Mon, 15 Jul, 2024

Antioxidants to Avoid Cancer

By Alisha Pathak

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One of the greatest and chilling problems of all time is cancer. Cancer is a Greek word derived from “Karkinos” meaning crab. Cancer really means neoplasm i.e. growth of new cells. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of body cells that multiplies by mitosis cell division that competes with normal body cells for nutrients.

Globally people are suffering from cancer. Cancer has infected millions of people all over the world and is considered as the global burden of disease. Cancer is most prevalent in the countries with poor economic status, and underdeveloped countries. It is predicted that by 2030 over 30 million of people may die due to cancer and cancer may be the leading cause of death. Nepal is also carrying the burden of cancer. Breast, cervix, uterus, lung cancers are common types of cancer prevalent in Nepal.

Many things such as lack of physical exercise, lifestyle, obesity and consumption of tobacco, infections, and environmental pollutants can increase the risk of cancer. 5-10% of the people suffer from cancer due to heredity factor whereas the rest of the other suffer from cancer due to lifestyles, environmental habit, and food habit.

There are some food and fruits that are powerful in the antioxidant and help to prevent cancer. Antioxidants are the molecules or substance that inhibits oxidation or inhibits reactions promoted by oxygen or peroxides. Antioxidants are essential to our health to protect the cell from damaging free radicals. Free radicals can oxidize in our body and can damage the cells causing severe disease in the respective organs. Antioxidants can be found in vitamin, mineral, and enzymes. These vitamins, minerals, enzymes are present in foods. Some of the food, with antioxidants, that helps prevent the destruction of cancer cells in our body are described below:

Avocado is the fruit that is a strong source of antioxidant and is rich is glutathione. Glutathione is a strong antioxidant which attacks free radicals in the body by blocking the intestinal absorption of certain fats. Scientists also believe that avocados can be very useful in the treatment of viral hepatitis, as well as other sources of liver damage.

Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compound which seems to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer-causing substances. These substances also help block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumor development. It is believed that garlic may help prevent stomach cancer as it has anti-bacterial effects against a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, found in the stomach.

Citrus fruits like oranges contain monoterpenes, which helps to prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Grapefruit may inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro. They also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.

Nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and camferol that may suppress the growth of cancers. Brazil nut contains 80 micrograms of selenium, which is useful for those with prostate cancer.

Green Tea and Black Tea contain antioxidants i.e. polyphenols that prevent cancer from dividing. Green tea is the best that is followed by black tea. The polyphenols that are abundant in green tea, red wine, and olive oil, may protect against various types of cancer. Dry green tea leaves may reduce the risk of cancer of stomach, lung, colon, rectum, liver and pancreas.

Tomatoes contain antioxidant i.e. lycopene that attacks free radicals which are suspected of triggering cancer. They also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. More consumption of lycopene help to reduce the risk of breast, prostate, pancreas, and colorectal cancer.

Red wine contains polyphenols that may protect against various types of cancer. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants compound that helps neutralize disease-causing free radicals.

A cure for cancer hasn’t been found yet. So, it best to prevent oneself from cancer as far as possible. And, consumption of foods with antioxidants is one of the preventive measures.