The Best Cooking Methods for Cancer Prevention + Powerful Healing Food Combinations

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The Best Cooking Methods for Cancer Prevention

Did you know that some cooking methods can reduce your risk of getting cancer? Many studies have shown that our nutrition has a crucial influence on our health, including reducing the risk of serious diseases like cancer.

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You probably know that it is better to eat whole grains rather than refined grains, and that you should incorporate plenty of fresh vegetables in your diet. But did you know that what’s important is not only what you eat, but also how you cook your food? For example minced or chopped garlic is better for cancer prevention than a whole clove of garlic, and it’s best to soak potatoes in water before putting them in the oven.

Let’s see some of the best cooking methods for cancer prevention:

Broccoli

I wrote in the past about the the anti-cancer properties of broccoli.

Broccoli is a great source of sulforaphane, a component which is scientifically proven to have impressive anti-cancer properties.

The enzyme myrosinase, which is found in broccoli, is essential for the formation of sulforaphane. If you destroy this enzyme while over-cooking broccoli, you also damage the anti-cancer properties of this vegetable.

A research presented in November 2013 at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) compared between regular cooking, microwave cooking and steaming broccoli and found that steaming broccoli for up to five minutes is the best way to preserve the enzyme myrosinase. Cooking and heating in the microwave for a minute or less destroyed most of the enzymes.

A study published two years earlier in the journal “Nutrition and Cancer” found that eating broccoli sprouts that contain large amounts of the enzyme myrosinase with broccoli increased the formation of sulforaphane.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene which is associated with reducing the risk of various types of cancer.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, it is recommended to cook tomatoes for a few minutes, as cooking releases the lycopene which is better absorbed in comparison to tomatoes that haven’t been cooked. Adding a little bit of olive oil to cooked tomatoes will further increase the amount of lycopene absorbed in the body.

Garlic

If you crush or chop garlic and then wait 10-15 minutes before exposing it to heat, a  phytochemical called allicin is formed which helps to fight many diseases.

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Allicin is created in a chemical reaction between a component called alliin and the enzyme alliinase. When the garlic is whole, the alliin and the alliinase are separated, but when chopping or mincing the garlic it makes them mix together and create allicin.

So before exposing the chopped garlic to heat, it’s best to wait because heat destroys the enzyme alliinase, so let the enzyme do its job for a while before cooking the garlic.

I’ve already written an article about the health benefits of garlic and how to use garlic as a medicine and you can also read my other article about 6 common mistakes when using garlic as an antibiotic.

Consuming more garlic is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health.

Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the foods that create a chemical called acrylamide in certain cooking methods. Studies have found that high levels of acrylamide may increase the risk of cancer in animals, and many experts believe that it is likely that this is also the case in humans.

In general, the chances of acrylamide formation increase when the food is prepared for longer periods in high temperatures, such as frying, grilling or baking.

Recommendations published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2013, don’t recommend to store potatoes in the refrigerator because this may increase the formation of acrylamide while baking or frying. It is recommended to store potatoes in a cool dark place such as a cupboard or pantry.

In addition, it is recommended to soak the potato pieces in water for 15-30 minutes before frying or baking them to reduce the amount of chemicals that will be created in the process.

According to the FDA, when comparing frying, grilling and baking potatoes, frying causes the largest formation of acrylamide. However cooking in water and microwave preparation of whole potatoes in their skins don’t form acrylamide.

Note – if you choose to fry potatoes, for example chips, fry them until they are golden but not brown, as brown areas contain more acrylamide.

Bread

As with potatoes, overheating bread forms acrylamide. Therefore the FDA recommends to prepare the toast until it is a light brown color and not dark brown. If there are very dark areas, avoid eating them.

Meat

Studies show that there is a link between the extent of meat preparation to the risk associated with various types of cancer. Heating meat at high temperatures causes the formation of components that can harm our DNA and increase the risk of cancer.

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The best way to avoid this is to prepare the meat at a lower temperature. Prefer cooking and baking meat over frying and grilling, especially grilling over charcoal.

If you do decide to grill the meat over the charcoal, it is recommended to grill over coals that had been turned gray and not over the flames, and remove burnt parts to reduce the damage. To help prevent the formation of cancer-causing components, it is best to turn the meat often and keep fanning it. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, marinating meat with herbs and spices before grilling it may reduce the formation of carcinogens.

Herbs

Herbs not only add flavor and color to food but they also have powerful medicinal properties.

New studies raise the possibility that herbs may also play a role in cancer prevention. For example, experts in the American Institute for Cancer Research say that rosemary contains a substance known as carnosol which may inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.

Fruits and vegetables

Eat fruits and vegetables with their skins. The skin is loaded with anti-cancer phytochemicals.

For example, if you eat an apple with its skin, you receive 75 % more quercetin, which is an anti-cancer component, in comparison to a peeled apple. If you cannot buy organic produce, you can reduce the damage by easily removing pesticides from your fruits and vegetables – see more details here.

Cooking vegetables for a long time causes them to lose water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and folic acid and some phytochemicals.

