to alleviate this condition? This could be a very dicey question because at times it depends on the kind of treatment you’re receiving. For instance, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The main aim of these treatments is to remove cancer cells, so would you really like to consume a diet rich in substances that protect cells including cancer cells?
There are so many vitamins and minerals which you have to forgo while undergoing treatments so that the treatments can work effectively. Some phytochemicals found in plant-based chemicals are responsible, and the different ways in which these substances may interact with cancer cells by rapidly causing cancer cell death, preventing the ability of the cells to metastasize (spread), and other mechanisms.
20 Best proven lung cancer-fighting foods you must eat
These lung cancer-fighting foods below talks about the possible nutrients you may get as part of a healthy diet and not supplements. Have in mind that some supplements may actually increase your chance of developing lung cancer like the beta-carotene or reduce the effectiveness of cancer treatments.
Green tea is one of those lung cancer-fighting foods you must eat so as to prevent the development of this disease. It is also useful for people living with lung cancer.
There are no researches carried out on humans, but it has been performed using human lung cancer cells grown in the lab, and in animals. Some compounds like EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) and theaflavin were known to have a great effect on the chemotherapy drug cisplatin which is mainly used to treat lung cancer. In one part of the research, the effectiveness of cisplatin in eradicating cancer cells was raised by a factor of seven.
Furthermore, since most green tea contains caffeine, if you’re allergic to caffeine or it keeps you awake, you may opt for caffeine-free variety or depend on other items on this list. The amount of ECGC in most soft drinks is very negligible.
You may want to avoid the creamer, as dairy products can react with and neutralize ECGC. Why not add a touch of lemon instead, which improves the absorption of this compound.
Ginger has a compound called 6-shogaol that may help prevent the development of lung cancer, but with its actions on the pathways that help cancer to spread, may reduce the risk of metastases from cancer already present.
A study conducted in the lab confirms the benefits of ginger in treating lung cancer cells and it was discovered that dietary ginger intake lowers the risk of lung cancer metastases in mice having lung cancer. It brings about essential findings since metastases were the leading cause of death for individuals with cancer. Ginger also has other health benefits as well, particularly in helping individuals with chronic pain.
It is one of those lung cancer-fighting foods your body needs because it contains a compound called curcumin. This compound, curcumin has been discovered in several studies to prevent the development of lung cancer cells in the body. Turmeric is the spice that enables curry has a yellow color.
Furthermore, since curcumin has antioxidant, immune-stimulatory effects, and anti-inflammatory effects in addition to facilitating apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
Although, the American Cancer Society has deduced that lab and animal tests on turmeric have a promising future, but is hesitant to recommend this spice for prevention or treatment. For people recently undergoing treatment for cancer, the news is good as well. Does Curcumin work by making tumors more sensitive to the effects of treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, especially with medication like the common lung cancer chemotherapy drug cisplatin?
Turmeric can also provide a potential role in Alzheimer’s disease. Have in mind that relatively large quantities of curcumin supplements need to be taken in order to be absorbed. Three kinds of research deduced that at 1.8 grams of curcumin each day as a supplement, curcumin is very negligible and is unnoticeable in the blood of patients that receive it. But when cooked as curry, curcumin has improved availability and is better absorbed.
In a test-tube study, curcumin was also known to reduce the spread of colon cancer cells by targeting a specific enzyme associated with cancer growth. A similar study carried out in a test-tube found that curcumin helped destroy head and neck cancer cells.
Also, curcumin has been found to be effective in slowing the growth of breast, lung, and prostate cancer cells in other test-tube researches.
These lung cancer-fighting foods are good sources of a phytochemical called chlorogenic acid. Where you want tumors to grow and invade tissues, they must produce new blood vessels to supply the tumor. Other treatments for cancer are designed to interrupt this process which is referred to as angiogenesis. But if the tumor is unable to create a blood supply for itself, it can’t continue to replicate.
