As you may recall from my last post, a certain group of foods can help in the fight against cancer. These foods contain angiogenesis inhibitors that stop the spread of cancer by preventing tumors from creating new blood vessels. Without new blood vessels, the tumors cannot survive.

I looked at several sources and created this chart to help you choose the foods known for their anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer properties. Happily, dark chocolate is one of the cancer-fighting foods. Something to keep in mind is that mixing dairy products with chocolate cancels the beneficial effects of the cocoa. So, remember to avoid milk chocolate.

Anti-angiogenic Foods

Sources:

Dulak, J. “Nutraceuticals as Anti-Angiogenetic Agents:  Hopes and Reality,” J. of Physiology and Pharmacology 2005, 56, Suppl 1, 51-69.

Li, William. “Dietary Sources of Naturally-Occurring Antiangiogenic Substances,” Angiogenesis Foundation (http://www.angio.org)

Servan-Schreiber, David. Anti-Cancer:  A New Way of Life, Viking, 2008.

Your turn: How many of these anti-angiogenic foods do you typically eat?  Are you trying to eat more of them on a daily basis?

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39 comments on “List of Anti-Angiogenic Foods

  • Wow, I actually like a lot of what's on the list–especially the fruit, dark chocolate, and red wine =;D Olive oil is in almost daily use in my house. Somehow I thought cinnamon would make that list along with the nutmeg. Would have been nice to add anti-angiogenic to the list of the virtues of my cinnamon buns…

  • Thanks for this chart – I'm doing better than I thought. Not a day goes by that I don't eat at least several of those things. Our blackberry bushes are producing heavily right now, so blackberries every day! I don't like apples or raspberries, but I eat more than enough Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to make up for it. I'm going to save a copy of this table for future reference!

  • In the past week, I've eaten fifteen of the foods on the list, some, like blueberries, daily. I'm doing the happy dance that red wine and dark chocolate made the list!

  • Hi Meg,

    While cinnamon may not be considered anti-angiogenic, per se, it does have many other health benefits. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. And it tastes so good! Cinnamon can be part of a very healthy diet.

    Say, do you ship your virtuous vegan cinnamon buns?

  • Hi Ang —

    Ahh, you have fresh blackberries growing in your yard. You must live in a warmer climate than Oregon, where we don't see blackberries until late summer. Enjoy your delicious fruit!

  • Hi Willow,

    I'm so glad you're doing the happy dance! Yes, hooray for red wine and dark chocolate making the list :) And good for you to be eating blueberries daily. They are a nutritional powerhouse.

  • However, I also came across the following in an alternative health newsletter that I receive:

    “Just recently, Korean researchers discovered that cinnamon, which has been used in Chinese medicine to improve circulation, can help induce angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels. (Int
    Immunopharmacol 09;9:959–967).”

    I can think of several ways that these seemingly contradictory studies can both make sense, but it would be nice if I could find an article that provides some clarity so that I'm not stuck relying on my own theories. I suppose it will take more studies before that is possible.

  • John, thank you so much for the link to this article. Scientific research advances at such a rapid pace, it's hard to keep up with it all! Thanks for being on the lookout for such cutting-edge, useful information and for taking the time to share :)

  • Just to clarify for your readers, I didn't realize my posts were going to be reversed, so the comment that starts with “Check out the following on cinnamon…” should be my first comment.

    One thing you should know is that both studies are considered positive. Sometimes you want angiogenesis, sometimes you don't. So there's no reason to stop eating cinnamon.

    I sent a letter off to the editor of that newsletter I mentioned to see if he has any ideas why the studies seem to offer opposing results. I'll post his opinion on here if he replies.

    I have a couple of theories. First of all, the “anti” study says that cinnamon extract inhibits an angiogenesis-stimulating protein, but just because it inhibits one protein doesn't mean it can't induce angiogenesis in other ways. Also, they used cinnamon extract in that study and not the typical concentration used in cooking. It's not unusual for the body to react in opposite ways to low and high doses of the same substance.

    But I probably shouldn't spend too much time developing theories about cinnamon. Kinda goes against the whole “elegant simple life” idea. :-)

  • Since Dr. Li spoke of these foods having anti-angiogenic effects in amounts that one could get from their diet, I'm curious about the specifics.

    That is, how much of each/any/all of these would be recommended over, say, the course of a week (since there's no way I'd eat all of them every day).

  • John, I love that you are following this cinnamon trail. Please continue to share your findings as you are inclined.

    Indeed, a great part of living an elegant, simple life is following one's passion.

    Do keep us posted!

  • Steven, I don't think the specific guidelines for dietary intakes to achieve maximum anti-angiogenic effects of foods have been established.

    However, I think the best course is to eat a wide variety of these foods over a period of time (over a lifetime, actually). In other words, start introducing/increasing these foods into your diet and then rotate them in your daily/weekly dietary routine. I believe the benefits occur over time and the longer you choose to eat this way, the better.

