A tigernut is a root vegetable, a tuber! It is called a tiger “nut” because it looks like a little nut because of its appearance (once you see one, you’ll know what I mean). Tigernut is a vegetable our paleo ancestors discovered a long time ago and would have relied on for iron and prebiotic starch. Prebiotic starch is a substance that promotes gut and overall health by encouraging the growth of “friendly” gut flora, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which help us digest vitamins. Believe it or not, but it has the same amount of iron as red meat. Because tigernut is such an excellent source of iron, it is a vegetarian’s best friend! People are just learning about them as they begin to surface in the mainstream. Every household should be stocked with tigernuts, tigernut flour, and tigernut milk because of their incredible health benefits, which include their anticancer properties.
One of my favorite root vegetables, tigernut is high in fiber and resistance starch. Resistant starch has similar a physiologic effect as dietary fiber and can function as a milk laxative. Tigernuts are a viscous starch that is highly valued as a component in some functional foods.[i] It won me over as soon as I heard about it.
It’s easy to grow your own tigernuts. When you purchase a bag of them, simply plant some in soil and water them every couple days. Soon you will start to see grass-like shoots come up, and after about a month, you can pull a whole cluster of new tigernuts up. They grow like weeds, independently, without pesticides. Extremely low maintenance. It’s easy to grow your own tigernuts, when you purchase a bag of them you can simply plant some in soil, water them every couple days and you will start to see grass like shoots sprout up, after about a month you can pull the grass up just like you would a potato or onion and out of the soil will emerge a beautiful cluster of tigernuts!
Eating Tigernuts is good for the environment as well as your body. Tigernut Milk can be made simply by tossing a quarter cup of tigernuts in four cups of water and giving them a spin in a blender. By contrast, almond trees require a lot of water and are often farmed using pesticides. Plus, the milk is often pasteurized, which changes its nutritional value. Almond milk is an environmental hazard because the cartons it comes in are being thrown back onto the earth as garbage. Another reason I like tigernut milk is that it is naturally sweet—no cane sugar is added, like it is to many brands of nut milk. (Of course, you could make your own at home!) Tigernut milk is actually nut-free—despite the name—so it gives the body a break from nuts. People with nut or dairy allergies can feel free to enjoy it.
Tigernuts have been studied for their liver-protecting properties. One study showed that tigernut milk can be useful for preventing liver damage from the pain reliever acetaminophen! In this particular study, 25 rats were randomized into five equal groups. Four groups were treated with various concentrations of tigernut milk. One group (the control) was not. Liver toxins and oxidative stress were measured. Tigernut milk significantly prevented liver injury. Researchers concluded that it is the phytochemicals in tigernut milk, either working directly as antioxidants or indirectly by inducing the synthesis of glutathione, which are responsible for the observed protective effect.[ii]
Drink tigernut milk during chemotherapy when your liver is in danger of being overwhelmed with toxins.
Tigernuts Are Especially Good For . . .
Doctrine of Signatures: Tigernuts look like testicles. Therefore, they are said to be good for the male reproductive system.
Cancer-Free with Food recipes with Tigernuts
Other Ways to Incorporate Tigernuts in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
Resources from Cancer-Free with Food book:
[i] X. Li, J. Fu, Y. Wang. “Preparation of Low Digestible and Viscoelastic Tigernut (Cyperus Esculentus) Starch by Bacillus Acidopullulyticus Pullulanase,” International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, vol. 102 (September 2017), pp. 651–7, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28433770.
[ii] N.O. Onuoha, N.O. Ogbusua, A.N. Okorie, et al. “Tigernut (Cyperus esculentus L.) ‘Milk’ as a Potent ‘Nutri-drink’ for the Prevention of Acetaminophen-induced Hepatotoxicity in a Murine Model,” Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, vol. 6, no. 3 (June 2017), pp. 290–5, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28894628.
Cacao is raw, pure chocolate before it is made into the chocolate as we know it. It is super high in magnesium, a mineral that relaxes our muscles and eases pain in the body; it’s no wonder that we crave chocolate! Cacao contains polyphenolic compounds that are super beneficial to our health. It has also been proven by the science community to be an anti-inflammatory with anti-tumor activities.[i] Cacao is a fruit that is grown naturally on trees all over the world in warmer climates, and it’s been shown to have many potential anti-cancer compounds because of its high antioxidant count and its ability to reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of obesity, and improve cardiovascular circulation.[ii]
A cacao pod grows to the size of a football, and inside it are an bunch of cacao pods surrounded by white cacao butter. Usually, after cacao is harvested it is taken and heat processed to make it into cocoa. Because of the heat, cocoa does not have as many nutrients as a raw cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is so, so, so high in nutrients and minerals.
