Radiation cancer treatments, nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, and nuclear waste dump exposure seem very different, but they all emit ionizing radiation. No matter where radioactive particles come from, they will still do predictable damage to the cells, tissues, and organs of your body.
Today, there is a growing field of interest in which foods can be used to shield cells from the effects of nuclear radiation and perhaps even speed up healing after exposure.
Here are ten foods that you should consider eating more of, and growing to reduce the damaging effect of radiation.
Your thyroid is one of the most sensitive organs when it comes to radiation poisoning. This occurs mainly because radioactive iodine is taken up very quickly by the thyroid. You can get potassium iodine tablets for use after exposure to ionizing radiation, but make sure you get plenty of iodine in your diet too.
Surprisingly, potato skins carry high amounts of iodine, and potatoes are also rich in potassium and other important key nutrients for overall good health.
Potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow. You can use conventional methods, or grow them in containers. For example, a 4′ x 4′ square area will yield over 100 pounds of potatoes if you continue to pile soil up as the potato roots develop. Read our article about how to make a potato pot to find out more about growing this vegetable.
You can grow potatoes in everything from trash cans to old washing machine tubs as long as you have enough soil and good drainage. Make sure you have access hatches in the container so that you can harvest potatoes once they are big enough and ready to consume.
Strawberries are also a good source of iodine and carry other important nutrients, and they are very easy to grow in hanging baskets, on a windowsill, or out in the garden. When choosing strawberry plants, there are three kinds you can buy:
- everbearing strawberries – as long as the temperature and conditions are right, these plants will produce several crops of berries per season.
- June bearing strawberries – as their name implies, these plants produce only one crop; usually in June. The berries are usually bigger and you will get more at one time.
- Wild strawberries – these are usually small berries that are produced just once a year. They are truly second to none in terms of sweetness, however they are much smaller than the June and ever bearing berries.
Cranberries have the added benefit of being a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which can help protect cells from ionizing radiation. Cranberries are also rich in other antioxidants and phytonutrients that are known to help fight cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, cranberries can grow well in raised beds, if the soil is acidic, and that the plants get enough water. If your goal is growing cranberries in a container, try the raised beds first so that you know more about what to expect in terms of how this plant will grow in your geographic location. Once you know the basics, transfer what you learned to other growing methods.
When combined with other beans, navy beans provide almost all the different amino acids and proteins required for good nutrition.
Navy beans also carry a good amount of iron, which your body needs to make blood. This is especially important if you do not have read meat available or other sources of easily digestible iron.
As with other legumes, beans are important for any garden because they help fix nitrogen into the soil. If you are interested in a sustainable garden geared towards nuclear survival, navy beans should be at the top of your list. Here’s a Survivopedia article on how to grow beans for survival.
When choosing seeds for Navy Beans, buy only heirloom, non-hybrid, non-gmo, certified organic seeds. Beans tend to grow quickly, which makes them an ideal test plant for long term survival needs. If you can propagate navy beans from one generation to the next, you will be a long way towards ensuring that you can keep viable seed supplies going without having to buy them.
For decades, a great deal has been written on whether or not Vitamin C can fight cancer.
Newer research on people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer suggests that Vitamin C actually shields healthy cells from the toxic effects of radiation.
This finding was used to treat workers at Fukushima before they went into the damaged reactor as well as during their active working time.
Follow up research indicated that workers at the plant who received intravenous Vitamin C had less DNA mutation. In addition, those who were not treated beforehand, but received therapy after showing evidence of DNA mutation experienced a reduction in mutation.
Even though many foods contain Vitamin C, oranges are the best source. A single orange each day provides approximately 90% of the recommended daily allowance. Since oranges are rich in many other nutrients, it is also an ideal prepper food.
Oranges can be grown indoors and in containers in just about any climate. Just make sure they are kept warm enough and receive plenty of sunlight. If you must purchase hybrid trees, learn how to propagate from cuttings so that you can keep them going for as long as possible.
If you are hesitant about growing oranges, red peppers are an excellent alternative for your nuclear prepping garden.
Red bell peppers also contain a good amount of Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin E. Aside from grape seeds, they also offer higher amounts of quercetin than many other plants, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and fight cancer. Newer research also suggests that the ability to bind free radicals is key to reducing the effect of ionizing radiation within cells. Therefore, when you consume peppers, you are getting at least three important cellular shields.
Here’s a comprehensive Survivopedia article about growing peppers.
If you already know how to grow green bell peppers, just let them ripen a bit longer and you will have red peppers. They can be grown outdoors, in containers, and also in hydroponic setups. Since peppers are also easily propagated from seeds, you can also practice pollination methods and creating good seed stores from one generation to the next.
When growing peppers, do not forget that the germination and flowering stage can be tricky. Peppers are notorious for germinating slowly, especially if the soil temperature is too warm or too cold. You will also have to pay careful attention to soil temperature and moisture when the plants flower. If it is too hot or cold, the plant will drop the flowers even if they have been pollinated.
This is what you need to know for survival when there’s no doctor around!
While many people focus on Vitamin C as a cancer fighting and radiation shielding agent, Vitamin E is also very important. Even though researchers say that Vitamin E must be paired with Pentoxifylline (a drug used to make blood more liquid in order to reduce muscle cramps) for maximum effect, it may still be useful by itself.
Many other vitamins can be consumed at higher than the recommended daily allowance, Vitamin E can be toxic at higher levels. That being said, making sure you get the recommended amount each day can still give your cells an important cellular shield against radiation.