Chlorogenic acid tends to disrupt a signaling pathway in lung cancer which is important in order for angiogenesis to occur at ease. Carrots are rich in chlorogenic acid and are also present in apples, flaxseed, potatoes, strawberries, and pineapple. While other foods tend to lose their protective phytochemicals during cooking, carrots are an exception to the rule.
Also, when you cook and even store cooked carrots in the fridge for 1-2 days, it may help increase their nutritional value.
An analysis of the results of 5 studies found that consuming carrots may lower the risk of stomach cancer by up to 26 percent.
Another research deduced that higher consumption of carrots was associated with 18 percent reduced the chance of developing prostate cancer.
Also, particular research analyzed the diets of 1,266 participants with and without lung cancer. They discovered that current smokers who did not consume carrots were three times as likely to have lung cancer, compared to people who consumed it more than once in a week.
Why not introduce carrots into your diet as a healthy snack or sprinkle it over salads to lower your chance of developing cancer?
Have in mind that these studies illustrate an association between carrot consumption and cancer without taking into consideration other factors that may play a role.
They are regarded as lung cancer-fighting foods because they contain a compound called lycopene, which helps lower your risk of developing cancer and fighting it. Lycopene works at several points in the development of cancer. It prevents the growth of tumors, interferes with the process in which lung cancer cells divide, inhibits the spread of cancer, and assist in getting rid of cancer cells in the body through apoptosis.
Furthermore, lycopene has anti-inflammatory properties which may help lower both the promotion and developing of lung cancer in the body.
Research involving 100,000 people deduced that lung cancer was not that common among people who had consumed foods containing lycopene. This is to say that lycopene is a powerful cancer fighter.
Also, a review of 17 studies discovered that higher consumption of raw tomatoes, cooked tomatoes and lycopene were all linked to a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer.
Similarly, another study involving 47,365 people found that a higher intake of tomato sauce, in particular, was associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
You can increase your intake by including a serving or two of tomatoes into your diet daily or adding them to salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
Never forget that these studies show there may be an association between consuming tomatoes and a lowered risk of prostate cancer without taking into consideration other factors that may be helpful.
Watercress contains isothiocyanates, which interferes with the process of cancer cells replication to inhibit tumor growth and also enhance the effect of radiation therapy in destroying cancer cells.
Isothiocyanates can also be found in cruciferous vegetables like mustard greens, wasabi, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. This compound makes watercress important lung cancer-fighting foods.
Broccoli is one of those lung cancer-fighting foods because it contains a plant compound called sulforaphane.
A study conducted in test-tube shows that sulforaphane reduces the size and number of breast cancer cells by up to 75 percent.
Consequently, a study conducted in an animal found that treating mice with sulforaphane helped destroy prostate cancer cells and lower tumor volume by more than 50 percent.
Some studies have also discovered that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may be associated with lowering your chance of having colorectal cancer.
Furthermore, an analysis of 35 studies deduced that consuming more cruciferous vegetables was linked with a lower risk of colon and colorectal cancer. When you inculcate broccoli in your few meals per week may have some cancer-fighting benefits.
Although, research has not been carried out on humans to know if broccoli may help fight against cancer in the body. But most of its researches are being restricted to animal, test-tube, and observational studies that either investigated the effects of cruciferous vegetables or the effects of a particular compound in broccoli.
According to some studies, beans help protect your body against colorectal cancer since it is rich in fiber. Beans are one of those lung cancer-fighting foods that are often overlooked.
Another study monitored 1,905 people with a history of colorectal tumors and discovered that those who consumed more cooked, or dried beans tend to have a reduced risk of tumor recurrence.
A study conducted in animal found that feeding rats with navy beans or black beans were known to block the development of cancer cells by up to 75 percent.
From these results, consuming a few servings of beans weekly may increase your fiber intake and help reduce your chance of developing cancer.
More studies are required on humans to ascertain the effect of beans in fighting lung cancer. But recent research is restricted to animal studies/studies that show association with no causation.
Cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar and ease inflammation greatly. This makes it an essential lung cancer-fighting foods you must consume.
