A few months ago we gave a long list of 10 cancer fighting vegetables you need to eat every day to reduce your risk of cancer. In our holistic cancer care plan clients start eating these vegetables right away. Well, since lots of people prefer fruit over vegetables, we thought we’d put together a list of cancer-fighting fruits. And it’s very easy to get these 3 cancer-fighting fruits you need to eat every day, as well as veggies, in one cup. If you’re struggling to eat more fruits and vegetables, why not drink them? Get all these natural cancer-fighting foods in a smoothie by signing up for the 5-day cancer-fighting smoothie challenge right here.
Ok, so here are our top 3 cancer-fighting fruits, with science-based facts to back them up…
1. Citrus fruits
Oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit; all cancer-fighting fruits that are pretty easy to eat every day. A recent study found that citrus fruit eaten more than 3 times a week reduces the risk of stomach cancer by 70%. And another study found that, when eaten daily, it reduces the risk of all cancers, including breast cancer, but significantly reduced the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancers.
There are two natural cancer-fighting compounds in citrus fruits that give them their potency:
Flavinoids – these bio-active compounds are what give lots of plants their pigments. There are three flavonoids specifically found in citrus fruits: naringin, hesperidin and PMFs. These flavonoids have been shown in laboratory experiments to have the following effects on cancer cells:
- Stops oxidative stress because of its high antioxidant activity
- Stops inflammation
- Starts the body’s natural detoxification process by kick-starting liver enzymes (phase II enzymes)
- Deactivates cancer-causing chemicals
- Creates cell death (apoptosis)
- Stops new blood vessels from growing around the tumor (known as angiogenesis)
Vitamin C – although other fruits and vegetables have higher amounts of vitamin C than citrus fruits, oranges and grapefruits are known by most people to be good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is a natural cancer-fighting vitamin.
Reference: Cirmi S. Chemopreventive agents and inhibitors of cancer hallmarks: may citrus offer a new perspective? Nutrients. 2016;8:698.
While these cancer-fighting fruits are best when it’s spring and summer, don’t forget that frozen berries are picked a the peak of ripeness and can be added to smoothies in the winter. We just did a recent post on berries and their anticancerpotential. Here’s a recap:
- Berries Reduce Inflammation: inflammation, when at high levels, is thought to raise the risk of not only cancer, but diabetes and high blood pressure
- 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
- Berries Kill Cancer Cells: multiple laboratory studies have shown that blueberries fight cancer by causing them to die, in a process called apoptosis
- 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 kick-starting 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 fed the blueberry supplement (Davidson, et al)
References: 1) Davidson K, et al. Beyond Conventional Medicine – A Look atBlueberry, a Cancer-Fighting Superfruit. Path Oncol Res. 2018;24:733.
2) Seeram N. Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects. J Agricul Food Chem. 2008;56:630
This fall cancer-fighting fruit has a natural cancer-fighting compound called Ellagic acid (abbreviated EA for short). There are many laboratory studies showing the positive effect of EA on various types of cancer cells, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. Pomegranate juice or extract (i.e. powder) can kill or inhibit the growth of these cancer cells.
What about studies in people? Here are a few that have shown promising results:
- The first study in men with prostate cancer receiving chemotherapy [estramustine (Emcyt) and venorelbine (Navelbine)] were given pure EA along with their chemotherapy. It was found that they had fewer side effects from the chemotherapy (decreased myelotoxicity, such as neutropenia, aka low blood counts). They also had a decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a marker used to screen for prostate cancer
- Men given 90 – 450 milliliters (about 3 – 12 ounces) per day of pomegranate juice saw that their PSA levels stabilize. Their levels did not increase as high. This is a good thing as rising PSA levels indicate worse prostate cancer.
References: Ceci C, et al. Experimental evidence of theantitumor, antimetastatic, and antiangiogenic activity of ellagic acid.Nutrients. 2018;10:1756.
What other cancer-fighting foods do you know of? Drop us a line at email@example.com to let us know
Conquer Cancer │Thrive │ Prevent Our mission at Bedside Manners is to be the most empowering,survivorship-promoting Cancer Advocates we can be. With our Atlanta-basedCancer Health Coaches and Scientists, we provide a toolkit filled with strategies to get better healthcare and implement a cancer-fighting diet and lifestyle. If you are overwhelmed by a recent cancer diagnosis sign up here for a complimentary 20 min call and get 2 immediate action steps to help improve your survival odds.