To maximize the anti-cancer potential of vegetables, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that you steam them, bake them in the oven, stir fry them, or eat them raw. If you still want to cook the vegetables, add enough water just to cover the bottom of the pot and cook just until the vegetables are tender.

It is also recommended to add to vegetables a little bit of healthy fat – like olive oil, avocado, tahini and nuts – because fat helps absorb healthy nutrients like beta-carotene and fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, E and K.

8 Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Cancer, Reduce Cholesterol and Prevent Heart Attacks

Did you know that the combination of avocado and tomato increases the absorption of lycopene, the healthy component in a tomato? and when you eat spinach, you’d better combine it with a piece of orange to improve iron absorption?

Below you can find powerful healthy food combinations that help the body fight cancer, reduce cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. If you are looking for a winning formula to improve your health, then take advantage of what nature gives us and consume winning healthy food combinations.

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It means that each food individually has health benefits of its own, but when paired with another food item, you get a real winning combination. So which food combinations should we consume in our menu?

1. Turmeric and black pepper

Piperine is the key chemical in black pepper whereas curcumin is a polyphenol that plays the same role in turmeric.

Some physicians advise their patients to take turmeric in a supplement form which is usually combined with piperine. The piperine aids the absorption of curcumin and thus increases the amount of curcumin that the body can absorb. And if you are cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food.

Further reading: Does Cooking Really Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?

2. Tomato and avocado or broccoli

The combination of tomato and avocado, for example in guacamole, allows the lycopene in tomato to be better absorbed in the presence of the fat in avocados. Lycopene is used as an antioxidant and an essential substance to prevent heart disease, blood vessels problems and reduces the risk of cancer.

Similarly, lycopene in tomato sauce is absorbed better if there is olive oil than if it’s oil-free dressing. If you don’t like olive oil, prepare a tomato salad with nuts and seeds that are high in healthy fat. Another issue is that lycopene in tomatoes become more concentrated and bioavailable when tomatoes are cooked into a sauce or paste, so cook your tomatoes and add a little bit of oil.

Recently it also became clear that combining tomatoes and broccoli has its own health benefits: according to webMD website, a landmark study, published in Cancer Research, showed that prostate tumors grew much slower in rats fed both tomato and broccoli powder, compared to rats that ate either broccoli or tomato powder alone, or rats given lycopene as a supplement to their regular diet.

Further reading: 9 Amazing Antioxidants for Great Health

3. Apple and dark chocolate

A surprising winning combination is a red apple and dark chocolate. Apples contain a powerful anti-inflammatory substance called quercetin, especially in the skin and the parts close to it. This component fights allergic reaction, heart problems, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer and lung cancer.

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Dark chocolate, as well as black grapes, berries and red wine, is rich in antioxidant called catechin that significantly reduces risk factors for atherosclerosis and cancer. Combining these foods together reduces the adherence of blood platelets, enhances the activity of the cardiovascular system and prevents blood clotting disorders.

Quercetin is also found in buckwheat, onions and berries, so you can build interesting food combinations such as sangria with sliced apples, buckwheat with berries and more.

Both apple and dark chocolate are also mentioned in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition and weight loss goals.

4. Fish and garlic

Who hasn’t combined together fish and garlic in one recipe or another? The recommendation to combine fish and fresh or cooked garlic is not mainly for taste reasons: this combination enhances the body’s ability to utilize anti-inflammatory components, reduce cholesterol levels in fish and utilize the essential fatty acid omega 3. The cholesterol-lowering effect is more powerful when eating these two foods together.

It is important to know that fish is in itself a perfect synergy between minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, iodine and selenium, that work together as a powerful anti-inflammatory component.

Further reading: 9 important reasons to consume more omega 3 fatty acids, and how to use garlic as a medicine.

 5. Blueberries and grapes

A medical research from Oregon State University that was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research looked at the impact of different chemicals on the human immune system. It was found that two compounds, resveratrol found in red grapes and pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the body’s ability to prevent illness.

Berries are nutrient-dense foods packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They also have incredible healing properties that can transform your health. A medical study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Diseases found that berries can reduce risks for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers.

You can find more information about them in my e-book The Healing Berry Guide.

6. Spinach and citrus fruits

The combination of vitamin C and iron is scientifically proven to improve the absorption of iron in the cells.

Therefore, it is recommended to combine foods rich in vitamin C, such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, red pepper, melon and broccoli, with a plant-based foods rich in iron, such as spinach, kale, green beans, leeks and chard.

Further reading: Top signs of iron deficiency and how to increase iron levels in your blood.

7. Grilled meat and rosemary

Medical studies found that cooking meat at high temperatures is known to create toxins and carcinogens.

Marinating the meat lowers the risk by preventing the formation of the toxins. A scientific study found that adding rosemary to meat before grilling, frying or barbecuing significantly reduces the formation of these toxins.

Scientists attribute this to specific antioxidants in rosemary that reduce the amount of hazardous substances at high temperature by absorbing free radicals of the meat. If you don’t like rosemary, try marinades with garlic, onion and lemon juice – they have also been found to be effective (garlic and onion much more than lemon juice).

