According to the National Cancer Institute,around 38.4% of the population will have cancer at one point during their life. This is based on data gathered from 2013 to2015. Among the most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Although what you eat cannot completely prevent or treat cancer, there are cancer-fighting foods that can lower your risk of developing cancer and help your body recuperate from it. Here are the best fruits for cancer patients based on research studies:
1. Apple: Apple’s aside from being best for hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, apples can also help fight cancer cells. This is because they are rich in cancer-inhibiting compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Polyphenols also help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cure an infection, and reduce inflammation. Other studies have also found them to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Phloretin is a polyphenol that inhibits GLUT2 or glucose transporter 2, which is a protein that induces cell growth in certain kinds of cancer. In 2018, a study published by the Journal Of Food and Drug Analysis found that the phloretin found in apples can inhibit cancer cell growth in breast cancer without harming normal cells.
2. Blueberries: Blueberries are fruits indigenous to North America. They were used by Native Americans for medicine. Nowadays, they are known for possessing potent phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which give them their dark blue hue. In 2013, the US National Library of Medicine Published a study that investigated the effects of blueberry on inflammation-induced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The results showed that mice who were administered with 5% whole blueberry powder had significantly lesser ulcers, smaller tumors,and less metastasis than mice who were given a high-fat diet. There was also an increase in anti-inflammatorycytokines, which shows that blueberries can prevent metastasis and tumor growth in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
3. Blackberries: Blackberries Much like blueberries, blackberries are rich in anthocyanins, other phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals to help boost the immune system and fight free radicals, thereby reducing cell damage. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine also found that anti-cancer compounds found in blackberries reduced biomarkers found in colon cancer.
4. Strawberries: Strawberries Another berry for fighting colon cancer, strawberries are shown in recent studies to slow down cancer cell growth. They are also rich in vitamin C, folic acid,antioxidants, and ellagic acid. Strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges, and it only takes a cup of strawberries to fulfill your recommended daily intake. In lab tests, ellagic acid is found to have cancer-inhibiting effects. It induces enzymes that destroy compounds that cause cancer and slows down tumor growth. It also seems to reduce the risk of skin,bladder, esophageal, lung, and breast cancers. Strawberries also contain flavonoids thathinder a DNA-damaging enzyme that is associated with lung cancer.
5. Raspberries: Raspberries Another berry that deserves a spot on your diet is raspberries. Like strawberries, they are rich in cancer fighting ellagic acid. Their red colour comes from their flavonoid content, which is another anti-cancer compound. Ellagic acid is currently being studied for its benefits against breast cancer.
6. Grapefruit: Grapefruit is another nutritious fruit that’s an excellent source of vitamins, minerals,and antioxidants. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, Provitamin A, and lycopene. Lycopene is a natural pigment that possesses anti-cancer properties. Animal and in vitro studies show that aside from being having anti-cancer and antioxidant benefits, lycopene also protects against damages caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. A study published in 2016 involving 24 adults showed that drinking 500 ml of citrus fruit juices that included grapefruit juice can increase the flow of blood to the brain, which can help alleviate chemo fog that commonly occurs after cancer treatment. Since grapefruit might interact with medications,it’s best to consult your primary care physician before making it a regular part of your diet.
7. Oranges: This citrus fruit is an excellent source of immune system-boosting vitamin C. One medium-size orange is enough to meet your daily vitamin C requirement. It supplies other nutrients too, like thiamine,potassium, and folate. Vitamin C helps boost the immune system during cancer treatment and afterward. This is especially helpful in treatments that weaken one’s immune system. In a recent study published by the US National Library of Medicine, a combination treatment of conventional cancer therapy and high-dose vitamin C showed positive results against breast cancer. Several other research studies have also found vitamin C to have therapeutic effects against other types of cancer.
8. Bananas: Bananas are rich in important nutrients, such as manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. They also contain pectin, a kind of fiber that can help alleviate diarrhea experienced by patients during cancer treatments. The potassium content of bananas can also help restore lost electrolytes due to vomiting or diarrhea, which are commonly experienced by cancer patients. Test-tube studies have also found that pectin can prevent cancer cell growth and development in colon cancer. However, more evidence is needed to show that it has the same effects on human cancer cells.