10 Anti Cancer Food Based Chemicals

September 21st, 2017 | Posted in Info | Recipes

It is generally accepted that certain dietary habits increase the risk of some types of cancer whilst some foods and ways of eating may reduce the risk of some cancers. A recent review looked at 30 years of research into the effects of certain foods on cancer (1). Ten natural anticancer substances found in foods were identified.
These are:

  • Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) – found in green tea.
  • Curcumin – found in turmeric root.
  • Resveratrol – found in red grape skins, peanuts and dark chocolate.
  • Lycopene – found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit.
  • Luteolin – found in peppers and green vegetables.
  • Genistein – found in soy foods and red clover.
  • Piperine – found in black pepper.
  • Beta-carotene – found in carrots, apricots, winter squash, watercress, broccoli.
  • Sulforaphane – found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale and watercress.
  • Pomegranate extracts.

These food based chemicals could be a great improvement on the synthetic anti-cancer treatments that are currently in use which are often highly toxic to normal healthy cells and the immune system. The food based chemicals, on the other hand, have low levels of toxicity for normal cells and seem to target the cancer cells more specifically. It is also thought that used in combination these food based chemicals could have powerful synergistic effects (1).

More research needs to be done to clarify the best combination of food based chemicals, how well they compare with current chemotherapy treatments, and whether different cancers will respond differently to the 10 chemicals. However, the potential is very exciting. In the mean time here is a powerful recipe that incorporates many of these anti-cancer chemicals.

Roasted Vegetable and Tempeh Salad with Gado-Gado Sauce

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan

  • 200g tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 beef tomato, cut into 1cm pieces

For the Gado-Gado Sauce

  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spread the tempeh, broccoli, squash and peppers out onto baking dishes, sprinkle with tamari, olive oil and turmeric and roast in the oven on gas mark 7/210C for 40 minutes, stirring half way through .

To make the gado-gado sauce, combine the peanut butter, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in a jug. Gradually stir in water until you have a pouring consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the vegetables and tempeh are cooked transfer them to a large serving bowl.

Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and sprinkle them onto the vegetables along with the chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the salad warm or cold, drizzled with gado-gado sauce.

Absorb the goodness and feel the glow!



  1. 1. 1. Emanuele-Salvatore Scarpa, Paolino Ninfali. Phytochemicals as Innovative Therapeutic Tools against Cancer Stem Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Jul; 16(7): 15727–15742.