It has been found that many diseases and degenerative processes in the human body come from free radicals. These agents come from toxins and pollution, to which the human race seems to be more and more exposed. Antioxidants are here to stop free radicals from making abnormal changes on cell level, thus preventing many dangerous diseases, including cancer.
Today, increased intake of antioxidant foods is recommended to patients suffering from diseases and conditions from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to stroke, heart disease, immune problems and cancer.
Most foods that are rich in antioxidants fall into category of fruits and vegetables. The USDA has performed analysis of over 100 plant-based foods and it came up with a list of the ones that are the best sources of antioxidants. Some of the foods that made it to the top of the list include beans like small red beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, pecans, Granny Smith apples, Red Delicious apples, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, artichokes, cherries, plums, prunes and russet potatoes.
Eight secrets you can start doing today, according to Gene Stone, author of The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick.
Caloric reduction. Eat less – “try to cut your calorie intake by 25%. You’d be amazed at how much better your feel, and your immune system will appreciate it too. And, you’ll lose weight.”
Eat garlic. People have eaten garlic for health reasons for more than 5,000 years. Eat it raw so its healthy chemicals are released into your system.
Take a cold shower. Sounds painful, but it improves your skin tone, your circulation, your mood, and it helps ward off colds.
Take a nap. Sleep is cumulative - it’s not about getting eight hours at night as much as getting eight hours in a 24-hour period. “So relax if you didn’t sleep well last night because you can take a nap and make up for it.”
Stretch. “The wisest doctor I ever met, Dr. Robert Fulford, created a series of stretches that will make you healthier by increasing your life force. They are not strenuous, they really work, and you can do them anywhere.”
Eat plants. More and more research shows that animal protein is not good for us. Get your protein and nourishment in fruits and vegetables. “Decline the cheeseburger and go for the pasta primavera.”
Add brewer’s yeast to your diet. Add some debittered brewer’s yeast from the health food store to your morning smoothie or sprinkle it on a salad. It’s full of B vitamins and protein.
Manage your stress. “Stress is a killer! Every year new research confirms that the more stress you feel, the more likely you are to become ill. You can’t rid your life of all its stress, but you can try to limit its effects. Calm down. Have some herbal tea. Meditate. Don’t worry. Be happy.”
Mom knew best
Old wives tales can be good medicine, according to Gene Stone, author of The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick:
Drink cranberry juice. “Researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered that the cranberries actually do destroy the harmful bacteria clinging to the walls of your bladder.”
Eat an apple a day. “Research shows that high levels of certain chemical compounds in apples destroy colon cancer cells, and apples appear to fight off other cancers as well.”
Adopt a pet. Animal owners tend to come down with fewer illnesses than their animal-free counterparts. “Even the simple act of petting a dog lowers blood pressure by inducing an instant relaxation response.”
Go for gold. “In the middle ages, wealthy patients drank suspensions of finely ground gold to ease disease,” says Stone. “New research shows that very small amounts of liquid gold can strengthen the immune system and are particularly useful for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.”
ScienceDaily (June 3, 2007) — An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Or, what appears to be more accurate: An apple peel a day might help keep cancer at bay, according to a new Cornell study.
Cornell researchers have identified a dozen compounds -- triterpenoids -- in apple peel that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. Three of the compounds have not previously been described in the literature.
"We found that several compounds have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon and breast cancer cells and may be partially responsible for the anti-cancer activities of whole apples," says Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science. Liu is affiliated with Cornell's Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology and is senior author of the study, which is online and published this month in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In previous Cornell studies, apples had been found not only to fight cancer cells in the laboratory but also to reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. The Cornell researchers now think that the triterpenoids may be doing much of the anti-cancer work.
"Some compounds were more potent and acted differently against the various cancer cell lines, but they all show very potent anti-cancer activities and should be studied further," said Liu.
With co-author Xiangjiu He, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher, Liu analyzed the peel from 230 pounds of red delicious apples from the Cornell Orchard and isolated their individual compounds. After identifying the structures of the promising compounds in the peel, the researchers tested the pure compounds against cancer cell growth in the laboratory. In the past, Liu has also identified compounds called phytochemicals -- mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids -- in apples and other foods that appear to be have anti-cancer properties as well, including inhibiting tumor growth in human breast cancer cells.
"We believe that a recommendation that consumers to eat five to 12 servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily is appropriate to reduce the risks of chronic diseases, including cancer, and to meet nutrient requirements for optimum health," said Liu.