Cancer is one of the chief causes of death globally. But researchers have proposed that it can be prevented up to 30-50% with the assistance of easy lifestyle modifications, such as eating healthy, doing regular exercise, maintaining the right body weight and quitting smoking. Nutrition especially is believed to help in cancer prevention up to a great extent. Even it is thought to treat and manage the condition of cancer.
If you have a family history of cancer, then by making only small changes in your diet can help you to achieve long term health benefits. Even if a person has cancer, then eating a nutritious and healthy diet can assist in maintaining the strength and mood during this crucial period. On the other side, eating red meat and processed meat is believed to increase the risk of cancer.
Many studies have established the link between the fruits, vegetables and healthy fats in lowering the risk of many cancers. Garden pea is also thought to have a role in cancer prevention.
Today we will discuss the connection between cancer and pea.
- Peas and their nutritional values
- Phytochemical substances present in peas
- Anticancer property of peas
Peas and their nutritional values
Pea (Pisum sativum) is basically a legume, which is grown in different regions. Legume is among the traditional medications used worldwide due to its nutritional values and therapeutic efficacy. They are low in fats, high in dietary fiber, protein and many phytochemical substances and micronutrients that show therapeutic properties, particularly anticancer property.
Pea has been a vital part of diet from time to time because of its nutritional value. It is high in content of protein, fiber, starch, trace elements and various phytochemical substances. It is found to exhibit antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity and even demonstrated anticancer properties. Studies have shown its activity in cancer prevention.
It contains nonnutritive biologically active components such as alkaloids, isoflavanoids, flavonoids, phenols, glycosides, tannins, phytosterols, saponins, phytic acid and protease inhibitors. It is also enriched with luteolin, hydroxybenzoic, apigenin hydroxycinnamic, and quercetin. These all are responsible for its curative properties, which includes anticarcinogenesis property.
Phytochemical substances present in peas
There are a number of phytoconstituents present in the legumes that show anticancer activities and decrease the chances of developing endometrial cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Isoflavones: A study showed the growth inhibitory properties of isoflavones obtained from the extracts of legume on breast cancer. Another study revealed the working of isoflavones as phytoestrogens. They acted by DNA repair, migration, invasion, cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis.
- Lectins: There are many lectin proteins present in legume that show excellent anticancer and antitumor properties. Studies have shown the cytotoxicity of lectins to many tumor cell lines such as bone cell, skin, liver and bile duct.
- Saponins: Many legumes including chickpea, peanut, lentil and soybean contain the saponins that have shown anticancer activities. Many studies reveal the anticancer activities of saponins in colon cancer, cervical cancer and melanoma cell.
- Phenolic compounds: Peas have high amounts of phenolic compounds that work as antioxidants. Researchers have demonstrated the link between the antioxidant properties of plant phenolic compounds and their effects in cancer prevention.
Anticancer property of peas
Following are some of the conclusion of certain studies revealing the anticancer property of pea:
- The extracts of pea when examined showed anticancer activity. In a study, the effect of Bowman-Birk trypsin-chymotrypsin inhibitor, which is a strong chemopreventive agent, was compared with the protease inhibitors- rTl1B and rTl2B, from the pea seed. The results have shown inhibitory activities on the development of human colorectal adenocarcinoma HT-29. The rTl1B exhibited the efficient 46 μM of IC50.
- The lectins extracted from peas showed antiproliferative properties to liver cancer cells.
- In another study, lectin extracted from buds and leaves peas showed cytotoxicity to various cancer cell lines including HEP-2 (larynx), HepG-2 (liver), MCF-7 (breast) and HCT-116 (colon).
- In a recent study, phenolic compounds from pea seeds in different colors were recognized. They showed the darker seed color had the high total phenolic content as apigenin, epigallocatechin, gallic acid and naringenin. The extracts from seed also revealed the cytotoxic effects on malignant cell lines.
Legume is usually believed as an excellent and affordable plant food. It has a vital role in providing nutrition and also in prevention in various disorders, particularly cancer. Various studies have shown that the pea enriched with various nutritional and non-nutritional components that have proven effects to protect against cancer.
You can easily add peas in your diet to reduce the risk of cancer. You can also reduce the risk factors for cancer by following some of the measures to prevent cancer:
- Don’t use tobacco: Tobacco can cause various cancers including cervical cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer and esophageal cancer. Quit tobacco as soon as possible.
- Protect skin from skin cancer: Skin cancer is the most common cancer. You can prevent it by avoiding exposure to sunlight. You can use scarves, gloves and hats to prevent the risk of getting cancer.
- Do exercise regularly and maintain healthy weight: Maintain healthy body weight by staying physically active. Do daily exercise for a minimum 30 minutes to stay active. Obesity and inactivity can increase your risk for colorectal and breast cancer.
- Practice safe sex: Strains of the human papillomavirus can be transmitted through unprotected intercourse. They are believed to cause various types of cancer. The HBV can also transmit from person to person through unprotected intercourse. It also increases the chances of liver cancer.
- Get immunized: Various viruses are responsible for causing cancer. You can get immunized to prevent cancer. Liver cancers are associated with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Therefore, consult your doctor for required immunization.
These are the small changes that can help you up to a great extent in cancer prevention. Therefore, living a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for us to lead a healthy life.