Hippocrates once said, “let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” Was he possibly referring to the fact that mother nature provides exactly what our body needs in order to cure every disease known to man? These 8 anti-cancer fruits provide more than just cancer protection, but are incredibly vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient-dense, helping ensure that our bodies remain healthy, happy and strong.
Cancer is always a touchy subject, especially if it has taken the lives of those we love. The important thing to note, however, is that there are more cancer deaths than cancer survivors (only 2 out of 3 cancer patients die within 5 years of receiving standard treatment). Clearly there is something wrong here. Traditional cancer treatments are toxic, and leave the body in a state of ill-health (whether than be radiation, chemotherapy or surgery). What many people fail to turn to, however, are alternative cancer treatments, many of which are safe, and can even improve the health of those undergoing conventional means of treatment.
Studies have shown that chemotherapy is only useful in about 1 in 20 cases (aka. a 5% chance of success). Would you put your life in the risk of those slim chances? Why not infuse your body with the proper foods, meditate, change your lifestyle and see how that works? Cancer also begins in the mind – so manifesting your own reality and staying positive once diagnosed, is your best bet in surviving. Following these 12 preventative strategies to prevent cancer is also crucial.
So, let’s get to it! Here are 8 anti-cancer fruits you should be eating every day:
Amongst one of the best fruits for helping fight cancer is the antioxidant-rich blueberry. The specific antioxidant in blueberries called anthocyanin give these berries their notorious blue colour, and also their cancer-fighting properties. Studies have found that anthocyanins and ellagic acid (and urolithins that form from it), help reduce free radical damage to DNA that can lead to cancer. They also encourage apoptosis (cell-death) and decrease the growth of mouth, colon, breast and prostate cancer cells. Not to mention, blueberries also help reduce age-related memory loss, too!
Vitamin C is another cancer-reducing vitamin found abundantly in blueberries. Vitamin C traps free radicals and protects cell DNA, inhibiting tumour formation. Vitamin C also improves the response signal of white blood cells to areas of cancerous growth, and stimulates interferon (glycoproteins released by host cells in response to the presence of tumour cells) production.
I love putting blueberries in my smoothies, or eating them on their own. Make sure you buy organic berries, because they are on the “dirty dozen” list of fruits sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides and herbicides.
Grapes contain a natural compound in their skin called resveratrol (found more abundantly in dark red grapes or black grapes). Studies have found that treatment of colon cancer cells with resveratrol compounds significantly reduced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity, an enzyme that is enhanced in cancer cell growth. The anti-proliferative effects of grapes aren’t only found in colon cancer cells. In fact, grapes help reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, two hormone-sensitive cancers. Proanthocyanidins, chemicals found in grape seeds, have the ability to reduce the body’s production of estrogen, helping inhibit tumours of the breast and prostate.
Grapes are also great for preventing heart disease too, as they help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. Resveratrol is also a great anti-inflammatory, and helps activate liver enzymes, which help rid the body of excess and unwanted chemical compounds.
Again, make sure your grapes are organic. This is one fruit that is rated high on the “dirty dozen” list. Grapes make excellent smoothies, juices, or cooling summer treats when frozen.
We can all be thankful for winter, because that’s when pomegranates are in season. These interesting fruits possess incredible anti-cancer effects, helping to reduce blood supply to tumour cells, starving them, and therefore slowing cancer cell reproduction.
Phytochemicals in pomegranate also help inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (cell death) in colon cancer cells. Polyphenols in the pomegranate especially help suppress inflammatory cell signalling in cancer cells, making them an important fruit for helping reduce the incredible pain often associated with cancer.
If you want to include more pomegranate in your diet, start with this tasty pomegranate ginger juice (one of my favourites!).
4. Goji Berries
These tasty little berries are rich in beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that help fight cancer, as well as protect our retina and other vision-related disorders. They contain a host of vitamins (A, C, E, B1, B2, B6) and minerals (zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, and phosphorous), as well as all 18 amino acids, 8 of which are essential (the ones that the body cannot produce on its own). They also contain beneficial essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. A food this complete is a sure-fire way to help battle cancer and strengthen the immune system.
