In addition to cancer-fighting properties, garlic is known for cardiovascular benefits, it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and promotes iron metabolism. Throw an extra garlic clove in your stir fry, blend some into your pasta sauce, or roast it and eat it on top of salad. And if your hands start to take on the allyl sulfide odor, try scrubbing them with a stainless steel spoon under cold running water.
2. Turmeric. Related to orange and ginger, turmeric is widely used in Indian cuisine to impart a warm, peppery, slightly bitter flavor and mustard its bright yellow color. Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive color, is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals that would otherwise create cancer-causing damage in our DNA. The pigment also has anti-inflammatory benefits that function to slow the growth of tumor cells.
Turmeric can also lower cholesterol, improve liver function, and provide relief for arthritis and digestive symptoms. Add turmeric to tofu scrambles to enhance savory flavor and to give a yellow hue, or cook up a mouth-watering curry, balancing turmeric with other Indian spices like garam masala, amchoor, and cumin.
3. Ginger. Known mostly for its use in Asian cultures as a cure for digestive upset, this spicy, aromatic root is also known for its ability to prevent cancer. Gingerols, the compounds in ginger that give it the spicy flavor, not only provide anti-inflammatory benefits but may also slow the growth of and promote death of cancer cells.
These benefits, in addition to digestive and immunity benefits, are all the more reason to eat more ginger. Grate some into your stir fry with that garlic, or chop it up and steep it with hot tea. Give your baked goods some zest and spice by adding grated ginger to the batters, and throw a chunk into a smoothie for more complex flavor. But be careful, a little goes a long way!
Besides being a yummy addition to coffee, cinnamon protects against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Derived from tree bark, this wonderful spice stimulates the bodies circulatory systems. Just half a teaspoon taken daily lowers blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also counteracts congestion, may be useful treating osteoarthritis and improves blood circulation.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, yet another cancer preventative. When used in mass it can cause heartburn but a little sprinkled onto everyday foods should be enough for you to see the benefits. Cayenne peppers are full of beta carotene, other antioxidants and immune boosters and helps to build healthy mucous membranes tissues – our first level of defense against bacteria and viruses.