Green tea contains two powerful anticancer compounds; EGCG and quercetin. Both of these compounds act as powerful antioxidants that upregulate AMPk activity, protect the p53 gene, inhibit IGF-1, AND inhibit the mTOR pathway.
As a result, green tea has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth while promoting cancer cell apoptosis. Additionally, green tea helps to promote the production of the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD) which drastically lower inflammation in the body.
Berries are rich in quercetin as well as a unique class of purple-pigmented antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins may promote AMPk activation while inhibiting mTOR. The antioxidant activity of berries also helps by protecting DNA from being damaged in the first place while slowing the development of any cancer already present in the body.
One of the most significant activities of berries and anthocyanins is that they actually target cancer stem cells and upregulate tumor suppression genes. Wild blueberries are one of the best sources of anthocyanins.
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain a wide array of nutrients including quercetin and sulforaphane which have several anticancer effects (7). Sulforaphane is a sulfur compound called an isothiocyanate that plays an important role in maintaining p53 function.
Additionally, cruciferous vegetables help to activate the NRF2 pathway which is a powerful antioxidant system in the body with strong implications for fighting cancer. Sulforaphane within cruciferous vegetables also assist in liver detoxification of excess estrogen in the body which can help in the treatment of hormone sensitive cancers such as breast cancer.
Leafy Green Veggies
Leafy green veggies like kale, arugula, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach and Swiss chard are super nutrient-dense foods. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has the powerful ability to help the body detoxify carcinogenic substances by binding and eliminating them in the digestive tract, while also support liver detoxification (8).
Kale in particular is a powerful leafy green as it also contains the powerful isothiocyanate, sulforaphane, which reduces cancer cell replication and boosts immune system function.
Turmeric is an Indian spice that contains a wide array of healing compounds, of which curcumin has received the most attention. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory activity which is a major implication in cancer development. Curcumin has also been shown to prevent the spread of tumors and support apoptosis.
Curcumin also has the ability to target cancer stem cells to help prevent the reoccurrence of cancer in the future (9). Many conventional treatments do very little in terms of killing cancer stem cells which is why cancers often come back more aggressive after treatment.