Superfood. Have you heard that term before? Superfoods are foods low in calories and high in nutrients, with a variety of health benefits when included in your daily diet. City of Hope has taken the superfood one step further. They are actively doing research on certain superfoods that are showing promise in fighting cancer. The ability to possibly stop the cancer before it begins is enormous, and to be able to do it just by choosing to eat easy to find fruits, vegetables and spices is amazing!
Lab research shows that certain “superfoods” may have the ability to combat cancer — without affecting healthy tissue. Several superfoods — mushrooms, pomegranates and grape seed extract — contain compounds with the ability to block the enzyme aromatase, which helps produce estrogen. Because most breast cancers are dependent on estrogen to grow, cutting down on the amount of estrogen may help kill the tumor.
Mushrooms also work similarly in prostate cancer by blocking hormones crucial to their growth.
City of Hope is testing medicine derived from shiitake mushrooms that could naturally help the body fight lung cancer by boosting the immune system.
City of Hope scientists found that cinnamon contains compounds that block tumor angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that fuels cancer cells’ growth.
The above quotes are from the City of Hope website
, which offers a lot of information on the superfoods they are currently researching and doing clinical trials on. There is also the Superfoods Recipe Collection, which urges you to fight cancer in the kitchen by cooking with superfoods.
I got the chance to go to City of Hope, and meet with some of the professors and doctors doing this important research, including the Interim Head of The Beckman Research Institute. There are only 5 such research centers in the world, and they are considered the cream of the crop. City of Hope itself is known as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute. And most importantly, City of Hope is a non-profit organization, which makes it more open to trying more natural and less toxic ways to fight cancer. The large drug making corporations are all about profit, which is why so many medicines are so expensive!
When my mother was fighting her lung cancer, I remember opening a package containing her chemotherapy drug, called Tarceva. Because she had good insurance her co-pay was low, But I saw the actual cost being billed to the insurance, and it was $1200.00! For one bottle of pills! One thousand, two hundred dollars. And we wonder why medical insurance is so expensive. Oh, wait! Insurance companies and hospitals are also for profit entities. Except City of Hope.
Because of the 14 1/2 year battle my mother fought with her lung cancer, I have become a Citizen of Hope.
When asked what hope meant to me, the only word that came to mind was FIGHTING. Fighting like my mother fought for her life. Fighting like my mother fought to see her only grandchild grow up. Fighting like my mother fought to be as active as she could for as long as she could, until her body betrayed her. And in the end, fighting for every breath she took, hooked up to an oxygen machine 24 hours a day.
Lung cancer is not an “acceptable” cancer, like breast cancer. It has been so heavily stigmatized by cigarette smoking, which is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. But not everyone who gets lung cancer smokes or smoked. My mother was one of those, but the second I would tell people about her cancer they first thing they would ask was “Did she smoke?” I learned to say “My mom has lung cancer, but no, she never smoked.” I was always taken aback by the immediate judgement of her cancer, as if it was her fault, because they assumed she smoked. Do people judge breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer? Cancer is cancer is cancer.
The research at City of Hope on superfoods that can help prevent cancer from growing in the first place, fills me with hope. The hope that The Power of Superfoods
will continue to fight and prevent cancer. The hope that all cancers will be funded equally, not just the ones that are “acceptable.” The hope that one day we will find a cure for cancer.
These Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos are healthy, vegan, very low in fat and nutrient dense. And they are amazingly good. If tacos are not your thing, toss the mushrooms and peppers with pasta and a little more olive oil. Or top a pizza with them. Or make bruscetta. Or add them to a green salad. No matter what you do with them, enjoy them.
If you would like more recipes and information about City of Hope and Superfoods, please click over to these other fabulous food blogs:
Recipe: Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos
- 2 packages (8 ounce) button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 fresh pasilla chile pepper, seeded, cut into large dice
- 1 fresh red bell pepper, seeded, cut into large dice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- Heat the oven to 400° F.
- Place the mushrooms, pasilla and red pepper onto a large baking pan.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the ingredients, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the oil and seasoning.
- Roast the vegetables for 20 – 25 minutes, until they are softened.
- Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet or wrap them in foil and heat in the oven.
- Divide the mushroom filling between the tortillas.
- Serve with salsa, sliced avocado and fresh cilantro if desired.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) Cooking time: 20 minute(s) Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.