As evident from research studies, Nutrition plays a major role in cancer. According to the estimates of American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, about 30-40% cancers can be prevented by physical activity, appropriate diet and maintenance of body diet. Filling up your diet plate with anti cancer fruits rich in antioxidant compounds and various phytochemicals can slow down the progression of cancer and enhance recovery. If you consume higher amount of at least one vegetable or fruit, you are decreasing 80% risk of developing cancer.
Now, you must be wondering about the type of fruits you should include in your daily diet to prevent cancer risk as well as speed up your recovery from cancer.
Let’s delve into research and look at the best anti cancer fruits categories that should be eaten before and after cancer treatment to lower the risk of cancer:
- Citrus fruits
- Pome fruits
- Dried fruits
A berry is a simple fruit with seeds and pulp produced from ovary of a single flower. Their outer layer or fruit wall is fleshy from the skin layer inwards. It is a small pulpy edible fruit. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, stilbenes, flavonoids, lignans, and tannins. Berries have been demonstrated to prevent cancers primarily of the GI tract as well as breast and to a lesser degree of liver, prostate, pancreas and lung.
Sources: Various types of berries that can prevent the risk of cancer are: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
How berries reduce the risk of cancer?
The variety of phtytochemicals and antioxidants present in berries are responsible for anticancer effects. The most common cancer fighting mechanisms are:
Stilbenes including resveratrol and anethole regulates genes involved in apoptosis and proliferation of cancer cells
Phytochemicals such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) leads to cancer suppression by inhibiting signaling pathways such as Akt, mTOR and Wnt pathways
Polyphenols modify the redox state of cancer microenvironment thus making it more cytotoxic hence leading to apoptosis secondary to induced oxidative stress
Anthocyanins down-regulate all major inflammatory markers, thereby suppressing inflammation which may lead to protection against cancer progression
Induces cell cycle arrest and inhibition of cellular growth and proliferation thus improving the possibility for anti-cancer treatment success
Citrus fruits is the major horticultural crop grown worldwide. The origin of citrus fruits is debatable but it is believed that they are originated from Southeast Asia. Basically citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs of Rutaceae family. Citrus fruits are rich in flavanoids and vitamin C which is responsible for various health benefits. Vitamin C present in citrus fruits has been shown to reduce the risk of gastric cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer
Sources: Various citrus fruits that have demonstrated anti-cancer activity are oranges, mandarins, limes, lemons, grapefruits, and citrons
How citrus fruits reduce the risk of cancer?
Vitamin C present in citrus fruits exhibits antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antiproliferative activity thereby suppresses tumor growth and destroys cancer cell
Flavanoids scavenges free radicals, interfere carcinogen activation and stimulate carcinogen detoxification
Control cell-cycle progression and inhibits cell proliferation,
Induces apoptosis, oncogene activity, angiogenesis and metastasis as well as inhibit hormones or growth-factor activity
Pome fruits are members of the plant family Rosaceae. They are fruits having a core of several small seeds surrounded by a membrane. The membrane is encased in an edible layer of flesh. Pome fruits are rich in flavanoids, phenolic acids and variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. Pome fruits have demonstrated anti cancer activity in various cancer including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer and bladder cancer
Sources: Various pome fruits that have demonstrated anti-cancer activity are apples, peaches, plums, pears and nectarines
How pome fruits reduce the risk of cancer?
Pome fruits exhibits anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. They have been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and growth with enhanced apoptosis of cancer cells, thereby inducing cell death of tumor and cancer cells.
Advances in food processing technologies have made it possible to extend shelf life of fruits and fruit-products. Different varieties of fruits are preserved by applying different drying processes to reduce the moisture content. Dried fruits are rich in bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins, acetogenins, catechins, coumarins, phenolic acids, terpenes, xanthones, and others
Research studies have determined significant reductions in risk of precancerous colorectal polyps, incidence of prostate cancer, or mortality from pancreatic cancer with 3-5 or more servings of dried fruits per week.
Sources: Various dried fruits that have demonstrated anti-cancer activity are raisins, figs, dates and prunes
How dried fruits reduce the risk of cancer?
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo preventive activities of dried fruits play an essential role in cancer chemoprevention and progression.
Eating five to nine servings of these fruits may reduce your risk of cancer along with reducing various side effects associated with chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting.
How to add more fruit servings to your diet?
If you find difficult to eat five to nine servings of fruits per day, then use these ways to add more fruits in your diet. These ways are as follow:
- Drinking fruit juice or eating fruit cocktail with breakfast.
- Having a fruit salad, a piece of fruit, or baby carrots instead of potato chips with a sandwich.
- Having a garden fruits with low-fat dressing as an appetizer.
- Stocking up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits.
- Setting fruits and vegetables in bowls in the kitchen, making them more visible.
- Taking pre-washed cut snacks of fruit while going on work or shopping
- Choose pre-cut or individually packaged fruits such as fruit cups and small boxes of raisins
These ways of enhancing your anti cancer fruit diet will definitely benefit your health, especially pre- and post-cancer treatment. Along with reducing risk of cancer, it will also help to maintain a healthy skin and body free of disease. So, enrich your diet with these fruit categories to avail the anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative and anti-cancer activities of various phytochemicals present in these fruits.
‘Start enjoying these anti cancer fruit categories with a well balanced diet and get started on your road to recovery from cancer’