By the way, chocolate can be healthy so long as it’s eaten in a pure form and without all the other crazy ingredients that are usually added, like GMO dairy, GMO soy lecithin, and refined white sugar. Raw cacao powder is a glorious gift from God. It’s not for everyone because it is high in caffeine, especially if you have burned-out adrenals. If that’s your situation, the key to getting the antioxidant goodness of chocolate is to purchase a clean chocolate (like my personal brand, which is sold on my website. This is the reason I made this product!). What does “clean” mean? It means, chocolate made without GMO ingredients and without dairy, soy, and sugar. When you purchase a dairy-free chocolate that is sweetened with coconut sugar it is way better for you and actually provides health benefits.
I am a strong advocate for the healing power of cacao. You’ve read my testimony about how I ate food made from cacao powder every single day during my healing. You can, of course, also make your own chocolate from it. There are plenty of recipes my book, "Cancer Free with Food," for that. Woohoo! Still, to this day, I eat cacao powder almost every single day. If you crave chocolate, do not deprive yourself of it.
The physiological effects of caffeine and theobromine, the most abundant methylxanthines in cacao, are notable. Theobromine is a heart stimulant and vasodilator—meaning, it widens blood vessels. It is used to treat high blood pressure and is also a diuretic. All these benefits assist in keeping the body in a healthy state, which makes the body less hospitable to cancer. A study showed that theobromine might be extremely effective in preventing human glioblastoma, brain tumors.[iii]
Caffeine from tea or coffee helps increase stamina and focus, has a positive effect on memory (which can help you if you are experiencing “chemo brain,” foggy thinking that is a side effect of chemotherapy. It also has many other known health benefits (as long as consumed in moderation) and has been observed to decrease risk of certain cancers, including endometrial cancer.[iv],[v] According to John Hopkins University, the bodies of coffee drinkers are less likely to develop colon cancer, have a stronger DNA, and process glucose (sugar) better.[vi]
These health-promoting benefits are so remarkable that chocolate is being explored as a functional food, useful for improving cardiovascular health.[vii] Research is currently being done on the effects of cacao on aging, oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis. [viii] It also appears to have the potential for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease-related hypercoagulation due to hypercholesterolemia. [ix]
One study revealed significant reduction of body weight and body mass index (BMI).[x] Cacao may help us to maintain a healthy weight, which lowers our risk of obesity. It’s been proven that obese people have a higher risk of developing cancer.
Researchers investigating colitis-associated cancer did a two-month-long study with mice who either received 5 percent cacao or 0 percent cacao. On Day 62, their colons were examined. Inflammation was reduced for both sets of mice. The cacao treatment had increased enzyme activity and upped the presence of antioxidants! Although not definitive yet, the results suggest that cacao may prevent the development of colon cancer in humans. [xi]
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at risk for developing ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Another study (again, of mice) explored cacao’s antitumor effects. Researchers found that cacao significantly decreased tumor incidence and size! In addition to inhibiting proliferation of tumor epithelial cells, the findings also demonstrated that a cacao-rich diet suppresses the formation and growth of tumors. [xii]
Cacao Is Especially Good For . . .
Doctrine of Signatures: In nature, a cacao pod when cut open looks like the chambers of the lungs and therefore is associated with lung health. Cacao gives you the feeling of having wings. It makes you open up and expand—so you can see how this correlates! Cacao pods also resemble the female genitalia. Perhaps this is why it makes so much sense that ladies crave chocolate, especially at the time of the month that can be painful.
Caution: Cacao contains natural caffeine, just like coffee and tea. Caffeine is not for everyone, especially if you have over consumed caffeine for years or have adrenal burnout. Make sure to buy organic cacao that is labelled “fair trade.” This is important, as cacao is a huge industry and major corporations have been criticized for using slave child labor, forcing kids as young as four years old to work in fields. You don’t want to support that industry or consume the energy of that.
Cancer-Free with Food Recipes with Cacao
Other Ways of Incorporating Cacao in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
Resources from Cancer-Free with Food book:
[i] S.A. Oyeleke, A.M. Ajayi, S. Umukoro. “Anti-inflammatory Activity of Theobroma Cacao L. Stem Bark Ethanol Extract and Its Fractions in Experimental Models,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 222 (August 2018), pp. 239–48, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29733944.
