Curcumin, the antioxidant that gives this spice its brilliant golden tint, seems to dampen inflammation, protect DNA from damage and possibly even stop tumours from growing blood vessels. Turmeric protected lab animals against some cancers, but human studies haven’t been as convincing. Until we know more, sprinkle away-especially when cooking Indian and Asian dishes, in which it’s a common ingredient. It certainly can’t hurt, and might even help as a cancer fighting food.
Garlic supplements are being studied for their potential to slow the growth and perhaps even prevent certain cancers. Population studies suggest that garlic may help prevent stomach and colorectal cancers. Eating garlic certainly can’t hurt, and garlic supplements, when combined with small doses of the mineral selenium, might prove a useful cancer fighting food. Research is ongoing.
Packed with plant estrogens called isoflavones, this Asian food staple has been shown to lower the risk of breast and endometrial cancers in most population studies. Yet some experts worry that soy’s weak estrogens could actually increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers (such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial/uterine cancer). For most people, however, a few helpings of soy per week are perfectly fine. If you have estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, have no more than 50 to 85 milligrams of isoflavones a day.