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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Herbs?

BY THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH

Many scientists believe that using even a small amount of herbs in cooking provides many phytochemicals that effectively fight cancer. Fresh herbs are preferable because they are the most flavorful and contain the most phytochemicals, but dried herbs are still potent. Match each herb with one of the phytochemicals found in it.

A. Mint, B. Oregano, C. Turmeric, D. Parsley, E. Ginger, F. Rosemary

1.__ An essential ingredient in curry dishes, this herb contains the yellow pigment curcumin. Curcumin tends to stay in the gastrointestinal tract, where it appears to block the release of damaging substances that can switch on cell proliferation, resulting in colon polyps and possibly colon cancer. In cell culture studies, curcumin has slowed the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

2.__ The needle-like leaves of this pine-scented herb contain carnosol, a strong antioxidant. Carnosol may help guard against breast cancer by detoxifying substances that can initiate the cancer process. It may also protect against skin and lung cancers. This herb can be used in soups and stews and roasted chicken, fish or vegetables.

3.__ Minute amounts of farnesol, a phytochemical in this herb, have blocked the growth of a fast-growing skin cancer in mice. This herb also contains quercetin, a strong antioxidant, which may be especially protective against breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. This herb is particularly good in Mexican or Italian dishes with chili, garlic, tomatoes and onions.

4.__ The National Cancer Institute lists this pungent herb as one of the foods with the strongest anti-cancer activity. The pungency in the fresh herb comes from gingerol. When dried, zingerone is formed. Both phytochemicals have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They are believed to suppress the growth of cancer cells by inducing cell death. This herb is used fresh in many Asian dishes.

5.__ Another herb singled out by the National Cancer Institute for its anti-cancer effect has a faint, subtle flavor. It is rich in polyacetylenes, which seem to protect against certain carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. It may also help to regulate the body’s production of prostaglandin, a substance that is a powerful tumor promoter. The leaves of this plant are excellent in tomato sauces, salad dressings and most vegetables.

6.__ The phytochemical limonene is found primarily in the peel of citrus fruit, which isn’t often eaten. Studies suggest, however, that this powerful anti-cancer agent can block the development of breast tumors and shrink them. Add limonene to your diet by using this refreshing herb in your tea, as well as with fresh fruits and salads.
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"To receive a free set of markers for your herb garden, call the American Institute for Cancer Research at 1-800-843-8114, ext. 10, and request the Herb Markers."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Answers: 1.C, 2.F, 3.B, 4.E, 5.D, 6.A

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