In the battle against the evil of cancer, we need to equip ourselves well with the weapons of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, of which food is an integral part. No matter how adamant the opponent is, against the ingredients of Mother Nature, the cancer cells have no option but to give up. I will take you on a journey through the kitchen cabinet where you will find the hot spices boasting of a sweet victory to protect against cancer provided that you use them on a daily basis.

“Hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory.”  Bob Marley

The Smart Cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder is nothing less than the magic powder which when sprinkled on cancer cells, can eliminate them. Researchers have found that cinnamon when administered to mice during trials was able to cause shrinkage of 50% of cancer cells. Cinnamon prevents formation of free radicals that pave way to cancer. It also has the ability to choke any blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) that is necessary to feed cancer cells during their growth. Here are different ways of putting this wonderful spice in use.

  • Add cinnamon powder along with honey to a steaming cup of milk.
  • Brew a cup of cinnamon tea and feel refreshed.
  • Make it a part of your morning breakfast by sprinkling some powder over that porridge or cereal you like eating daily.

The Cardamom Charisma

Who can deny the mesmerizing aroma of this tiny pod of seeds? There is much more to it than just great taste and smell. According to research, Cardamom has the potential to prevent cancers especially breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. It is a rich source of phytochemicals that are anti-mutagenic(something that prevents mutation at cellular level) in nature, thus preventing proliferation of the potential cancer cells. Cardamom also carries antioxidants that are great stress relievers and fight aging. So do not forget to add some seeds to a cup of milk or tea every time you drink one or simply chew some on a regular basis. This will not just give you a refreshing breathe and prevent tooth decay but will also keep cancers at bay.

The Terrific Turmeric

This is the most powerful warrior against cancer, lying among spices in your kitchen cabinet. So do consider putting it to use right now! It carries a polyphenol called ‘curcumin’ that has the ability to prevent formation of blood vessels that sustain cancer cells. This will also induce ‘apoptosis’, the programmed cell death in cancer cells without exerting any adverse effects on the healthy body cells. Turmeric has various healing properties as well which is why our grandmothers loved to give us turmeric milk every time we hurt ourselves.

 Ways to put turmeric to diet

  • Mix a teaspoon full of turmeric powder in a hot cup of milk and drink every night before going to bed.
  • Marinate chicken or fish chunks with turmeric powder before roasting or frying them.
  • Add some to a cooking pot of soup or gravy.

The Black Pepper Beauty

Another weapon to ward off cancer is black pepper seeds that we all love to sprinkle over our salads and scrambled eggs. This tiny seed contains a bioactive compound ‘piperine’ which is an anti-oxidant in nature.  It works best when combined with olive oil and turmeric, as the combination tends to multiply its benefits manifolds. A study conducted in United States of America showed that piperine has an extraordinary potential to thwart growth of breast cancer by eliminating the proliferation of stem cells. It keeps the stem cells from replenishing themselves and in doing so; the piperine does not harm the healthy breast tissue.

The Red Chilli Pepper Charisma

The red chilli pepper also known as Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient called ‘capsaicin’ which is the magic potion. This chemical, ‘capsaicin’ is not only an anti-oxidant but it also proves lethal to the tumor cells especially in patients of leukemia(blood cancer). It was seen to eliminate prostate cancer cells during a study conducted in the United States of America. Cayenne powder, apart from giving a smoky-heat boost to snacks, can also spice up the daily meat and vegetable dishes we eat.  However, the quantity used should be restricted as it can cause a burning sensation in mouth if in excess.

 Best Tips to Protect Against Cancer

  • You have to make friend with these spices on a regular basis.
  • If you are a diagnosed cancer patient, use the above mentioned foods in moderation and always consult your healthcare provider before you make changes to your diet.
  • To ensure a cancer free life, replace the processed and fried foods in your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Say no to vegetable oils by switching to olive oil.
  • Take loads of fiber by eating fruits without removing their skin.
  • Prefer brown rice to white ones and bran biscuits over a cake.