They’ve been used for thousands of years to color, flavor, add fragrance and preserve foods. They’ve also been dispensed as folk medicines because they contain a multitude of bioactive compounds that are teeming with health benefits.
Among those benefits is the ability to help treat or prevent cancer. Spices show great promise
In fact, a recent scientific review said the evidence is “proven” that the more you consume, the lower your risk of cancer.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to consider incorporating one or more of the following six spices into your daily diet. . .
Continued below. . .
This plant food HARMS your metabolism & heart
There is a very common restaurant “side dish” that almost everyone eats a couple times a week that has been proven in a New Zealand study to CAUSE immediate heart attacks in some people.
Most people have no clue how risky this food is to eat. It’s actually FAR riskier than cigarettes. You’ll find out in the article below what that “side dish” is and exactly WHY it’s so dangerous.
You’ll also discover in the new article below why foods such as whole wheat bread, canola oil, soy milk, and even energy bars are KILLING you slowly…and causing diabetes, body fat, heart disease, and even cancer.
This is an important article to pay close attention to, so do NOT skip this one…
The king of spices
Piper nigrum, dubbed the ‘king of spices’ is better known to most of us as black pepper. Its major alkaloid constituent is piperine, which has been shown to act against a number of different types of tumor.
In breast cancer cell lines, piperine activated certain proteins to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) and a reduction in migration i.e. the spread of cancer to nearby tissues.
Piperine also inhibited the proliferation of four types of prostate cancer cells. The higher the dose, the greater the inhibition. The black pepper extract also suppressed both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate tumor growth in mice.
It inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in human rectal adenocarcinoma cells and held back proliferation of colon cancer. A 2017 study concluded that Piper nigrum is “a novel therapeutic spice for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma.”
Piperine also caused cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in melanoma cells and was described as “a promising therapeutic agent in the treatment of osteosarcoma [bone cancer].”
All in all, it’s quite a medicine. Makes me glad I use a lot of black pepper. Others may not agree, but generally my cooking motto is, “There’s no such thing as too much pepper.”
The golden spice
Over a hundred components have been isolated from turmeric, the best known and most potent extract being curcumin.
In vitro (lab culture) tests reveal turmeric to be a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic and anticancer agent.
Curcumin has been shown to act against cancers of the head and neck, lung, liver, breast, stomach, colon, rectum, prostate, uterus, skin, brain and blood.
It prevents and acts against cancer at various steps. It inhibits mutations, detoxifies carcinogens, decreases cell proliferation, limits migration and induces apoptosis.
There have been a few human studies. In one of these, extract of turmeric and curcumin ointment reduced itching, pain, and size of external cancer lesions.
In another, just 1½ grams a day of turmeric for 30 days significantly reduced the urinary excretion of mutagens in smokers.
A trial with 30 breast cancer patients found that six grams of curcumin a day reduced the severity of dermatitis caused by radiation treatment compared to controls.
There have also been several trials in colorectal cancer. In the first, patients taking four grams of curcumin a day for 30 days saw a significant 40% reduction in aberrant crypt foci. These are abnormal lesions that can turn into colon polyps and become cancerous.
In the second study, curcumin improved the general health and weight of colorectal cancer patients by upregulating the tumor suppressor gene p53, decreasing serum TNF alpha — an inflammatory protein that plays a major role in the development of different types of cancer — and speeding up tumor cell apoptosis.
Turmeric is definitely a spice you want to add to your diet every day if possible. While it is best known as a curry ingredient, it has a bland taste and can be added to many other meals.
Recent evidence suggests whole turmeric is more effective than curcumin because it contains a number of other valuable compounds besides curcumin. The rage to sell everybody curcumin may have been mistaken. I recently added a whole turmeric supplement to my daily regimen. It’s called Fast-Acting Turmeric. (I still take curcumin as insurance.)
Meanwhile, as a cooking tip: Make a simple salad dressing by mixing turmeric with extra virgin olive oil. Then add a little black pepper – this greatly increases the absorption of curcumin into the body – and then stir in some lime or lemon juice for a healthy way to spice up a salad.