It will only take ¼ cup of shelled seeds to meet your daily needs. In addition, sunflower seeds are also packed with other antioxidants and important nutrients that will improve overall health. Aside from being a good food to have on hand for nuclear prepping, sunflower seeds also yield more oil than other plant sources. If you are looking for a safe alternative to other vegetable oils, learning how to make sunflower oil will be of use to you.
If you are looking for the easiest, fastest growing plant for Vitamin E, sunflowers will be your best option. There are many different varieties of sunflowers, as well as many sizes.
Even though these plants grow best outdoors and in the ground, you can try large, deep containers. Sunflower plants can also act as a good support for climbing bean plants as long as their roots still have plenty of room to spread out.
These huge, furry-leafed plants can be very hearty; however they will droop quickly without sufficient water. Make sure they also have plenty of sunlight and good air flow around the plants.
Pumpkin seeds are a key source of Vitamin E, while the pumpkins are an excellent source of B vitamins, A, C, and Potassium. If you also tend to favor fried squash flowers, these easy to grow plants will provide you with a tasty, nutritious treat at every stage of growth.
Pumpkins grow quite well in containers, if the vines have plenty of room to spread, and that they will not be disturbed. If a vine has a pumpkin on it, do not touch it. Even moving the vine a few inches will cause the pumpkin to die off. You can also try growing pumpkins in hanging baskets if you don’t have enough ground space for the vines.
This delicious, spicy root is a member of the ginger family, and has an excellent reputation for fighting cancer, and as an anti-inflammatory. It also has several nutrients in it that shield cells from ionizing radiation, while others can reverse DNA damage caused by radiation and promote cell healing.
Overall, if there is one plant that you should learn how to grow and propagate, turmeric is it. This plant is an excellent herb for treating and preventing illness created by nuclear exposure as well as other problems.
You will find that turmeric is not that hard to grow. If you choose to grow it in a shallow container, make sure that there is good drainage. Since the roots tend to grow sideways instead of down, they favor a wider pot as opposed to a deeper one. Save roots with rhizomes on them so that you can propagate them.
As useful as turmeric is, it is not easily absorbed by the body. You will also need to grow black pepper, as this herb contains a molecule, Piperine, which helps reduce the speed at which turmeric is flushed from the body. Piperine can also increase the absorption of other herbal remedies and nutrients. You can purchase black pepper seeds, however it will take some time and practice to grow this plant.
Today, just about everyone interested in a healthy diet option has heard of spirulina. Aside from being filled with important nutrients, it has molecules in it that can bind to heavy metals and other toxins. Even if you are exposed to radioactive dust or other debris, spirulina can help your body get rid of it faster.
All you need to grow spirulina is some alkaline water, a good source of light and some dry spirulina to get the colonies started. While growing algae is one of the easiest things, there are many different kinds, and some are poisonous or may produce toxins. Make sure that you can tell the difference between spirulina and other algaes that may decide to colonize your growing area.
Plenty of algae will grow on fish waste; just be sure to choose fish that are safe for human consumption. Many fish available to hobbyists can carry dangerous diseases including tuberculosis and intestinal parasites. It is best to purchase fish from a trusted source and then do all you can to make sure they remain free of infections that can easily harbor in the algae beds as much as within the fish.
If you love chocolate, you will be happy to hear that it contains reservatrol, a molecule that has a proven track record for preventing radiation damage to chromosomes. Much of the chocolate available to consumers has little, if any nutritional value, so you will have to grow cocoa plants and then harvest the cocoa beans.
As long as you can provide humid, tropical conditions, these plants will grow well enough in an indoor setting. If you are new to gardening, practice with easier plants until you are a master of controlling temperature, humidity, and air flow in just about any setting.
As we learn more about the effects of ionizing radiation in cancer therapies, many foods are proving to shield healthy cells from damage. You can use this information to help select plants that will be part of your prepper garden as well when choosing the best foods for staving off radiation sickness.
No matter whether the radiation comes from a power plant nearby or a nuclear bomb, you can survive the nuclear threat and thrive.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
Larry Zirker | June 2, 2017
Nice list, but I think you missed the mark. If a nuclear attach happens, it is the fall out that is deadly. It might not be safe to raise leafy veggies that collect the fall out dust. I would think that inside grow boxes near windows or making sprouts would be the best thing to do. It keeps you indoors and your food is not seen by others.
Henry | June 3, 2017
In case of a nuclear attack, it would be safer to eat shelter stored foods for the first 6 months, Most radiation, unless you are at ground zero, will dissipate by then. Use your Geiger counter to determine if there are “hot” spots, and avoid those. It would be wise to build up a survival seed bank, along with having a small diesel powered tractor for farming. Also supply up on diesel fuel, and keep it stirred for longer life. The populations that will not fare so well will be the city dweller, a good read for these events would be the book “one second after”, available at most library’s or on the internet.
Carmela Tyrrell | June 4, 2017
I agree with you on what to do after a nuclear event has occurred – although you will still need these or other foods with similar nutritional profiles.
This food list is more geared to foods that will help your body be stronger and possibly better able to withstand radiation before you hear about a nuclear event in the news. For example – growing these foods (some lend themselves well to containers and indoor growing – which I am a big fan off, along with sprouts) now may help with radiation dangers you don’t know about. That includes leaks from nuclear power plants, hidden nuclear waste in the area, and perhaps even contaminated foods from where Fukushima radiation has spread to.
These are not “miracle” plants in the sense that a meal will automatically give you a shield or stop radiation from doing damage. Adding these foods steadily to your diet over weeks and months is best.