Goji berries contain a compound called cyperone that has been used to treat patients with cervical cancer. They also contain one very special trace mineral called germanium, an anti-cancer mineral that is rarely found in whole foods. This mineral is effective in treating liver, lung, uterine, cervical and testicular cancers. Goji berries have also been found to arrest the G0/G1 phase of tumour cell growth, meaning that it effectively interrupts the cell cycle of cancer cell growth, and causes the cells to enter a state of dormancy.
I love including soaked organic goji berries in my smoothies, or enjoy them dried as a mid-day snack. I also used to make a very tasty breakfast cereal with sprouted buckwheat, goji berries, banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried coconut and bee pollen. So incredibly tasty!
This funky little fruit often found in Asian markets is one powerful cancer-killer. The soursop has been found to be 10,000x stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than modern techniques used in chemotherapy. The active ingredient in soursop that is most effective against cancer cells is called Annona muicata (or Graviola). This compound currently exists on the market under the name Triamazon, but because of potential profit loss for pharmaceutical companies, product licensing of Triamazon is not accepted in most countries.
After completing a series of 20 laboratory tests, one of America’s largest drug manufacturers found Graviola extracts able to effectively target and induce apoptosis in over 12 cancer cell types, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, and pancreatic cancer. The three compounds tested proved to be 10,000 times stronger at slowing cancer cell growth than Adriamycin (common chemo drug), and that these effects were only specific to cancerous cells, meaning that it left healthy cells alone (opposed to chemotherapy drugs, which target both cancerous and healthy cells).
Graviola is not only an anti-cancer agent, but it is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, helps with disorders of the liver, kidney, thyroid, pancreas, ovary, prostate, intestines, gall bladder and appendix. It also helps raise immune defence in chemotherapy patients as well as HIV (AIDS) patients.
This fruit is not only incredibly tasty, but it helps protect against many cancer cell types. The high levels of xanthones in mangosteen have been found to destroy chemotherapeutic resistant cancer cells, making it an effective agent for those battling the disease.
Some studies have even found that high xanthone dosage (isolated from mangosteen) resulted in significant tumour reduction to the point of complete tumour remission. Two mangosteen xanthones named alpha mangostin and gamma mangostin have also been demonstrated to help induce tumour cell apoptosis, cytotoxicity, and anti-tumorigenicity.
Mangosteen can be found in many Asian grocery stores, and if they don’t have it, just ask them to order some in! The outside shell is hard, but the juicy fruit inside that resembles a mandarin (but tastes like marshmallow) is definitely something you have got to try!
Who doesn’t love avocado? Although we may not consider avocado a fruit, it really is a fruit. A fatty fruit, at that. Avocado is a great source of the master antioxidant glutathione, which helps scavenge and destroy free radicals that normally mutate our DNA and can create cancer cell growths. They are also high in vitamin C, which we saw previously that traps free radicals and protects cell DNA, inhibiting tumour formation.
Carotenoids in avocado, namely beta carotene, alpha carotene and zeaxanthin inhibit the growth of prostate, breast, and oral cancers. In addition, the abundant vitamin E content in avocados has been found to provide dramatic reductions in breast cancer incidence.
Enjoy this fatty fruit on salad to help improve nutrient absorption of the vitamins and minerals in the salad leaves, or make a tasty avocado pudding for dessert.
One of my favourite fruits, the pineapple, just so happens to be a cancer-destroying super-fruit! The enzyme in pineapple, called bromelain, digests protein and exhibits “selective cytotoxicity,” which basically means the ability to shrink or kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It is found in both the stem and fruit of the pineapple. This enzyme is also highly anti-inflammatory and has been proven effective in those suffering extreme pain, like those with arthritis and gout. The anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant effects of bromelain also boost our immunity, which makes our body even more effective at fighting cancer.
Research published in the journal Planta Medica, found that 5-fluorauracil (a chemotherapy drug), was incredibly inferior to bromelain when treating cancer. Those treated with bromelain from pineapple survived 263% TIMES MORE than those treated with 5-fluorauracil, relative to untreated controls. The bromelain caused no extra harm, either, whereas chemotherapy drugs kill off your healthy cells and make more chemo-resistant and malignant cell types within the tumour (aka. the cancer becomes resistant to the chemo drugs).
Try this amazing pineapple-based juice, or simply blend pineapples and oranges for a satisfyingly tasty treat!