The 4 anti-cancer summer fruits and vegetables

The summer period and the abundance of fruits and vegetables offer a wide possibility of having fun at the table and taking care of your health at the same time. some fruits and vegetables have active molecules in them that help prevent and fight cancer. Here is a small selection for summer tables.

Peaches and nectarines help prevent breast cancer

Peach, like its close botanical relatives in the Rosaceae family (plum, pear, apple), contains significant amounts of chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids, two polyphenols that contribute to the properties anti-cancer properties of these foods. For example, peach extracts containing chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids are able to specifically block the growth of breast cancer cells, while they have no effect on normal, non-cancerous cells. In preclinical models, this inhibitory effect results in a significant reduction in tumor growth and the formation of metastases, and this, at amounts of polyphenols that can easily be reached through the diet (two peaches). These observations are consistent with recent studies that show that regular consumption of peaches and nectarines is associated with a significant reduction (40%) in certain types of breast cancer. In the current state of knowledge, there is therefore no doubt that peaches and nectarines represent very interesting additions to the diet of anyone who wishes to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Citrus fruits: a zest of good health

Especially known for their high vitamin C content , citrus fruits also contain several phytochemicals (polyphenols and monoterpenes) that may help prevent cancer. Laboratory studies suggest that these molecules are active against several types of cancer cells and epidemiological data indicate that regular consumption of citrus fruits is associated with a reduced risk of stomach and esophageal cancers.

Citrus fruits also indirectly influence the risk of cancer, by modulating the enzymatic systems involved in the elimination of foreign substances from the body.

Citrus fruits are very often consumed in the form of juice and it should be kept in mind that these drinks are very sweet, and the absence of fiber leads to a very rapid absorption of the glucose and fructose they contain. Rediscovering the pleasure associated with eating a whole orange or grapefruit is therefore a good way to take advantage of the benefits of these exceptional fruits, while avoiding too sudden variations in blood sugar that can contribute to overweight.

tomatoes: lycopene prevents certain cancers: prostate, breast and lung

Carotenoids are natural pigments responsible for colorations ranging from orange-yellow to purple-red of a large number of fruits and vegetables. Although there are more 600 distinct carotenoids, beta-carotene (carrots), lutein (spinach) as well as lycopene (tomatoes) represent alone close to 80% of carotenoid intake and these molecules have been the most studied so far. Lycopene from tomato is the carotenoid with the best established anticancer action.

Regular consumption of tomato products is associated with an epidemiological reduction of approximately 25 % of the risk of prostate cancer, a protection

which can even reach 53% for advanced forms of this disease. This anticancer effect of lycopene is mainly observed in men 65 years and older who have no family history of prostate cancer. The other dietary carotenoids are however not to be outdone, a high intake of alpha and bet-carotene as well as lutein being associated with a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer and lung cancer.

This anti-cancer action is not restricted to “earthly” fruits and vegetables, as laboratory studies indicate that fucoxanthin from algae is one of the carotenoids with the strongest anti-cancer activity, an action that could contribute to longevity exception of Okinawans who consume these foods on a daily basis. The consumption of whole fruits and vegetables is essential to take advantage of the benefits of carotenoids.

Garlic: fight against cancers of the digestive system

Garlic is possibly the oldest example of a plant used as much for its nutritional properties as its positive impacts on health.

Considered by the Egyptians and Greeks as a food that gave strength and endurance (the first Olympians were stuffed with garlic before competitions, making it the first substance to improve athletic performance in history!), Garlic was also an essential ingredient in the traditional medicines of the first civilizations, being used since ancient times as a remedy for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from infections to problems with circulation, breathing or digestion. Several population studies indicate that people who regularly eat vegetables from the garlic family (garlic, onion, shallot, chives, leek) are less at risk of developing certain types of cancer, particularly those of the digestive system (stomach, esophagus, colon). A protective effect against cancers of the prostate, pancreas and breast has also been reported. Garlic and its close relatives are therefore essential plants for the prevention of cancer, which should be eaten as regularly as possible. The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume 2 to 5 g of fresh garlic daily (about one clove).

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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