    On a related note, previous dietary guidelines recommended a range of 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. New Dietary Guidelines for Americans (published jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services and USDA) were released in January 2005. These Guidelines recommend the equivalent of 4 to 13 servings a day, which amounts to 2 to 6 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

    Many people wonder what a serving looks like. Here is a nice site demonstrating 1/2 cup or 1 cup servings of common fruits and vegetables : http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/what/exam

    That was a great question, Steven, and I hope this helps :)

  • Can someone list the actual amount of anti-angiogenesis substance in each food? which foods have the greatest effects? How much of each is required to have an observable effect?

  • Could you please tell me whether any of the following have any anti-angiogenic value: paw-paw (a.v. papaya), mango, banana, avocado?

  • This is a good information we have to tell others who are not familiar to internet. Prevention is better than cure

  • What I find amazing is God’s provision for all people. No matter where you live, something very good for you grows even if it’s just plain old beans.

  • I eat 18 of these on a weekly basis. Look into the raw food diet and green juice trends if you are looking for a diet that will really jumpstart healing and increased vitality.

  • does anyone truly sell “organic” fruit and vegies anymore. example: all apple trees are clones of a specific breed. over time they have been selectively bred to grow larger apples. these larger apples have 1/3 of the nutrients of the original small apples they were bred from way back when. if this applies to other fruits and vegies also then whether the fruit is grown under “organic” conditions is the least of our concerns. in the end the only real difference will be the pesticides the food is sprayed with, besides that minor note it is still FAR better to eat any fruit and veg than none. you can always look into ways to remove that waxy pesticide coating after you buy the fruit anyway… if you can be bothered.
    I guess i am speaking from an australian viewpoint here though. perhapse you americans are watering your plants with toxic waste, we generally don’t do that here though. we use water. :-)
    we also don’t clear cut rainforest in developing countries to make our big macs/ whoppers.
    i suppose thats what happens when you have an unrestricted free market and no proper public health care system. LOL.

  • does anyone truly sell “organic” fruit and vegies anymore. example: all apple trees are clones of a specific breed. over time they have been selectively bred to grow larger apples. these larger apples have 1/3 of the nutrients of the original small apples they were bred from way back when. if this applies to other fruits and vegies also then whether the fruit is grown under “organic” conditions is the least of our concerns. in the end the only real difference will be the pesticides the food is sprayed with, besides that minor note it is still FAR better to eat any fruit and veg than none. you can always look into ways to remove that waxy pesticide coating after you buy the fruit anyway… if you can be bothered.
    I guess i am speaking from an australian viewpoint here though. perhapse you americans are watering your plants with toxic waste, we generally don’t do that here though. we use water. :-)
    we also don’t clear cut rainforest in developing countries to make our big macs/ whoppers.
    i suppose thats what happens when you have an unrestricted free market and no proper public health care system. LOL.

  • Do you know which main foods contain VEGF-A proteins.  I just read that it increases the leakage in Age Related Macular Degeneration.
    Thanks, Barb

  • Well actually Collin, many of the foods we eat today have been modified or adapted for human consumption. Also, in many parts of the world, access to such variety isn’t there. This is why import is so vital to many countries.  I do find it awesome however, that many of the foods that humans have an affinity for are hard-wired in us to devour. This makes sense in that certain foods that evolved alongside our mammalian ancestors may have provided particular benefits that allowed certain species to survive. I’d love to see a lot more in vivo studies on this. Oh, as an aside, I noticed that most of these foods are not very kind to people with acid reflux disease. 😉

  • Pears and apples help fight cancer but Dr. Mercola warns about fructose. Is one pear or one apple a day enough for anti-angiogenisis but lower enough for fructose?

  • I am not sure where you are getting your info,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

    Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for
    this information for my mission.

  • I appreciate that lay people may not realize the pitfalls of the antiangiogenic food theories as cancer preventive agents. The foods listed in the chart may have been studied in tissue cultures and even rats to prove their antiangiogenic properties, but please think hard about the effects you’d expect in humans, outside the laboratory. If something prevents the growth of new capillaries (that’s what antiantiogenesis is all about), it should also prevent physiological angiogenesis. As a consequence, women should stop menstruating and having babies, and everyone should have problems in wound healing. It is a question of sufficient amount and whether the effect is seen in humans at all. Remember thalidomide: it didn’t cause (antiangiogenic) harm in guinea-pigs but it did in humans. I challenge all women to eat nothing but antiangiogenic foods (corresponding to each one’s specific energy needs) for three months and then see if they stop menstruating.

  • And Barb, whether foods contain VEGF protein doesn’t matter a bit. All proteins are split into amino acids when digested. Our tissues produce VEGF when the oxygen level at a certain place is too low. You can’t affect it by eating or avoiding something.

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