Cancer is a major health problem worldwide as this deadly disease affects millions of people every year. In the US alone, over one million Americans can develop cancer yearly. Although cancer cells have abnormal behaviors, studies suggest that up to 40% of cancer types can be prevented by means of healthy lifestyle and diet. While there are some foods that are heavily studied for their anti-cancer properties, some don’t get enough spotlight, including these fruits:
Watermelons are a popular summer fruit, but this thirst-quencher also has health benefits that can contribute to fighting cancer. This delectable fruit can stop inflammation, which is the leading cause of diseases, including diabetes, arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, and cancer. Watermelons are effective against inflammation because of the antioxidants they contain such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
These antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and lycopene, have been widely studied for their cancer-preventing abilities.
This fruit serves as an aromatase inhibitor with its six chemicals. Aromatase is an enzyme that is associated with breast cancer. The six compounds that pomegranate has have the potential to stop breast cancers caused by estrogen. Even more good news is that pomegranate juice is good for people with diabetes because it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels.
This small fruit has a white flesh and is extremely popular in Asian countries. A group of scientists claimed that a unique antioxidant in mangosteen known as alpha-mangostin can kill leukemia cancer cells, which therefore effectively cures the disease. Of course, more research is necessary, but this fruit has proven anti-inflammatory effects, along with its antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Rambutan is an exotic fruit found in Southeast Asia. It looks like lychees, but looks like it has the spikes of a hedgehog. Although this is generally an unknown fruit, especially in western countries, rambutan has many health benefits, including its ability to prevent cancer. It has abundant antioxidant components that can get rid of free radicals, which can cause oxidative damage to our cells. According to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the seeds and the skin of the fruit can help protect our bodies against the deadly disease.
A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry stated that the extract of the peach fruit caused really aggressive cancer cells of mice to die. The peach extract also stopped the tumors from growing and inhibited the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
While there are healthy foods to consume to avoid cancer, such as the fruits above, there are also foods to avoid, including farm-raised red meats, refined oils, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.