Some studies carried out in test-tube and animal studies deduced that cinnamon may help prevent the spread of cancer cells.
A cinnamon extract conducted in a test-tube was known to reduce the spread of cancer cells and induce their death.
Another study carried out in a test-tube show that cinnamon essential oil inhibits the growth of head and neck cancer cells, and also potentially reduced tumor size.
An animal study also deduced that cinnamon extract brings about cell death in tumor cells, and also reduce how much tumors grow and spread.
When you introduce ½ to 1 teaspoon usually about 2-4 grams of cinnamon in your diet daily may be important in cancer prevention, and provide other benefits like lower your blood sugar level and decreased inflammation.
However, more studies are needed to ascertain the effectiveness of cinnamon in fighting cancer development in humans.
Olive oil is one of those lung cancer-fighting foods and it’s also one of the staples found in the Mediterranean diet.
A review consisting of 19 studies deduced that people who consumed the greatest amount of olive oil had a reduced chance of developing breast cancer and cancer of the digestive system than those with the lowest consumption.
Another research examined the cancer rates in 28 countries around the world and discovered that places which consumed an increased amount of olive oil had lower rates of developing colorectal cancer.
You can experience other health benefits by spreading olive oil on salads and cooked vegetables or try using it in your marinades for fish, meat or poultry.
Although more studies are needed to determine the effects of olive oil in fighting cancer in humans; these studies showed an association between olive oil intake and cancer with other factors taken into consideration as well.
Citrus fruits like limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits have been found to lower your risk of developing cancer in some studies. These fruits are essential lung cancer-fighting foods you must consume daily.
A study found that people who consumed a higher amount of citrus fruits had a reduced chance of developing cancers of the digestive and upper respiratory tracts.
Also, a review involving 9 studies found that a higher intake of citrus fruits was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.
Furthermore, a review of 14 studies deduced that a higher consumption, or a minimum of three servings weekly, of citrus fruit, lowered the risk of stomach cancer by 28 percent.
In this study, consuming a few servings of citrus fruits in your diet per week may reduce your chance of developing certain types of cancer.
However, more studies are needed to ascertain the effect of citrus fruits in fighting cancer in humans. Have in mind that the above studies do not take into consideration other factors.
Garlic has been found to destroy cancer cells in multiple test-tube studies because of the presence of its active compound known as allicin. It is one of those lung cancer-fighting foods that are known to many.
A study involving 543,220 participants discovered that those who consume lots of Allium vegetables, like onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks, had a lower chance of developing stomach cancer than those who rarely consumed these vegetables.
Another study involving 471 men showed that a higher intake of garlic was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Furthermore, another research discovered that participants, who consume lots of garlic, as well as fruit, deep yellow vegetables, onions, and dark green vegetables, were less likely to have colorectal tumors. But this study didn’t isolate the effects of garlic.
When you introduce one clove of fresh garlic usually about 2-5 grams into your diet each day can help improve your overall health.
However, despite the significant results showing a link between garlic and a lowered risk of cancer, more researches are needed to ascertain whether other factors play a vital role as well.
Pears are essential lung cancer-fighting foods you must consume to stay healthy. A recent study assessing a non-small cell lung cancer grown in the lab found that phloretin, which is present in apples and pears, induced apoptosis (simply programmed cell death) in these cancer cells. The researchers assumed that phloretin may someday be used as an alternative in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
It was also discovered that phloretin enhanced the anticancer effect of cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug used for people with lung cancer. Phloretin was also found to help reduce fibrosis in the lungs, like the one commonly associated with radiation therapy.
The presence of phloretin in pears and apples is known to have anti-tumor activities.
Usually, a diet rich in vitamin D is known to have some benefit for people living with lung cancer. It is one of those important lung cancer-fighting foods to enjoy.
Researchers examined non-small cell lung cancer cells that have an EGFR mutation, to know what effect vitamin D3 may have. The cells were treated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; the breakdown product of the vitamin which moves in the blood. It was discovered that the setting of vitamin D3 prevented the growth of lung cancer cells in the body.
