That’s what recent research is telling us.
How about this thought – Cancer may be prevented, halted, and even reversed by the powerful natural medicines Mother Nature has put in our foods. And, apples and berries are like nutritional “secret service agents” that help shield you against cancer.
Eat an apple a day, the whole apple.
An apple a day may help keep breast cancer away. Research done at Cornell U found that fresh apple extracts called phenolics reduce the size and number of mammary tumors in rats. This study concluded that the type of tumor that kills most breast-cancer patients was reduced by more than 70% in rats fed high doses of apple extracts. Not only did the treated animals have fewer tumors, the ones that did have smaller tumors and they grew more slowly.
The bulk of an apple’s benefit lies in its skin. In a recent lab experiment, more than a dozen chemicals in the peels of Red Delicious apples inhibited the growth of breast, liver, and colon cancer cells. Investigator Rui Hai Liu, MD, PhD, an associate professor of food science at Cornell University, suspects that the peels of other apple varieties are also extra potent. Buy organic if you’re concerned about exposure to pesticides.
Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries are bursting with ellagic acid.
Ellagic acid detoxifies carcinogens, says a cancer researcher at OSU in Columbus OH. It also stimulates the activity of enzymes that fight cancer growth. This double-pronged approach makes this compound one of Mother Nature’s most powerful weapons for blocking cancer – if it tries to invade your body.
There’s more good news.
Ellagic acid is just one of a host of cancer fighters in berries. These tasty little packets of super nutrition also contain flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acid, and lignans that help keep you cancer-free through a variety of mechanisms. They contain a large number of polyphenols which inhibit tumor growth. Two polyphenols found in berries, anhthycyanidins and proanthocyanidins, promote cancer cell death.
For example, a U of Georgia lab study found that phenolic compounds in blueberries limit cancer cells’ ability to multiply. Researchers at Louisiana State U found that another berry compound called gallic acid helps starve the growth of cancer cells.
Why are berries so effective?
Plants have developed defenses against cancers that could attach them. When you eat your veggies and fruits, you gain the same mighty protection against cancer and a host of other diseases.
Best of all, unlike man-made cancer fighting agents, these compounds are abundant in many of your favorite foods, in just the right amounts you need. They are 100% good for you with 0% side effects.
What if fresh berries are out of season?
Many health food stores and some grocery stores carry dried berries. While we don’t know if dried are as effective as fresh, it won’t hurt to try them.
How to Eat Them: At breakfast, mix fruit with soy milk and multigrain cereals. (The best cereal options combine oats, bran, flaxseed, rye, barley, spelt, and so on.) Frozen berries are just as potent as fresh.
Oranges, tangerines, lemons, and grapefruit contain anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids that stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens by the liver. Certain flavonoids in the skin of tangerines–tangeritin and nobiletin–can also help promote the death of brain cancer cells.
How eat them: Sprinkle grated citrus zest (from organic fruits) into salad dressings or breakfast cereals, or steep in tea or hot water. Eat whole fruits out of hand, toss with other fruits in a salad, or use in a salsa to season grilled fish.
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