Cancer-fighting foods | & nbsp Image source: & nbspiStock Images
the main points
- Food must be given its sanctity. Food can make or break our health.
- Cancer has become a major cause for concern as fast-paced lifestyles have left little or no time for people to focus on what they should eat.
- Researchers are looking for fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods to help prevent and treat a variety of cancers.
The modern era of cancer treatment is constantly evolving, with new breakthroughs and discoveries changing the course of care all the time. Researchers are working hard, trying to come up with modern cancer treatments.
But there is no denying that the C word is a huge shock to anyone and their loved ones. What does no one do to ensure that this disease is not infected at all? With the disease a major cause of death worldwide, scientists are looking for ways to find out why it developed, how it spreads, and what could prevent it from taking root in the first place?
The attention of clinicians and researchers is now focused on food. Is there something in the food that causes or promotes it? Even better, are there any foods one can consume regularly to keep cancer away?
Bioactive compounds found in vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods have received great attention for their potential anti-cancer properties.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), there is no single plant or plant that is likely a magic bullet for preventing cancer. But the good news is that you can eat some foods that show anti-cancer potential. And of course, instead of eating only one type of food, it is better to eat a variety of foods, colors, and foods that are rich in nutrients. Research shows that a diet full of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps reduce the risk of many types of cancer. In laboratory studies, several minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals have shown anti-cancer effects,” Dr. Naveed Saleh, MD, MSc AICR quotes in piece for MDLinx.
According to research conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, dark sweet cherry phenols (Prunus avium) enriched in anthocyanins show enhanced activity against more aggressive breast cancer subtypes without toxicity to normal breast cells. MDLinx states that the anti-cancer effects of foods may be particularly relevant in preventing pancreatic cancer — otherwise called the silent killer. Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive and fatal disease that kills nearly half of those diagnosed with it within 6 months. Due to its asymptomatic nature in the initial stages, early diagnosis and treatment are challenging. Cherries and sour cherries, as well as berries and apples, are rich in polyphenols. According to the authors of the review published in Antioxidants, “A large number of polyphenols have been shown to have potent antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and proapoptotic effects on cell cultures of different human cancers.” (https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/6/547/htm) But the flip side of the findings is also that polyphenols are not well absorbed in the human digestive system and are rapidly metabolized and excreted. Therefore, future research could focus on a form of the drug that would allow for better absorption and bioavailability of the polyphenols. The authors concluded that the application of nanoparticles is one approach to improving the bioavailability of polyphenols. Research also indicates that cherries not only have anti-cancer properties, but also contain anti-aging elements.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), blueberries contain several phytochemicals and nutrients that show potential anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies. Several studies have found that eating blueberries increases the activity of antioxidants in the blood and also shows the potential to prevent DNA damage. Oxidative stress from prolonged exposure to UV rays plays a role in the development of skin cancer. Antioxidants derived from natural products including blueberries (https://www.mdlinx.com/article/you-d-never-guess-these-things-can-fight-cancer/lfc-2910) have been researched for their roles. preventive measures in the development of this disease, reports MDLinx. According to a review published in Cell.com, “These biological responses suggest that a chemopreventive option against skin cancer could be including these substances in the daily diet.” Besides fighting cancer, blueberries are among some of the fruits believed to be beneficial in reducing age-related cognitive decline.
The MDLinx report says that the bioactive compound bergamottin is found in the pulp of grapefruit and citrus pomelo. This type of furanocoumarin is a widely known inhibitor of cytochrome P450. “Recent studies have demonstrated the powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties of grapefruit furanocoumarin both in vitro and in vivo,” according to the authors of the review published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. The authors specifically cited in vitro research indicating anticancer effects of bergamot in relation to glioma, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, liver cancer, as well as skin and lung cancer. But the Mayo Clinic cautions that you shouldn’t self-medicate or start a grapefruit treatment if you’re already taking any type of medication. Grapefruit and some other citrus fruits, such as Seville oranges, can interfere with several types of prescription medications. Problems arise because the chemicals in the fruit can interfere with enzymes that break down (metabolize) the drug in the digestive system.
Harvard doctors call it the jewel among the fruit. The Cleveland Clinic quoted nutritionist Julia Zumpano, who says that pomegranate is a fruit full of healing elements and immune-boosting properties. Pomegranate contains antioxidants that help protect cells from environmental toxins such as pollution and cigarette smoke, and prevent and repair DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Zompano adds that pomegranate juice alone won’t prevent cancer, but studies suggest it may be a nutritious addition to a healthy vegetarian diet like the Mediterranean diet. The Harvard Report notes that studies suggest that pomegranate juice may help lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. The authors of a systematic review published in Molecules Note that the polyphenols from pomegranate exhibit strong anti-cancer activity.
The cruciferous vegetable is named for its four-petaled flowers that resemble a cross or “cross,” and are hardy and cancer-resistant. According to a study published by the Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago – “The results clearly indicate a positive relationship between cancer prevention for several target organs and consumption of cruciferous vegetables or their active ingredients. However, we are still far from fully understanding the effects of combinations of substances The chemically protective phytochemicals present in these cruciferous vegetables and their overall mechanisms (mechanisms of action) in providing the protective effects.” Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are all forms of cruciferous vegetables and are rich in a class of phytochemicals referred to as isothiocyanates. UNC Lineberger (UNC University School of Medicine) says cruciferous vegetables are known for their many health benefits, including their anti-cancer properties. Broccoli is the most popular cruciferous vegetable, although there are many others. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and dark leafy greens like cabbage and collard greens are also cruciferous. Nearly all are excellent sources of vitamins C and K, folate (a B vitamin), potassium, fiber, and magnesium. Despite the cold weather, you can still have vegetables in season. He attributes the cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables to compounds called glucosinolates, which are found in all cruciferous vegetables — which, when ingested, degrade into isothiocyanates and indoles, which are associated with reduced inflammation, reducing the risk of cancer. The National Cancer Institute (USA) claims that in vitro studies show that they:
- They help in inactivating carcinogens.
- Helps protect cells from DNA damage.
- It has antiviral and antibacterial effects.
- It has anti-inflammatory effects.
- They induce cell death (programmed cell death).
- They prevent the formation of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis) and the migration of tumor cells (necessary for metastasis).
Disclaimer: The advice and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.