Foods for Cancer Prevention and Healing

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, an alternative health practitioner told us that cancer is not necessarily hereditary.

He said, “Diseases like cancer run in families because the family members all sit down to the same meals and live in the same environment.”

That was over 30 years ago, and it was considered radical thinking. But, it turns out he was sharing a deeper truth about how food can harm us, or how it can alternately be used as our medicine.

The modern science of cell biology and epigenetics reveals that genes may be passed from generation to generation, but they need a trigger for activation.

According to Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, cell biologist, “The fate of the cell is controlled by the conditions of the environment. The blood composition is really the factor that controls the genetic response of the cell.”[1] 

That’s an empowering piece of modern research.

It means that we have much more control over the fate of our cells than previously thought, and it corroborates what the alternative medicine practitioner said to my family and me decades ago.

If you have a specific cancer gene, you may not actually develop that disease especially if you have the know-how to change the quality of your blood (the cell’s environment).

As modern science works feverishly to catch up to what ancient healers already knew about using food and herbs as medicine, I advise you to not wait for additional scientific data to roll in.

Start creating better quality blood right now with your food choices.

Physically blood is made up of approximately fifty-five percent plasma, forty-five percent is red blood cells, and the rest is made up of white blood cells and platelets.[2]

The majority of our blood is made up of plasma that is derived from the water and salts absorbed through the digestive tract.

Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and live approximately four months before they are broken down by the spleen and recycled.[3]

So, when it comes to changing the quality of your blood and your internal environment, you’ve got to be patient and give yourself at least four months to start seeing results.

Below are two specific food groups to add to your diet right now to change the quality of your plasma and cells, to both prevent and heal cancer.

Brassicaceae/Cruciferous Vegetables

Silky Cauliflower Puree with Toasted Fennel Seeds

By now it’s common knowledge that we need to eat our veggies. But, when it comes to cancer prevention and healing, Brassicaceae or cruciferous vegetables are at the top of the National Library of Medicine’s list.

Here’s why:

  • Brassicaceae, or cruciferous vegetables, have chemical components that exhibit anti-inflammatory effects;
  • Drive the detoxification of carcinogenic enzymes and are toxic to many types of cancer cells;
  • The consumption of a typical serving of vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and many others of cruciferin nature may significantly decrease and lessen the incidence of carcinogenic fatality;
  • Evidence shows that individuals who consume a diet rich in CV have lower risks of developing cancer. [4]

There are many veggies from the Brassicaceae family to choose from:

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Broccoli romanesco
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Daikon
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mizuna
  • Mustards
  • Pak choi
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress


That is a long list of preventative medicine. And, I’m sure you can find at least five or more of these vegetables at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

The key is to get them into your diet as often as possible.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Healing Broth with Shiitake Mushrooms, Onion and Parsley
Healing Broth with Shiitake Mushrooms, Scallions and Parsley

For the past few decades, mushrooms have been making a big splash in the world of cancer and healing.

But, the truth is… mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by ancient healers, shamans and wellness practitioners to improve overall health and vitality, energy and endurance, and to strengthen immunity.

The National Cancer Institute and modern medical science report, “Studies have examined the effects of mushrooms on immune response pathway and on direct antitumor mechanisms. The immune effects are mediated through the mushroom’s stimulation of innate immune cells, such as monocytesnatural killer cells, and dendritic cells. The activity is generally considered to be caused by the presence of high-molecular-weight polysaccharides in the mushrooms, although other constituents may also be involved.”[5]

That’s a little bit of science about how mushrooms work to stimulate the immune system, but I’m going to give you another, deeper perspective to think about.

Energetically, mushrooms decompose things – they are recyclers of the forest:

“Some mushrooms are capable of digesting wood, breaking it down into the primary components of forest soils. They also decay other dead plant and animal matter. A forest in which nothing rotted would soon be choked with accumulating dead leaves and woody material, and starved for essential minerals and other nutrients bound up in the undecomposed debris.”[6]

Cancer cells, energetically, are “undecomposed debris.” They are cells that refuse to die. These cells need to be decomposed and that’s where the magical energy of mushrooms aid us.

If you need the science behind how this happens, here it is: “They utilize Dectin-1, CR3, and TLR-2 leading to activation and signal transduction of T lymphocytes, MAPK, and NF-kB, in turn leading to chemokine production and activation and stimulation of lymphocytes, macrophages, and NK cells, which results in inhibition of cancer proliferation through either direct toxicity, apoptosis, and cancer cell cycle arrest or hindering angiogenesis and metastasis of cancer cells.”[7]

In other words, medicinal mushrooms trigger the body to decompose those cells that need to die. It’s called apoptosis – or cell death.

Below is a list of some of the more popular mushrooms:

  • Shiitake – Lentinus edodus
  • Maitake – Grifola frondosa
  • Winter (Enoki) – Flammulina velutipes
  • Lions Mane – Hericium erinaceus
  • Reishi – Ganoderma lucidum
  • Chaga mushroom – Inonotus obliquus

To make this easier to understand here is an easy and delicious recipe that combines both of these cancer prevention and healing foods: Mushrooms and Brassicaea Veggies.

Prepare it today to start changing the quality of your blood and ultimately your health.

Sauteed Shiitakes and Brassicacea Veggies

For more insight watch my cooking for Cancer Prevention and Healing session where I shared the best foods and herbs to incorporate into your diet right now to improve immunity, support your detoxification pathways, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Prevention of this deadly disease is the best way to reduce your risk.

Whether you are worried about reducing your own risk or a loved one’s, there are many foods, herbs, and funghi to incorporate into your diet that can both prevent cancer and support the body to heal.

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