[ii] Z. Baharum, A.M. Akim, T.Y. Hin, et al. “Theobroma Cacao: Review of the Extraction, Isolation, and Bioassay of Its Potential Anti-cancer Compounds,” Tropical Life Sciences Research, vol. 27, no. 1 (February 2016), pp. 21–42, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27019680.
[iii] N. Sugimoto, S. Miwa, Y. Hitomi, et al. “Theobromine, the Primary Methylxanthine Found in Theobroma cacao, Prevents Malignant Glioblastoma proliferation by Negatively Regulating Phosphodiesterase-4, Extracellular signal-regulated Kinase, Akt/mammalian Target of Rapamycin Kinase, and Nuclear factor-kappa B,” Nutrition and Cancer, vol. 66, no. 3 (February 2014), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24547961.
[iv] “Caffeine Has Positive Effect on Memory,” Johns Hopkins Medicine (accessed July 3, 2018), https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/caffeine_memory.html.
[v] M. Hashibe, C. Galeone, S.S. Buys, et al. “Coffee, Tea, Caffeine Intake, and the Risk of Cancer in the PLCO Cohort,” British Journal of Cancer, vol. 113, no. 5 (September 2015), pp. 809–16, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26291054.
[vi] Healthy Woman blog. “Nine Reasons Why (the Right Amount of) Coffee Is Good for You,” Johns Hopkins Medicine (accessed July 4, 2018), https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-woman/nutrition-fitness/9-reasons-why-the-right-amount-of-coffee-is-good-for-you.
[vii] R. Franco, A. Oñatibia-Astibia, E. Martínez-Pinilla. “Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate,” Nutrients, vol. 5, no. 10 (October 2013), pp. 4159–73, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24145871.
[viii] R. Latif. “Chocolate/Cocoa and Human Health: A Review,” Netherlands Journal of Medicine, vol. 71, no. 2 (March 2013), pp. 63–8, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462053.
[ix] S.J. Kim, S.H. Park, H.W. Lee, et al. “Cacao Polyphenols Potentiate Anti-Platelet Effect of Endothelial Cells and Ameliorate Hypercoagulatory States Associated with Hypercholesterolemia,” Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, vol. 17, no. 4 (April 2017), pp. 2817–823, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29668171.
[x] H. Kord-Varkaneh, E. Ghaedi, A. Nazary-Vanani. “Does cocoa/dark chocolate supplementation have favorable effect on body weight, body mass index and waist circumference? A systematic review, meta-analysis and dose-response of randomized clinical trials,” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (March 19, 2018), pp. 1–14, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29553824.
[xi] A.K. Pandurangan, Z. Saadatdoust, N.M. Esa. “Dietary cocoa protects against colitis-associated cancer by activating the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway,” Biofactors, vol. 41, no. 1 (January 2015), pp. 1–14, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25545372.
[xii] Z. Saadatdoust, A.K. Pandurangan, S.K. Ananda Sadagopan, et al. “Dietary cocoa inhibits colitis associated cancer: a crucial involvement of the IL-6/STAT3 pathway,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, vol. 26, no. 12 (December 2015), pp. 1547–58, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26355019.
Mushrooms have mega medicinal properties! There are thousands of mushroom species to choose from, and not all are cancer preventative or healing. Reishi, cordyceps, and maitake are known to be packed with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting compounds. These types have been used to fight cancer for centuries.[i] They inhibit tumor growth and also help the body create new healthy cells, so definitely consider them healthful if you’re undergoing chemo and radiation. It’s the beta-glucan, a naturally occurring chemical in mushrooms, which stimulates cells and improves immune function.
For breast cancer, try ganoderma mushrooms, which suppress tumor growth by altering lipid metabolism and triggering cell death.[ii] For colorectal cancer, try chaga mushroom.[iii]
I interviewed Ocean Robbins, founder of Food Revolution Network, for my book, "Cancer-Free with Food," and he pointed me to a study done in Australia that indicates we should all be eating mushrooms regularly and in conjunction with green tea. In his new book, 31-Day Food Revolution, he highlights a 2004 study of 2,000 Chinese women, roughly half with breast cancer, conducted by the University of Western Australia, Perth.[iv] He writes: The scientists reviewed the women’s eating habits and factored out other variables that contribute to cancer, such as being overweight, lack of exercise, and smoking. They came to a startling conclusion about mushrooms.[v]
Women who consumed at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms per day (less than one typical-sized mushroom) were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Dried mushrooms had a slightly less protective effect, reducing the risk by around half. What was even more impressive is that women who combined eating mushrooms with regular consumption of green tea saw an even greater benefit—they reduced their breast cancer risk by an astounding 89 percent.