Further research was carried out and they observed rats that had developed EGFR positive lung cancer who were given a diet rich in vitamin D3. These diets help inhibit tumor growth.
Fatty fishes like salmon, herring, and mackerel are rich in vitamin D and have other health benefits as well. An individual can also get vitamin D from the sun, but sunscreen interferes with this process.
Having known that vitamin D is the most difficult to get in dietary form, being outside in the sun with your shorts and a T-shirt for at least 15 minutes, however, gives an individual a very healthy daily dose. The result isn’t the same in Northern climates or for other reasons, like chemotherapy drugs which increase the risk of sunburn.
A study shows that increased consumption of fish was linked to a reduced risk of developing digestive tract cancer.
Another study that examined 478,040 adults discovered that consuming more fish lowered the risk of developing colorectal cancer, while red and processed meats actually increased your chance of having it.
Try consuming at least two servings of fatty fish each week to get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and to utilize the potential health benefits of these nutrients.
Unfortunately, more studies are needed to determine the effect of fatty fish in improving cancer in humans.
You can know your vitamin D level by visiting your oncologist and if your level is low, meet your oncologist to receive the best supplement to improve your level.
These tiny flower buds are one of those lung cancer-fighting foods you can’t stop consuming if you care about your overall health. Capers are found in the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia.
They are known to contain a compound called quercetin, which is a strong antioxidant that helps inhibit the growth of several cancers, especially cancers of the brain, lung, salivary gland, and blood.
Quercetin blocks a significant pathway in lung cancer cells that is essential for the cells to divide and multiply. Other recent studies deduced that quercetin also brings about apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells.
They are several other foods that are rich in quercetin like red onions, dill weed, apples, blueberries, black and green tea.
Berries are known to contain essential compounds called anthocyanidins which helps prevent the formation of thrombosis (blood clots). Usually, about 3-15 percent of people with lung cancer develop blood clots and this is linked to an increased rate of death from the disease, berries like raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries may help in several ways than one. These fruits are essential lung cancer-fighting foods you must consume to stay healthy.
A form of anthocyanidin called delphinidin made a particular difference for mice injected with EGFR mutated human lung cancer cells. If you are not used to EFGR or have not had molecular profiling performed on your lung cancer, make sure you visit your doctor for advice.
Dietary delphinidin prevents the growth of the tumors, restricted the ability of the tumors to creating new blood vessels in order to expand something referred to as angiogenesis and induced apoptosis (cell death) among the cancer cells.
A human study involving 25 people with colorectal cancer were treated with bilberry extract for 7 days. They discovered a reduced growth of cancer cells by 7 percent.
Another study introduced freeze-dried black raspberries to patients with oral cancer and discovered that it reduced levels of certain markers linked to cancer progression.
An animal study shows that giving rats a berry extract was found to inhibit several biomarkers of cancer in the body.
From the above studies, including a serving or two of berries in your diet daily may help prevent your chance of developing cancer.
Have in mind that more human studies are needed to ascertain the effect of berry extract on cancer development.
Red grape juice
Red grape juice has a compound called resveratrol which is found in red wine, not only appears to reduce your risk of developing various cancers but may work to help cancer treatments work effectively.
Cancer cells of lung cancer treatment could be resistant to treatments designed to eradicate them. Luckily, compounds like resveratrol may sensitize tumors to the effects of treatment.
Having lung cancer, consumption of this nutrient may help to improve the effectiveness of common chemotherapy drugs like Platinol (cisplatin), Taxol (paclitaxel), and Iressa (gefitinib). It won’t be nice to immediately recommend using this as a “treatment adjuvant” but putting a little resveratrol in your diet isn’t going to hurt.
Taking a snack of red grape juice, a few bits of dark chocolate and a few blueberries could be a tasty dessert that may even quell the thought that you’re consuming a lung cancer-fighting diet.
These are lung cancer-fighting foods that are rich in the mineral zinc. Its mineral helps stimulate the effect of lung cancer chemotherapy medication Taxotere (docetaxel). A deficiency in zinc may bring about a decline in your immune system level which is very vital for cancer patients.
