Cancer is a group of diseases with the potential to grow and spread throughout your body. Approximately 14 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide and about 8 million deaths worldwide are a direct cause of cancer. Cancer can occur in almost any part of the body, but the most common forms of cancer include breast, prostate and lung cancer.
Many cancers can be prevented by taking simple measures such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and not drinking too much alcohol.
But did you know that there are actually some foods you can eat that can also help prevent cancer?
It is important to include 2 to 3 servings of fruit in your daily diet, so check out this list of the best fruits that can help prevent cancer to include in your day:
Research has shown that these delightfully tart little morsels actually have protective effects against cancer. The phytochemicals in cranberries, including flavonoids like anthocyanins and flavonols, help to contribute to their protective properties.
Other studies have even shown that cranberries can actually help destroy cancer cells by activating what is known as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Cranberries have been found to inhibit the growth of and kill many different types of cancer cells including oral, breast, colon, ovarian and prostate.
Like cranberries, strawberries also have protective effects to help prevent cancer. While also encouraging programmed cancer cell death, the antioxidants found in strawberries – specifically anthocyanin – have been found in research to actually stop cancer cells from growing any further. The research saw this growth-stopping effect on oral, colon and prostate cancer cells.
Strawberries were also found to have anticarcinogenic properties. Carcinogens are any substances that directly cause cancer such as asbestos and tobacco smoke. Cancer is created through mutated cells and research has shown that strawberries can actually stop these mutations, hence, preventing cancer.
Apples are also rich in antioxidants. So much so in fact that scientists have discovered that 100g of apple (about a small apple) has the same antioxidant activity equivalent of 1,500mg of vitamin C. They’ve also found that eating whole apples can inhibit the growth of colon and liver cancer cells.
The procyanidins in apples, apple juice and apple extracts have also been found to be cancer-preventative as they help combat cell mutation, flush out carcinogens, stop cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death. They have been shown to prevent skin, breast and colon cancer and scientists say that eating one apple or more per day can greatly lower your chances of getting lung and colon cancer.
Grapefruits, both pink and white, are rich in properties than can give cancer the boot. The flavonoid naringin, found in grapefruits, was found to have a significant effect in preventing lung cancer.
The naringin along with other flavonoids such as hesperetin, baicalein, galangin, genistein and quercetin were also found to have a positive effect on preventing breast cancer development. The same naringin along with another flavonoid known as limonin have also been found to prevent colon cancers.
NOTE: Remember, if you are taking any medications, check with your doctor first to make sure grapefruits will not interfere with your meds. For example, grapefruit actually makes your high-blood-pressure medication stronger, which could lead to dangerously low blood pressure levels where you could faint and hurt yourself.
Scientists have tested the protective effects of bananas against colon cancer and there is great news! Bananas are actually the absolutely strongest and best fruit to eat to help prevent cancer of the colon.
Research has also shown that women who eat bananas four to six times a week cut their chances of getting kidney cancer by 50%. Polysaccharides extracted from the peel were found to be protective against breast cancer cells as they help to encourage apoptosis.
6. Red Grapes
We’ve all heard that grapes are good for your heart because of the wonder chemical resveratrol, but did you know that red grapes can also help prevent cancer?
Cancer has three stages and scientists have discovered that the resveratrol in red grapes can actually help stop all three stages in their tracks. Resveratrol acts as an anti inflammatory and antimutagen and helps to release enzymes that can stop cancer at the initiation phase.
Resveratrol has been found to prevent skin, breast and leukemia cancer cells. It has also been found to help stop colon cancer cells from growing and spreading and to be especially beneficial for tobacco-related cancers.
Limonene is a property of lemons that works wonders in the cancer prevention department. The limonene in lemons has chemotherapeutic effects against pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer cells. The phenolic compounds found in lemons help to reduce the risk of cancer and the antioxidants were found to stop liver cancer cells from growing and spreading.
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