Why are mushrooms so powerful? They are thought to protect against breast and other hormone-related cancers because they inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which produces estrogen.[vi] Mushrooms also contain specialized lectins that recognize cancer cells and prevent these cells from growing and dividing. (Lectins, a type of carbohydrate-binding protein, have gotten a bad reputation in some circles, but some of them, such as the ones in mushrooms, can be beneficial.)
Mushrooms Are Especially Good For . . .
Doctrine of Signatures: A slice of mushroom resembles the human ear; it also has been found to improve hearing and bone health in the area associated with the ear that lead to the brain.
Caution: Mushrooms are not for everyone and some body types disagree with mushrooms. You can take a DNA or food allergy test to see if mushrooms are healthy for your body or if they aren’t a good match.
Caution: Mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. According to Joel Fuhrman, M.D., some common raw mushrooms have a carcinogen called agartine, which is destroyed by heat.[vii]
Cancer-Free with Food Recipes with Mushrooms
Other Ways to Incorporate Mushrooms in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
Nutrition tip: Mushrooms are one of the few edible sources of vitamin D.
Resources from Cancer-Free with Food book:
[i] S. Patel and A. Goyal. “Recent Developments in Mushrooms as Anti-cancer Therapeutics: A Review,” 3 Biotech, vol. 2, no. 1 (March 2012), pp. 1–15, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3339609.
[ii] J. Li, L. Zou, W. Chen, et al. “Dietary mushroom intake may reduce the risk of breast cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis of observational studies,” PloS One, vol. 9, no. 4 (April 2-014), pp. e93437, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24691133.
[iii] J.H. Kang, J.E. Jang, S.K. Mishra, et al. “Ergosterol Peroxide from Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus) Exhibits Anti-cancer Activity by Down-regulation of the β-catenin Pathway in Colorectal Cancer,” vol. 173 (September 2015), pp. 303–12, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26210065.
[iv] “Eating Mushrooms Daily ‘May Cut Breast Cancer Risk by Two Thirds’,” Telegraph (March 16, 2009), as cited in Ocean Robbins. 31-Day Food Revolution: Heal Your Body, Feel Great, and Transform Your World (New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2019), advance copy provided prior to publication by the author.
[v] M. Zhang, et al., “Dietary Intake of Mushrooms and Green Tea Combine to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer in Chinese Women,” International Journal of Cancer, vol. 124, no. 6 (March 15, 2009), pp. 1404–8, as cited by Ocean Robbins.
[vi] Joel Fuhrman. “Mighty Mushrooms: Boost Immune Function and Guard Against Cancer,” Dr. Fuhrman blog (May 31, 2017), as cited by Ocean Robbins.
[vii] Joel Fuhrman. “Mighty Mushrooms: Boost Immune Function and Guard Against Cancer,” Dr. Fuhrman blog (May 31, 2017), https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/50/mighty-mushrooms-boost-immune-function-and-guard-against-cancer.
Garlic has many medicinal properties that have benefitted people from cultures around the world for centuries. It boosts the functions of the immune system. It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses that would aid in priming our bodies to eradicate the cells of an emerging tumor. Thankfully it has become a staple ingredient in many people’s diets! Delicious as well as healthful, garlic’s close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, and chive.[i]
Epidemiologic studies indicate that garlic consumption is associated with decreased risk of cancer at every stage of its development, particularly for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.[ii] And an extracts of garlic has also been investigated for its potential as a nontoxic treatment for breast cancer tumors with significant preliminary results in a study on mice.[iii]
Garlic Is Especially Good For . . .
Doctrine of Signatures: Garlic resembles the stomach and is therefore said to be good for stomach health and healing gastrointestinal conditions, which has been proven to be true!
Cancer-Free with Food Recipes with Garlic
Other Way to Incorporate Garlic in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
Nutrition tip: You must buy organic garlic! China produces 80 percent of the world’s supply of garlic, and unfortunately a lot of it is bleached white. It is also very easy to grow your own garlic by adding a bulb to some water. Once it grows roots, you can place it in the ground or potted soil to grow! Mmm, your own fresh garlic, what is better than that?!
