Chemoprevention is a measure which involves the use of nontoxic synthetic and natural substances or their combinations to intercede the comparatively early stages of carcinogenesis, before the manifestations of invasive features.
The natural or synthetic substances can be any chemotherapeutic drug, food, vitamins, or any other agent. One of these agents that can exert a relatively significant role in cancer prevention is dried fruits.
- Why dried fruits are considered beneficial?
- Varieties of dried fruits
- Chemopreventive ability of dried fruits
Why dried fruits are considered beneficial?
A fruit with reduced moisture content and with no pulpy or succulent pericarp is known as a dried fruit. Dried fruits are nutritious, unique, and tasty.
Like green and cruciferous vegetable role in cancer prevention, fruits are also associated with the reduction of cancer risk. However, most of the fruits with potent anti-carcinogenic properties are seasonal. Although, advanced food processing technologies like drying have made it possible to use such fruits for a longer time with intact shelf life and efficacy.
Varieties of dried fruits
There are a wide variety of fruits that can be dried and used for their excellent benefits. These fruits are avocado, pomegranate, berries, grapes, figs, persimmon, apples, apricots, plums, citrus peel, coconuts, rhubarb, and many more.
These fruits might be dried in different settings. Mainly used settings are the natural sun-drying method, mechanical drying methods like in oven or microwave, and freeze-drying process.
The freeze-drying process is a great method to enhance the shelf life of food by retarding lipid oxidation and inhibiting microbial growth. In this way, the potent thermolabile vitamins and phytochemicals like phenolics and carotenoids like lycopene get persevered. The anti-cancer vitamins and lycopene with potent cancer-fighting properties are the twomajor two nutrients that can help in chemoprevention.
Chemopreventive ability of dried fruits
Being enriched with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties these dried fruits possess potent actions against oxidative stress and inflammation, which play a significant role in cancer progression.
Other than these, dried fruits are also enriched with carotenoids, anthocyanin, coumarins, xanthones, catechins, terpenes, and other phytochemicals which are also effective anticancer agents.
Raisin is the dried grape. In raisins, the phenolics are found to be higher than fresh grapes. Further, the radical scavenging property of raisins is also better comparatively.
Daily intake of raisins associated with mitigation of prostaglandin (PG) metabolites excretion in urine, whichare the known markers of oxidative damageand inflammation. Thereby, itcan be said that raisins reduce the progression of various cancer cell lines. Also, raisins help to suppressed cell proliferation and reduce the levels of cancer blooming enzymes.
Mango is one of the immensely liked fruits in India. People have a different craze for this fruit. Mango is enriched with high amounts of xanthone-C-glycosides, carotenoids, O-glycosides, polyphenols, and pectin. Mangiferin is the renowned phytochemical present in mango with astonishing Chemopreventive, antioxidant, and detoxification properties, which aidin the prevention of liver, lung, and many more cancers.
Avocado is also known with the name of alligator pear, a very famous fruit around the world. These fruits are known to contain around 25 chemopreventive phytochemicals. Some of them are carotenoids (β-carotene or lutein), terpenoid, coumarins, acetogenins (persin, person A, and B) and flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, catechin), etc. These phytochemicals exert potent roles like inhibition of superoxide, nitric oxide molecules, and lipopolysaccharides. These help to treat cancers like human promyelocytic leukaemia and skin cancers.
Prunes are dried plums, a very famous fruit of western Asia. These dried fruits exhibitsignificantly higher antioxidant activity than plums. Prunes also contain phenolic compounds and β-carboline alkaloids. This dried fruit is known for its considerable role in preventing colorectal and stomach cancer cell lines.
A renowned fruit of the North-Eastern part of Asia is also possessed potent chemopreventive activities. The sun-dried persimmon is called kot-kham is also a very popular snack in Korea. Being enriched with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid, this dried fruit shows chemopreventive actions against prostate cancer and certain tumours.
The extract of this fruit is known to control intracellular redox status due to its extremely high antioxidant capacity. The freezing dried process retains all the nutrients present in the juice, therefore exhibits similar efficacy as pomegranate juice. This dried fruit is known for its role against lung, skin, or prostate cancers.
You can find various berries in the market. These are blueberry, strawberry, raspberries, cranberries, bilberry, black and white currants.
Blueberries are always in high demand. These are not only popular but also continually ranked as food with the highest antioxidant capacities among all types of food. These berries exhibit potent anti-metastatic actions and also prevent tumour proliferation.
This class of berry is the most consumed one in all around the world. These berries are enriched with organic extract and isothiocyanates. The intake of dried strawberries associated with the induction of oesophagal carcinogenesis.
You can found raspberries in red, black, and goldencolours. The regular intake of these dried berries is substantial prevention in colon cancer. Its topical application also helps to reduce the UVB rays induced skin carcinogenesis.
Bilberries, also known as European blueberries are enriched with anthocyanin, which acts as potent inhibitors of inflammation, oxidative stress, and tumorigenesis.
There are two different fruits known as currants, a fresh tiny berry linked to gooseberry, and the dried zante grape (a raisin-like fruit). These are present in white, red, or black colour. These currants are also related to various chemoprotective roles. One of the major roles is the up-regulation of gene expression of hepatic carcinogen detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes.
Figs are enriched with certain minerals, vitamins, organic acids, fibres, and polyphenols. The phytochemical presenting dried figs are found in abundant quantities as compared to the fruits. This makes these dried figs a potent chemopreventive agent.
These are some of the dried fruits withgreat chemoprotective properties. Today, these dried fruits are the first choice of many people as these can available at any time of the year and can be added to hot cereals, salad, meat, granola, and much more. All these make these suitable, convenient, and healthy food for cancer patients.