One of the world’s most consumed dietary condiments
Zingiber officinale or ginger has many important compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anticarcinogenic properties.
One of ginger’s components, 6-shogaol, was found to decrease cancer development and progression in breast cancer cells cultured in the lab.
Whole ginger extract inhibited growth and progression of prostate cancer cells, induced profound growth inhibition in ovarian cancer cell lines and inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells.
In a clinical study, 20 people with increased risk of colon cancer were given either two grams of ginger daily or a placebo for 28 days. Ginger reduced proliferation in the normal appearing colorectal epithelium. It also increased differentiation (development into healthy cells) and apoptosis in cancer cells.
In another study of people at increased risk of colon cancer, ginger significantly lowered expression of the COX-1 inflammatory enzyme compared to those at normal risk of colon cancer.
While you may think of ginger as a spice used in Asian cuisine or as a flavoring for cakes and biscuits, it can be paired with almost any vegetable and works well in poultry and meat dishes. As long as you like the taste, it’s easy to incorporate into many meals.
“Miraculous power of healing”
Researchers are normally conservative, but eight of them writing in a recent medical journal didn’t hold back.
They described Nigella sativa (also known as black cumin, black onion seed and black seed) as having a “miraculous power of healing.”
It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, immunomodulatory and anticancer properties.
It’s been shown to inhibit proliferation, migration and invasion of human lung cancer cells. Inhibit cell proliferation in liver cancer. Showed anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in breast and cervical cancer. Weakened tumor development and growth and induced apoptosis in colorectal cancer. It’s also been tested with positive effects on a number of other cancer cell lines.
Nigella sativa or black cumin is NOT the familiar cumin in your spice rack. You probably don’t use it as a seasoning, and it’s not well known. But it’s well worth getting acquainted with these tiny black seeds. It has a slightly bitter taste and goes well with sweet vegetables like carrots and parsnips. It can be used in salad dressings and as a topping to egg and cheese dishes.
Hot, spicy and lethal to cancer
The most abundant ingredient in red chili peppers is capsaicin. Researchers at the University of Maryland – and many other researchers — describe it as having potent anticancer effects.
It won this reputation by targeting multiple signaling pathways and genes associated with cancer at different stages of the disease including initiation, promotion, progression and metastasis.
How does capsaicin inflict damage on cancer cells? By many mechanisms: cell cycle arrest, activation of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis (cancer’s method of creating its own blood vessel network) and impeding metastasis (spread from the original site to other organs).
Capsaicin has been shown to restrain angiogenesis, induce apoptosis and oxidative DNA damage in lung cancer; induce cell death, impede invasion and migration in breast cancer; inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in stomach and colorectal cancer; slow tumor growth, and kill prostate cancer cells.
There’s a huge variety of chili peppers available, ranging from mild to scorching hot, depending on the amount of capsaicin they contain. If you are not keen on the hot ones, you will still benefit from mild varieties.
The spice that’s a real treasure
Saffron is a highly prized spice that’s been revered for its medicinal properties for centuries. It offers protection against almost every cancer threat. In lab studies, it slowed down and even reversed tumor growth.
It’s shown anti-cancer effects in colorectal, non-small cell lung, breast, liver, prostate, skin and blood cancers.
It achieves this by triggering apoptosis, impeding angiogenesis and curbing metastasis.
While saffron is expensive, only a tiny amount is needed to flavor and color dishes. It goes well with rice and seafoods and can be added to soups, stews and sauces.
Scientists are investigating other spices besides the six I’ve mentioned, and it’s likely that many others will turn out to have some anticancer activity. Ones that look promising are cloves, cinnamon, galangal and cardamon. Cinnamon is already well known as a “medicine” for high blood sugar.
With the wide variety of flavors and fragrances available and the multiple dishes where you can use them, you should be able to find some you like. I can’t think of a more pleasant way to improve your health.