Resources from Cancer Free with Food book:
[i] G. Schäfer and C.H. Kaschula. “The immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic organosulfur compounds in cancer chemoprevention,” Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 14, no. 2 (February 2014), pp. 233–40, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24237225.
[ii] H.L. Nicastro, S.A. Ross, J.A. Milner, et al. “Garlic and Onions: Their Cancer Prevention Properties,” Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 8, no. 3 (March 2015), pp. 181–9, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25586902.
[iii] W.H. Talib. “Consumption of Garlic and Lemon Aqueous Extracts Combination Reduces Tumor Burden by Angiogenesis Inhibition, Apoptosis Induction, and Immune System Modulation,” vol. 43–44 (November–December 2017), pp. 89–97, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28935151.
[iv] A. Muhammad, M.A. Ibrahim, O.L. Erukainure, et al. “Spices with Breast Cancer Chemopreventive and Therapeutic Potentials: A Functional Foods Based-Review,” Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 18, no. 2 (2018), pp. 182–94, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28901261.
[v] W.T. Kim, S.P. Seo, Y.J. Byun, et al. “The Anticancer Effects of Garlic Extracts on Bladder Cancer Compared to Cisplatin: A Common Mechanism of Action via Centromere Protein M,” American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. 46, no. 3 (March 2018), pp. 689–705, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29595070
#6 Cancer-Healing Food: Dark Leafy Greens
Darky leafy greens play a crucial role in overall health because they keep the body in a state in which cancer could never grow! Many compounds in dark leafy vegetables are praiseworthy: isothiocyanates (in this case, sulforaphane and erucin), for example, which help the body detox at the cellular level.[i] Dark leafy greens have antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactivate carcinogens, and help reprogram cancer cells to die off! This prevents tumor formation and metastasis. One research group isolated a compound from spinach, and after testing, concluded it has great potential for development as an effective clinical anticancer chemotherapy.[ii]
Greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and chlorophyll.[iii] Some people have even gone so far as to say that drinking a green juice made with dark leafy greens—especially mixed with coconut water—is the equivalent of a blood transfusion. This is why I drink green juice once per day and have for the past nine years! Dark leafy greens also contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactivate carcinogens, help reprogram cancer cells to die off! This prevents tumor formation and metastasis.
Make your new motto: A dark leafy green juice a day can keep cancer far, far away!
Dark leafy greens include:
Dark Leafy Greens Are Good for All Cancer, and Especially Useful For . . .
Doctrine of Signatures: Dark leafy greens resemble the lungs and nervous system; therefore, they are considered good for the lungs, heart and the air and blood in the body.
Cancer-Free with Food Recipes with Dark Leafy Greens
Other Ways of Incorporating Dark Leafy Greens in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
Nutrition tip: Dark leafy greens must be purchased organic, as they are highly absorbent to pesticides and herbicides.
Resources from Cancer-Free with Food book:
[i] O. Azarenko, M.A. Jordan, and L. Wilson. “Erucin, the Major Isothiocyanate in Arugula (Eruca Sativa), Inhibits Proliferation of MCF7 Tumor Cells by Suppressing Microtubule Dynamics,” PLoS One, vol. 9, no. 6 (June 2014), p. e100599, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24950293.
[ii] H. Akasaka, R. Sasaki, K. Yoshida. “Monogalactosyl diacylglycerol, a replicative DNA polymerase inhibitor, from spinach enhances the anti-cell proliferation effect of gemcitabine in human pancreatic cancer cells,” Biochimica et Biophisica Acta, vol. 1830, no. 3 (March 2013), pp. 2517–25, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23174220.
[iii] D.M. Jiménez-Aguilar and M.A. Grusak. “Evaluation of Minerals, Phytochemical Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Mexican, Central American, and African Green Leafy Vegetables,” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, vol. 70, no. 4 (December 2015), pp. 357–64, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26490448.
[iv] N.I. Park, J.K. Kim, W.T. Park. “An Efficient Protocol for Genetic Transformation of Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) Using Agrobacterium Rhizogenes,” Molecular Biology Reports, vol. 38, no. 8 (November 2011), pp. 4947–53, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21161399.
by liana werner-gray
Hi. I am a Health researcher bringing you honest information about cancer healing treatments and foods that kill (and cause) cancer! I love diving into the scientific studies that show this research.