Although it’s difficult finding good sources of zinc, and a particular study uses a supplement instead of relying on dietary sources of nutrients capable of fighting cancer. A person who is allergic to shellfish can let go of it and opt for enriched breakfast cereals that have a decent amount of zinc too.
Flaxseed has enough health benefits and can be useful in cancer treatment because of the presence of a component called lignans. Researchers placed mice having lung cancer on a diet of flaxseed and discovered that the mice tend to live longer. They also deduced that the diet rich in flaxseed tend to protect normal cells from being destroyed while enhancing the death of cancer cells.
Furthermore, flaxseed can be used to prevent the growth of other cancers and help destroy cancer cells. A study found that flaxseed helps prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Another study analyses 161 men with prostate cancer who were given flaxseed and discovered the growth and spread of cancer cells reduce immensely.
Try adding about 10 grams (one spoonful) of ground flaxseed into your diet daily by mixing it into smoothies, sprinkling it over yogurt and cereal to enjoy it greatly.
Nuts are one of those lung cancer-fighting foods you can’t omit from your diet.
Several studies have discovered that consuming nuts may be associated with a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer.
A study examined the diets of 19,386 people and found that consuming a greater amount of nuts was linked to a reduced risk of dying from cancer.
Another research followed 30,708 participants for up to 30 years and discovered that consuming nuts regularly brings about a decreased risk of developing pancreatic, colorectal, and endometrial cancers.
Other studies have found that various types of nuts may bring about a decrease in cancer risk. For example, Brazil nuts which are rich in selenium help protect against lung cancer in people with low selenium status.
Furthermore, an animal study shows that feeding mice walnuts reduced the growth rate of breast cancer cells by 80 percent and decreased the number of tumors by 60 percent.
From the above results, when you add a serving of nuts to your diet each day may lower your risk of developing cancer in the future.
However, more studies in humans are required to ascertain whether nuts are responsible for this association, or whether other factors are included.
How can foods help fight cancer in the body?
This could appear confusing to think about how food can fight cancer effectively. Some of the reason is that there are various ways in which this can happen, and there are many processes within each of these mechanisms that may be influenced by what we consume.
The following are the few ways in which this can occurs:
Cell metabolism: Nutrients in certain foods we consume may play a vital role in the day to day functioning of cancer cells in the body.
Cell cycle control: Here, cancer cells may go through various stages in the process of dividing. Some compounds present in certain foods may inhibit some of these steps.
Inflammation: Inflammation plays a major role in the development and growth of cancer. The microenvironment surrounding cancer cells may function in whether cancer progresses or not. Certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties which could alter this process.
Angiogenesis: Here, tumors need to grow new blood vessels to enable it to grow and expand. Some compounds in foods may interfere with the ability of cancer cells to grow these blood vessels.
Metastasis: There are molecular routes that direct the ability of cancer cells to leave their original area and travel to other parts of the body. Certain nutrients may interfere with stages in these signaling pathways.
Apoptosis: When cells in our bodies become destroyed or age, there is a process in our immune system which removes these cells. Recently, cancer cells have devised ways on how to escape apoptosis. However, some nutrients may give the body a needed boost in order to get rid of these abnormal cancer cells in the body.
As new research continues to surface about lung cancer-fighting foods, it has become increasingly clear that your diet can have a great effect on your risk of developing cancer.
However, there are many foods that have the ability to reduce the spread and growth of cancer cells but current research focuses on test-tube, animal, and observational studies.
More researches are needed to ascertain how these foods may directly have an effect on cancer development among humans.
Try making your meals an experience and a time of joy as you take your time to set a beautiful table. This may look exhausting especially when you’re undergoing cancer treatment, but it can be a good opportunity to enlist those people who long to assist in some way.
Never isolate yourself from others, but be in the company of your good friends to avoid feeling helpless/sorrowful. You can enjoy a diet rich in whole foods, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, which will boost many aspects of your health immensely.