Cancer. Few words cause more fear than this one. And why is cancer so prevalent in our modern day society? Alarming statistics show that one in four will get cancer in their lifetime. Why is that? No doubt that our exposure to toxins don’t help, like pesticides, chemicals found in our foods and lotions and cleaning agents, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, white flour, genetically modified produce, artificial colors, and the antibiotics dumped into the foods fed to livestock that we eventually consume.
Think about food this way: Every morsel we put into our bodies is either helping it recover and stay healthy, or feeding a disease. And one powerful natural agent with powerful anti-cancer benefits is garlic. Not only does it smell delicious, but research shows that it packs an incredibly nutritious punch. And when it comes to its anti-cancer benefits, garlic is powerful. According to the American Cancer Society, cell culture studies have shown that garlic can help cancer cells die off. The National Cancer Institute also says that garlic can induce the deaths of cancer cells and that garlic can reduce the rate at which cancer cells proliferate, thereby slowing the progression of cancer in the body. In laboratory studies, garlic has killed leukemia cells, and in animal studies, garlic has killed cancer cells in the lungs, breasts, stomach, esophagus and colon.
The protective effects from garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, reduce cell proliferation, or induce cell death. Garlic strengthens and stimulates the immune system’s response to disease: it will fight the threat from malignant cells and tumorous growth from getting a foothold. Garlic also helps the liver to remove toxic substances and harmful chemicals from the body.
So how much garlic should myeloma survivors be eating? There is no clear answer but adding some garlic to your diet most every day is a great idea. You can sauté it, bake it, or press fresh garlic in your soups, over your veggies, or add it to your favorite dips (like hummus or guacamole). Try getting garlic infused olive oils. (Note that garlic supplements are not the same as consuming real garlic!)
Word of caution: garlic is a natural blood thinner. Additionally, garlic may interfere with some medications. Consult with your doctor about your consumption of garlic.