8. Vitamin combinations

A medical study found that a combination of vitamin D with calcium reduces the risk of colon cancer, preserves bone mass and relieves distressing symptoms such as PMS. This combination also improves the ability to reduce weight.

Another familiar combination is of foods rich in vitamins that are fat soluble, such as vitamin A (carrots, broccoli, peas), vitamin D (fish, milk, yogurt) or vitamin E (sweet potatoes, spinach, fish), and healthy fat found for example in olive oil or almonds. This combination allows the vitamins to be absorbed effectively in our body. So try from now on to eat yogurt with almonds or nuts.

Even a bowl of oatmeal with slices of orange or kiwifruit is a good combination – the combination of oatmeal and vitamin C (orange, kiwifruit, cantaloupe melon, strawberries) reduces the values ​​of LDL (bad cholesterol), cleanses the blood vessels and helps prevent heart attacks, compared with consumption of each of the components separately.

In conclusion, it is important to understand that combining certain foods may greatly contribute to our health and reduce damage caused by consumption of other foods. These winning combinations can fill us with energy and improve our health and well-being.

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25 Responses to The Best Cooking Methods for Cancer Prevention + Powerful Healing Food Combinations

  1. Nandini Jairath says:

    Thank for your healthy tips, it’s very helpful to learn about our health.

  2. Sebastijan Veselic says:

    The biggest issue with preparing meat at high temperature is the creation of certain compounds that have devastating effects on our bodies.

    Heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, advanced gylcation end-products, and TMAO, are all substances that get produced by grilling/charring and are all carcinogens, some are also mutagenic. This is also probably the reason why some studies showed increased mortalities with meat consumption and what not.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Garlic

    If you crush or chop garlic and then wait 10-15 minutes before exposing it to heat?

    Allicin is extremely unstable and sensitive, it has a short shelf life and is easily destroyed by heat.

    • Jenny says:

      This is why you need to leave it for a while before cooking it to allow the active ingredients to develop, so let the enzyme do its job for a while before cooking the garlic.

      • sadappan says:

        miss jenny appan… cooking methods good to hear but what about the products used for cooking.. for eg : non stick please post an article related to this also

      • Anita says:

        I keep fermented and pickled (with raw apple cider vinegar) in the fridge at all times and my husband eats it right out of the jar. Is it ok to do this with garlic this way?

        • Jenny says:

          Hi Anita, I’m not sure exactly how the pickling process affects the formation of allicin. I’ve read that the acid in vinegar neutralizes the enzyme Alliinase which is responsible for the formation of allicin, so I guess pickling reduces the formation of allicin. However some people find that minced raw garlic is difficult to digest in which case pickled garlic might be a good choice as there are other beneficial nutrients in garlic other than the allicin. Also the fermentation process can actually add to the health benefits and improve healthy gut.

  4. Donna says:

    Very interesting…I learn something new everyday!

  5. sonia says:

    Oh dear,
    I always peel my apples especially the ones I give to my kid.
    We have been told the skin is full of pesticides so make sure I peel
    them ….. Organic fruit & veg is not always available so I feel safer peeling
    them ……Am I doing it all wrong??? what do u think? tks

    • Jenny says:

      This is not an easy question. On the one hand, Some produce (including apples) has high levels of pesticides. On the other hand, when the skin is removed, much of the fiber is eliminated, as well as other important nutrients. The best solution would be to buy organic produce. If you cannot get organic produce, the second best option would be to thoroughly clean the produce (in this case apples) by washing them with water and a little bit of mild dish washing liquid. Then you can soak them for few minutes in a mixture of one teaspoon of sea salt per cup of water, or by diluting vinegar with water. Then rinse well.

    • Ramesh says:

      You can easily destroy the pesticides by using ozonated water. Dip the fruits/vegetables in ozonated water for 15 min. Job done

  6. marichu Navarroza says:

    Thank you for the healthy tips.

  7. noorjehan veeramuthu says:

    Don’t just read, please follow.

  8. TJ Phillips says:

    Not cooking AT ALL is the best way to ward of cancer. Raw, whole, local, fresh foods will give your body the tools to stay healthy. Raising food temperatures above 116-degrees is a death kiss for essential enzymes.

  9. Noemi E. Pulvera says:

    im grateful to read more of ur healthy natural world specially me im a breast cancer patient…glad to hear u more…godbless and good luck…

  10. YN says:

    What about juicing these foods does that keep the benefits in tact?

    • Jenny says:

      If you drink a freshly made juice a short time after you’ve made it, you get most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in the whole fruit, but you lose the fiber content in the juicing process.

  11. Edgar F. Dones says:

    I’m a cancer patient. Is there a recommended diet for cancer patient?

  12. Deepak says:

    I thought that it was better to peel apples as the skin usually has a large amount of pesticides on it that could cause cancer. Now you tell us the opposite of this.

  13. Samir says:

    All these points are well and super. Any thoughts on the key contributors such as preservatives, colors in frozen and canned foods, cooking methods using plastics and Teflon coated utensils for microwave and stove top..?

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