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Category Archives: Cancer and diet

Mesothelioma and Anti-Cancer Foods

March 29, 2010


When you are first diagnosed with mesothelioma – one of the first thoughts  that enters your mind is probably ‘how can I fight this?’.

And the last thing you will probably have on your mind is eating. Shock and worry plays havoc with your appetite  – especially when you have that sickly feeling in the pit of your stomach. I did some research on cancer and diet as I thought that this article may give you the benefit of  choosing some healthy foods when you do feel like eating.

If you were to ask your oncologist if you need to change your diet to help fight cancer the answer would most likely to be no. I am not assuming that medical professionals are against alternative approaches to fight cancer, but probably realise that most cancer patients will already be experiencing loss of appetite through conventional treatment such as surgery and chemotherapy.

The truth is though – is that extensive research has proven that specific types of food that you eat can provide your own natural cancer-fighting properties. There is an endless list of anti-cancer foods out there – such as foods that force cancer cells to die through a process of ‘apoptosis’, and foods that inhibit inflammation – that encourages cancer growth.

There is no single and proven alternative approach to cure cancer, other than conventional medicine such as – surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, but you may as well eat a diet rich in cancer-fighting foods as a complimentary measure. Also – eating foods containing rich antioxidants etc will boost your immune system, (as the immune system can be drastically compromised with chemotherapy treatment) help stave off infections, and help you to feel better in general. Also worth mentioning – eating a diet rich in anti-cancer fighter foods could also help prevent a recurrence.

According to my research – The following foods contain some of the best cancer-fighting properties:


Japanese Green Tea

Japanese Green Tea:

Rich in polyphenol, catechin and (EGCG) compounds. Benefits – reduce the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumours. Powerful antioxidant and detoxifier – eliminate toxins from the body, and  encourages cancer cell death. Can also increase the effect of radiation on cancer cells.

Japanese tea is more potent than any other varieties. Drink 3 cups per day. Let the tea brew for at least 10 minutes – as this releases its catechins, but drink before one hour as it will loose its polyphenols.

Root Ginger:

A powerful anti-inflammatory. Benefits – can fight certain cancer cells and help slow down tumour growth.

Grate fresh ginger into a vegetable stir-fry or fruit salad. Alternatively, slice approximately 1-inch piece of ginger and steep it in boiling water for 15 minutes. (drinking this may also help nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment.


A powerful natural anti-inflammatory. Benefits – encourages cancer cell death, slows down tumour growth, and enhances chemotherapy treatment. Mix turmeric powder with a teaspoon of olive oil and add to vegetables, soups, and salad dressings. If you already have cancer – use a desert spoon instead. 

Cruciferous Greens:

Such as Broccoli and cauliflower as they contain sulforaphane and (I3Cs), 2 potent anti-cancer molecules. Benefits – The molecules assist the body in detoxifying certain carcinogenic substances, thus preventing pre-cancerous cells from dividing into malignant tumors. Also promote the death of cancer cells. Avoid over- boiling these vegetables as this can destroy their cancer-fighting properties.  

Garlic Bulbs:

Make sure that you always crush the cloves, as this will release the active compounds. Add to any of your favourite food 

Oily Fish:

Rich in omega-3s. Benefits – can help slow cancer cell growth in a large number, of tumours, including – lung, breast, colon, prostate, kidney. Eat seafood based meals at least 2 or 3 times a week, such as anchovies, small mackerel, and sardines. Small fish are a healthier choice as they contain fewer toxins such as PCBs and mercury. Wild salmon is also a good source of omega-3 fats. 

Citrus fruits:

Contain the anti-inflammatory compound ‘flavonoid’. Benefits – stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens by the liver. Sprinkle grated citrus peel (use organic as free from pesticides etc) into your salad dressings or cereals, or add to tea or hot water. Or eat the fruits in the usual way.


Contain ellagic acid and several ‘polyphenols’. Benefits – Inhibit tumour growth. 2 types of polyphenols found in berries also promote cancer cell death. Mix with soy milk and multigrain cereals. Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of these fresh as frozen ones are just as potent. 

 Dark Chocolate:

Chocolate – preferably containing 70% or over of cocoa contains lots of antioxidants, such as proanthocyanidins, and polyphenols. For instance – Just one square of dark chocolate contains twice as many antioxidants as a glass of red wine! Benefits – The molecules in the chocolate help slow the growth of cancer cells, and inhibit the blood vessels that supply them. You can have around one-fifth of a dark chocolate bar per day. If you are not keen on dark chocolate – try grating it into deserts, breakfast cereals, or ace-cream etc.

Soya Milk:

Contain the compounds isoflavones, genistein, daidzein, and glycitein) Benefits – prevent tumour growth and inhibit the stimulation of cancer cells. Replace your usual milk products with soy milk instead and eat soy yogurts for breakfast. You can also add tofu to soups and stir-fries.