Cancer is projected to be the leading cause of death across many countries in the world [1]. Researchers believe that dietary factors are vital in determining cancer risk. The work to establish the effects of diet on cancer risk is still on.

For decades, scientists have suspected that nutrition has an important influence on the risk of developing cancer. Epidemiological studies from the 1960s showed that cancer rates varied widely between populations. Some studies showed strong correlations between types of cancer and dietary factors [2]. For example, countries with high meat intake had high rates of colorectal cancer.

Cancer stem cells are the root cause of many cancers and ignite the recurrence of cancers after treatment. Studies are focused on finding ways to kill cancer stem cells. While this remains a target for the researchers working on cancer treatment, dietary factors (cancer stem cell-killing diet) can kill cancer stem cells, especially in some forms of cancer.

Below are some top foods to fight cancers and kill cancer stem cells.

Purple Potatoes

Originated in Peru, ancient people prized purple potatoes for their nutritional benefits. It contains bioactive anthocyanin, a blue-purple pigment that gives hue to many dark berries [3]. Researchers explored the effect of purple potatoes on cancer stem cells. Studies compared the impact of potato with that of an anti-inflammatory drug called Sulindac, which suppresses colon polyps and colon cancer development. Initial investigations showed 50 per cent reduced tumours. Purple potatoes are claimed to increase the killing of colon cancer stem cells by 40 per cent. Purple potato extract was found to cause a twenty-two-fold reduction of aggressiveness in the behaviour of the cancer stem cells in host patients. This means to prevent and fight cancer; you must consume purple potato in different ways, such as baked, diced, and freeze-dried, to keep it at bay. Given the effects, purple potatoes and their marvellous colour have unique cancer-fighting properties [4].

Green Tea and Matcha Tea

Green tea has lately become a household item for its useful functions and unique ability to kill cancer stem cells [5]. Many studies have considered the effect of green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It has been found green tea has properties to reduce the growth of colon cancer stem cells by 50 per cent.

EGCG, a component in Green Matcha Tea, forced the cancer stem cells to commit cell suicide through apoptosis. Another study [6] showed that matcha green tea [powdered tea leaf] could interrupt the metabolic pathway of breast cancer stem cells. This deprives them of energy and causes them to die. The effect of EGCG present in green tea on targeting cancer stem cells and protecting the body against colon & other cancers [7].


Popular tree nuts and walnuts are eaten raw, roasted, candied, or pickled. Walnuts are nutrient-dense and contain bio-actives like chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and ellagic acid. Eating walnuts reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. It also improves survival in colon cancer patients. Studies [8] show that walnut extract can kill cancer stem cells. The nutritional properties of walnuts on cancer stem cells helps lower the chance of cancer recurrence associated with eating nuts. If you know someone struggling with colon cancer, suggest including walnuts in their diet.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil contains bio-actives known as secoiridoids, which characterize up to 46 per cent of total polyphenols found in olive oil. These natural chemicals are absorbed by the small intestines and can be detected in the blood plasma, and urine, proving their presence and availability in the body. Restricted studies [9] show that olive oil secoiridoids could dramatically reduce the growth of cells. With a regular dosage, breast cancer stem cells were exposed to secoiridoids, and some hosts didn’t develop tumours. The tumours were fifteen times smaller for those who developed tumours and grew slower than untreated breast cancer cells [10]. The result is consistent with the suppression of breast cancer stem cells. The health-protective power of extra virgin olive oil now extends to targeting dangerous stem cells.

Other Foods That Target Cancer Stem Cells

Many noteworthy bio-actives found in foods can suppress cancer stem cells. Genistein in some fruits and nuts, Luteolin in celery, oregano, thyme, Quercetin in capers, apples, and peppers. All these compounds kill prostate cancer stem cells. Luteolin [11] is potent in shutting down the activity of prostate cancer stem cells twenty-fold. The bioactive of green tea, EGCG, has also been shown to work with the bioactive quercetin to inhibit prostate cancer stem cells. Some bio-actives play dual roles and promote healthy functions in a defence system while combating the opposite effect in the same system. You also need to pay attention to B17, as researchers claim, having appropriate levels of B17 can save you from Cancer. Read here some amazing benefits of raw living spirulina which is very high in nutritional value.

Chlorogenic acid helps maintain average circulation through angiogenesis in healthy tissues, while it simultaneously starves dangerous tumours by cutting off the blood supply.

Food high in chlorogenic acid include coffee, carrots, and stone fruit, like apricot and plums, are also beneficial.

Ending Note:

Dietary plans help your body maintain proper immunity, health and essential nutrients to fight alien infections. Keep in mind that Mediterranean & Asian dietary patterns contain ingredients that boost healthy stem cells. Be aware of other ways, such as high-sugar diets, high-fat, high-salt or can stun them. Here is a list of food you can still have while battling with cancer. For those doubting the power of food, read here about how nutrition can help you live a healthy life. The age-old therapies suggested by Ayurveda stress the importance of food and diet intake. Here’s a perfect immunity-boosting recipe for healthy living! Also, mind that food can heavily alter your mood and change your life. Some people have defeated COVID with an ideal diet plan by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Lastly, there is a need to understand that food is the foundation for our health. Strengthening the root keeps the plants alive and healthy, which is the basis of our human body!

References and Sources:

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