Get the key ideas from

Eat to Beat Disease

The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

By William W. Li
12-minute read
Audio available
Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself by William W. Li

Eat to Beat Disease (2019) shines a light on the sophisticated systems the body uses to defend itself from deadly diseases. Drawing on the latest scientific research, these blinks explore how your dietary choices support these defense systems and explain how, when it comes to your health, food truly is medicine.

  • Couch potatoes trying to lose weight
  • Fitness freaks wanting to optimize their diet
  • Health professionals looking for an insight into nutrition

William W. Li is a scientist, doctor and author. His work with the Angiogenesis Foundation has led to the development of multiple groundbreaking medical therapies and devices. Through his work, he has impacted the health of over 50 million people around the world. Dr. Li has also held faculty posts at both Harvard and Tufts University, and his TED talk “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has been viewed more than 11 million times.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Eat to Beat Disease

The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

By William W. Li
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself by William W. Li
Synopsis

Eat to Beat Disease (2019) shines a light on the sophisticated systems the body uses to defend itself from deadly diseases. Drawing on the latest scientific research, these blinks explore how your dietary choices support these defense systems and explain how, when it comes to your health, food truly is medicine.

Key idea 1 of 7

Soy foods and broccoli can help boost your body’s cancer-fighting defense system.

It’s a frightening but true fact that you are developing cancer right now as you read this. Indeed, microscopic tumors start growing when your body’s cells divide incorrectly. And shockingly, your body makes around ten thousand of these mistakes every day. The result? Cancer formation isn’t just common; it’s inevitable.

Fortunately, your body has a natural defense system that stops these cancers from ever becoming a problem. It’s called angiogenesis.

Angiogenesis is the process by which your body grows and maintains blood vessels. Under normal circumstances, your blood vessels support you by carrying nutrients and oxygen to your body’s organs. However, if blood vessels grow irregularly, then they’re just as likely to deliver this nourishment to your microscopic cancers instead, providing them with the fuel they need to grow, spread and eventually invade your organs.

Angiogenesis stops this from happening by controlling where and when blood vessels grow, and thus stops tumors from becoming dangerous. And encouragingly, you can boost this cancer-starving defense system by eating certain foods.

Soybeans, for example, have been found to have a powerful influence on angiogenesis. A 1993 study by the University of Heidelberg found that soy foods contain genistein, a potent cancer-fighting substance that suppresses the blood vessels that feed nutrients to tumors. Furthermore, it was found that genistein prevented the growth of several types of cancer cells, including Ewing’s sarcoma cells, which lead to bone and soft-tissue tumors. Studies have found you’ll need to consume a daily portion of at least 10 grams of soy protein to enjoy the cancer-fighting benefits. You can achieve this through eating foods like tofu, soy milk and edamame as well as fermented soy products like miso and soy sauce.

And if you’re not a fan of soy, then don’t worry, because broccoli has also been found to have a potent effect on angiogenesis too.

Broccoli contains brassinin and sulforaphanes, substances that help angiogenesis keep blood vessel production in balance and fight cancer. For instance, research conducted by Harvard University has shown that broccoli consumption is associated with a 33 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer, a 59 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, and a 28 percent lower risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. So to reduce your risk of cancer, add between one and two cups of broccoli to your diet each week.

Read on to discover how what you drink, as well as what you eat, can protect you from disease.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.