Nutritious berries contain compounds that help fight cancer By Zoey Sky for Super Foods
Berries are known for their deliciously sweet and tart flavors. Many studies have also shown that these superfruits reign supreme for a reason.
According to two decades of research, berries possess cancer-preventive properties. Their high content of potent antioxidants helps protect cells from damage that can cause cancer.
Additionally, berries have positive effects on genes linked to inflammation, reducing it and helping to prevent the growth and spread of cancer.
Berries have incredible cancer-fighting properties
Dr. Gary Stoner from the Medical College of Wisconsin has studied the many ways berries help prevent cancer for more than 20 years. Data from his research has revealed that a diet of freeze-dried strawberries or black raspberries can help inhibit esophageal cancer by up to 70 percent in rats.
The findings also showed that berries can inhibit colon cancer in animal subjects by as much as 80 percent.
Meanwhile, human patients diagnosed at higher risk for colon cancer had a 36 percent regression of rectal polyps after consuming black raspberry powder for at least nine months. Data also found that consuming black raspberries and blueberries for six months was shown to reduce breast tumor volume in rat subjects by as much as 70 percent.
In another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers reported that aside from black raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and red raspberries also had anti-cancer benefits. The berries helped inhibit cancer growth and stimulate cancer cell apoptosis in vitro.
According to the research team, the stronger the berry extract, the more potent it seemed to be in preventing cancer.
Cancer-fighting compounds in berries
Experts believe that berries can help prevent cancer because they are full of polyphenols, which are potent phytochemicals.
The two most active types include ellagitannins, a source of ellagic acid, and anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give berries their beautiful color. Berries are also full of nutrients like fiber, manganese and vitamin C.
Data suggest that the ellagic acid in many berries may help curb estrogen production, which cuts off the “fuel supply” of the tumor. Ellagic acid has also been shown to help prevent cancer of the bladder, breast, esophagus, lung and skin.
Additionally, berries are full of health-boosting phenols like ferulic acid and quercetin.
When it comes to anticancer benefits, strawberries are the ideal fruit to add to your diet. Strawberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and cancer-fighting polyphenols like quercetin and ellagic acid.
Strawberries also help expel toxins and slow cancer cell growth. Quercetin is important because it induces apoptosis, or the programmed self-destruction of cancer cells.
When buying berries, always make sure to buy organic to avoid products that contain harmful pesticides and toxins. Organic berries have better cancer-fighting abilities than conventionally grown berries because they contain higher concentrations of key phytonutrients.
According to studies, eating at least four to five servings of different kinds of berries each week can help prevent cancer.
Watch the video below to know more about eight nutritious berries that you should add to your diet.