As per the research, the diet has always been significant in cancer prevention. The foods we take in our diet are considered to be the essential source of potent physiologically functional constituents. It is also noticed from the various pieces of scientific pieces of evidence that a healthy diet for cancer patients show strong correlations with a lower incidence of various types of cancer. For instance, spices like turmeric show a considerable impact on the prevention of breast, stomach, skin, and bowel cancer.
As like healthy diet, unhealthy diet also exert potential impact upon the risk of getting cancer, however, this impact is highly negative. For instance, persistent alcohol consumption is linked with an elevated risk of cancers like larynx, pharynx, oral cavity and oesophagus.
Therefore, it is essential to focus to have healthy foods in the diet. One of such healthy food category that significantly aids in keeping the risk of various cancers is the seed. Seeds are known for their primary role of germination. There are a variety of vegetables, which we consume along with seeds. However, there are also a variety of seeds, which we consume as it is.
Let’s read about the 3 best seeds to take in the diet for cancer prevention:
- Sesame Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
1. Sesame Seeds
Being enriched with phytoconstituent sesamin, sesame seeds have gained substantial attention lately as an effective agent for the prevention of various types of cancer, for instance, breast cancer and lung cancer. Sesamin is a renowned active ingredient of Sesamum indium seeds.
The anti-cancer action of this phytoconstituent is majorly attributed to its pro-apoptotic, pro-angiogenic, pro-autophagocytic, anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic properties.
Other than these, this phytoconstituent performs an essential role in the selective signalling pathway, responsible for the progression of cancer.
Sesame is also known to exhibit antioxidant properties and acts as a defensive shield against reactive oxygen species (ROS), majorly produced via extreme UV rays exposure. This property of these seeds reduces the risk of skin cancer.
How to take sesame seeds?
Take sesame seeds only after crushing and cooking. Keep the quantity of the sesame seed up to 4 tablespoons daily to avoid diarrhoea or upset stomach.
For topical application, use sesame oil with turmeric powder in milk and thoroughly apply to the affected area.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil have anti-cancer properties due to the potential phytoconstituents like phenolic compounds, beta-carotene, unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols and tocopherols present in them.
Phenolic compounds are one of the major phytoconstituents of interest. This class of phytochemicals known to exhibit significant antioxidant actions, also exhibit activities like free radical scavenging and metal ion chelation.
Beta-carotene also aids in protecting oxidative damage, cell membranes and organelles.
Phytosterols can help to regulate hormonal changes and exhibits potent antioxidant actions.
Based on given pieces of evidence, pumpkin seeds known to reduce the risk of breast, liver and colon cancer.
How to take pumpkin seeds?
To have pumpkin seeds naturally, remove the seeds from the pumpkin, rinse and wipe off well. Spread the seeds on to paper bag or towel and allow them to dry overnight.
You can eat the seeds raw or by cooking or roasting these in the oven for about 20 minutes at 170°F.
Other than this, add pumpkin seed oil in your diet directly or by adding in smoothies, salads and vegetables.
3. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower is a commercially grown crop worldwide, known for its various health benefits and anti-cancer benefits are one of them.
Polyphenols found in sunflower seeds, for instance, ferulic acids, caffeine and chlorogenic acid are known to possess high antioxidant and anti-mutagenic actions when tested on various cancer cell lines.
The protein ring found in these seeds also act as a natural blocker of specific breast cancer enzymes and also aids in modifying enzymes associated with the progression of other cancers.
Other than these, tannins and coumarins also have definite roles for cancer prevention.
How to take sunflower seeds?
One of the easiest and effective methods to consume sunflower seeds is to ground them. For this, remove the shells of the seeds, process them in a blender or grinder. Once grounded, pour some water on the powder, the milled pieces of left shells float to the water surface. Separate them and dry the grounded seeds and store in the refrigerator for further use.
You can use sunflower seeds directly as well by adding them in the salad, oatmeal, bread or scones.
These are the three most potential seeds that must be added in the diet to reduce cancer
risk. Consume these seeds regularly and keep overall health up to the mark.