When it comes to cancer-fighting fruit we all should eat, berries are at the top of the list, with science-based evidence to back this up. Those of us in the United States are can easily find these berries any time of the year:
- red raspberries
However, globally, people are known to eat chokeberries, lingonberries, black currants and bilberries in addition to the above berries.
These fruits are packed with natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid, phenols such as flavonols (anthocyanidins) and ellagitannins, and carotenes (alpha, beta, and lutein). While you may not be able to pronounce all these words, just know that these compounds are good for you.
Berry The Amazing Superfruit
We all love berries because of their taste, but our bodies need them to help maintain good form and function. And here are some of the reasons why you want to start eating them every day:
1) Berries have Antioxidants
There are compounds in berries called phenols, which act as antioxidants. This helps protect the DNA in our cells from damage caused by everyday living. By reducing oxidative stress, it is thought that it may help keep cancer at bay
2) Berries Detox the Body
The same phenols mentioned above also initiate detoxification of cancer causing chemicals from the body (i.e. phenols induce phase II enzymes to start this process)
3) Berries Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation, when at high levels, is thought to raise the risk of not only cancer, but diabetes and high blood pressure
4) Berries Boost the Immune System
The natural chemicals in berries are thought to increase the levels of natural killer (NK) cells in the body. These NK cells are part of our body’s immune system, which helps keep diseases like cancer at bay
5) Berries Kill Cancer Cells
Multiple laboratory studies have shown that blueberries fight cancer by causing them to die, in a process called apoptosis
6) Berries May Shrink Tumors
Laboratory studies in mice suggest that berries can stop the proliferation of breast cancer tumors. Laboratory mice were split into two groups: Group 1 were fed a high-fat Western diet and group 2 were fed a high-fat western diet with 5% blueberry supplements to it. Guess which group had smaller breast cancer tumors and less spreading (ie. Metastasis) at the end of the study? The group that was fed the blueberry supplement (Davidson, et al)
To your best health!
Deanine Grace, PhD
- Davidson K, et al. Beyond Conventional Medicine – A Look at Blueberry, a Cancer-Fighting Superfruit. Path Oncol Res. 2018;24:733.
- Seeram N. Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects. J Agricul Food Chem. 2008;56:630
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