Spring is in the air. Easter is right around the corner. And nothing symbolizes this season of rebirth and renewal better than the sight and smell of fresh lilies.
With its bright and delicate flowers and fresh and floral scent, the lily plant will be making regular appearances in churches and homes across America all this month.
But ironically, it’s another plant in the lily family with a sharp and pungent odor that could offer folks at risk for colon cancer a TRUE second chance at life.
You may already know about garlic’s heart-supporting benefits. Research has revealed this powerful spice can help protect blood vessels and enhance cardiovascular function.
But it usually surprises people when I tell them that garlic could also help fight off one of the nation’s deadliest forms of cancer by targeting the cells that lead to colorectal tumors.
Spice extract could wipe out cancer cells
Garlic’s protective powers are likely due to a potent compound called allicin. When you crush or chop garlic, an enzyme called alliinase is released, which triggers the formation of allicin.
Allicin and the compounds it breaks down into have several impressive health benefits. But today, I’m going to focus on just one…. they’re cancer battling abilities. Because emerging research finds these compounds have the potential to slay colon cancer cells.
You see, cancer cells aren’t like normal cells. They don’t die when they’re supposed to. Instead, they stick around and continue to divide, creating new cells and allowing tumors to grow.
These zombie-like cells can keep coming back even when you think they’re dead. This is why so many cancers return for an encore performance or spread to new spots in the body.
But that might not be the case when allicin enters the picture.
You see, if cancer is a zombie cell, allicin may act as a bullet to the head. It appears to strip the colon cancer cells of their defenses, so they finally die. And it makes sure they STAY dead, too.
This may be why in a recent study, the odds of having colorectal cancer were a stunning 79 percent lower in folks who regularly ate garlic and other allium vegetables such as onions or (my favorite) leeks.
Supercharge your garlic with this simple ‘hack’
Now keep in mind this wasn’t a cause and effect type study. It was an observational one. Other studies on garlic have had mixed results, with some showing a strong link to a lower risk of gastric cancers and others not finding the same association.
So that means more research needs to be completed before we can say for sure if eating a lot of garlic will protect you from colon cancer.
But we DO know your meals will benefit either way. Plus, numerous studies have found compounds in garlic have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and heart-protective activities.
And let’s face it, is there anything that can change a dish… from steak to salad… for the better and faster than garlic?
But just be sure to skip the pre-cut or pre-crushed garlic. Instead, peel and crush the fresh cloves yourself, then let it sit for about 15 minutes. Crushing the garlic triggers a reaction that unlocks powerful enzymes that enhance the allicin.
Use the garlic raw if you can handle the powerful taste. If not, cook it very lightly since too much heat can destroy some of those potent allicin-enhancing enzymes.
You won’t just be building a barrier against colon cancer when you do, either. Other research has uncovered a potential link between garlic and a lower risk for breast cancer, too.
Just be sure to combine it with THIS other delicious veggie for the most protection.
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