Apoptosis is a natural process that occurs in the human body to maintain a balance between cell death and cell renewal. Cells that are abnormal, damaged or no longer needed are “killed off” and flushed from the system.
Often referred to as “cell suicide,” this process is crucial to removing cells that no longer function correctly due to age or mutation so that they can be replaced with new, healthy cells.
Apoptosis keeps your central nervous system and your immune system running smoothly.
When Apoptosis Fails
New research has found that disease occurs when the process of apoptosis malfunctions. Healthy cells die before they should and damaged cells continue to live when they should die.
An example: cancer cells mutate in a way that avoids apoptosis – continuing to grow and multiply out of control when the damaged cells should self-destruct when signaled by the body.
Chronic Diseases Linked to Apoptosis Malfunction
- Cardiovascular disease
- Vision loss
- And many more…
Radiation and chemotherapy force apoptosis – cell death – in cancer cells, killing them off so they no longer affect the body. But there is a down side.
Drug therapies cannot tell the difference between healthy cells and damaged cells – so they kill healthy cells along with the cancerous ones.
Foods That Induce Cancer Killing Apoptosis
Mounting evidence compiled by scientists around the world suggests that diet is the key to both preventing cancer and fighting cancer.
Certain foods actually “alter gene expression and influence cancer outcomes” by triggering focused apoptosis naturally and without the adverse side effects found with pharmaceutical treatments, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health and conducted, by researchers at Pennsylvania State University – Department of Nutritional Sciences.
A similar study conducted at the Department of Seafood Science – National Kaohsiung Marine University, Taiwan called foods with strong antioxidant properties “bio-actives.”
Researchers believe these bio-active foods must be included in cancer prevention and treatment.
It is thought that it is the synergy of bio-active compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection.
Top 5 Apoptosis Foods to Include in Your Diet
- Green tea offers the best source of specific flavonoids called catechins that have been scientifically proven in multiple studies to slow and/or stop the growth of cancer – including breast, liver, prostate and lung cancers.
Green tea provides three times the potent catechins of black tea and its overall health benefits may outweigh the fact that it contains caffeine. If you are on a caffeine-restricted diet, talk to your doctor before adding green tea to your nutrition plan.
Drinking brewed green tea is better than taking supplements – your body is better able to absorb the nutrients without experiencing any adverse effects.
- Legumes such as peas, beans and lentils contain the phytochemicals saponin, phytica acid and protease inhibitors which have been shown inhibit cancer cell reproduction. They are packed with folate – crucial to healthy cell division and repair – and other powerful antioxidants. Adding legumes to your diet is always an excellent nutrition choice.
- Berries – particularly blueberries, strawberries and raspberries – contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been proven in recent studies to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells. Blueberries also contain anthocyanosides – a phenolic compound that has been found to be one of the most potent antioxidants discovered to date.
- Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and turnips, – are some of the best known cancer-fighters. They are high in many vitamins and minerals, but it is the abundance of polyphenols called glucosinolates (which convert to sulforaphane and erucin) that make these vegetables so valuable. These compounds inhibit cancer growth and flush carcinogens from the body naturally. All you need is half a cup of raw, lightly steamed or sautéed selection from the cruciferous family each day.
- Tomatoes are packed with an antioxidant called lycopene which is also found in grapes and red wine. Lycopene – the compound that gives tomatoes and other fruits their bright color – has been found to interrupt blood flow to cancer cells, – starving them to death.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, – consulting with your physician about using apoptosis-causing foods.
Increasing your intake of these – and other – bioactive antioxidant-rich foods will boost healthy apoptosis naturally and lower your cancer risk…one bite at a time.
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