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Summer's Cancer Fighting Super Fruits

  • 04.16.2015

Cancer Fighting Fruits - Sierra Nevada Cancer Center

Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh, delicious fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. The dark reds, bright oranges and deep purples that line the produce section this time of year are rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals, too, so fill up your basket and fill up your body with these super foods. Eating a variety of fruits can lower risk for oral, esophageal, lung and stomach cancers; and diets high in fiber can help protect against colorectal cancer.

Watermelon

  • Contains vitamins C, A and potassium
  • Rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that research shows may help protect against prostate cancer
  • Watermelon is a great food for weight control (single one-cup serving is just 49 calories) and managing a healthy weight lower the risk for several cancers

Blueberries

  • Excellent source of vitamins C and K and the mineral manganese
  • Antioxidant powerhouse because of phytochemical content
  • Anthocyanins, catechins, quercetin, kaempferol and other flavonoids give these berries their blue color and help decrease free radical damage to DNA that can lead to cancer
  • In cell studies these compounds helped decrease growth and stimulate self-destruction of mouth, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.

Peaches

  • Contain potassium and vitamin C
  • A medium peach has only 58 calories, but packs 2g of fiber, making it ideal for weight control
  • The bright orange color comes from beta-carotene, which may help reduce inflammation, improve immune function, protect DNA and help control cell growth in ways that may reduce cancer risk

Strawberries

  • Good source of fiber, vitamin C and manganese
  • Just over 40 healthy calories a serving 
  • Contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical that has shown the ability to decrease growth and stimulate soft-destruction of mouth, breast, cervical, colon and prostate cancer cells
  • Research suggests that ellagic acid seems to utilize several different cancer-fighting methods at once: it acts as an antioxidant, it helps the body deactivate specific carcinogens and it helps slow the reproduction of cancer cells

Grapes

  • Both red and green grape skins are rich in resveratrol, a phytochemical that has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Laboratory research points to resveratrol's ability to slow the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the formation of tumors in skin, liver, colon, prosate, lung and breast cells
  • Red wine also contains significant amounts of resveratrol, however alcohol consumption has been linked to cancer of the breast, esophagus, mouth, pharynx and larynx.

-Courtesy of American Institute for Cancer Research

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