How to Beat Cancer: Three Foods to Keep You Cancer Free

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Stockbyte/Getty Images

This is the third article in a series about how to prevent and beat cancer while going green.

Finally someone has clarified why we are what we eat, and substantiated it with actual medical research and data. The must-have book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life is already an international bestseller. Now it's a New York Times bestseller as well after being released in the states Sept. 8th. And I really urge you to go out and get this book. If you're ready to Stand Up to Cancer, this book can help you.

If this sounds like a depressing drag, and maybe boring to boot—it's not. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber is an entertaining writer with an amazing personal story. As a young hot-shot brain researcher he put himself in for a CAT scan when a volunteer didn't show up. A few minutes later he found out he had a brain tumor the size of a walnut. The first part of the book takes you through this surprisingly upbeat and riveting story. The second part may literally save your life.

The doctor believes only about 15% of cancer is hereditary—that leaves 85% that is environmental. And one of the biggest environmental aspects we have control of is what we put in our mouths.

Did you know, a drop of garlic oil applied to a cancer cell in the lab kills the cancer cell?

Cancer needs living cells to thrive, sucking the life out of them and corrupting them at the same time—somewhat like vampires in old movies. And just like in those films—garlic keeps them at bay.

There's more good news: lots of other foods inhibit cancer cell growth as well.

So besides garlic—which is number one—here are two of my personal favorites in excerpts from the book:

Red Wine

Red wine contains polyphenols, including the celebrated resveratrol. These polyphenols are extracted by fermentation: hence, their concentration is much greater in wine than in grape juice. Since they come from the skin and seeds of the grape, there are not nearly as many in white wine.

Resveratrol acts on genes (called sirtuines) that are known to protect healthy cells against aging. It can also slow the three stages of cancer development—initiation, promotion, and progression—by blocking the action of NF-kappa B.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa) contains a number of antioxidants, proanthocyanidins, and many polyphenols (a square of dark chocolate contains twice as many as a glass of red wine and almost as many as a cup of green tea properly steeped.) These molecules slow the growth of cancer cells and limit angiogenesis.

Take note: Mixing dairy products with chocolate cancels the beneficial effects of the molecules of cocoa. Avoid milk chocolate.

Recommendations for use: Eat a few squares of dark chocolate instead of desert at the end of a meal (with green tea).

Lynda Fassa is Planet Green's babies and family expert. She's the founder of Green Babies organic cotton baby clothes and the author of Green Babies, Sage Moms: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Baby, and the forthcoming Green Kids, Sage Families: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Family, both from Penguin NAL. Read her previous posts here.