3 Ways Fruits and Vegetables are Cancer-Fighting Foods
FAST-FACTS FROM THIS ARTICLE: fruits and vegetables help you: 1) boost your immune system, 2) eliminate toxic blood, 3) lower inflammation, and 3) #detoxyourbody. (read more…)
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The perfect combination of sweetness and tartness of kiwi. The decadence of chocolate. These foods not only taste great but have a powerful engine behind them, antioxidants. Antioxidants are cancer-fighting chemicals only found in plants. They are also known as phytochemicals (phyto = plant), or plant chemicals. These antioxidants have been linked to cancer prevention, heart disease prevention and diabetes prevention. You can only find them in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans. They exist to help plants fight off predators (e.g. insects), protect the plant from UV sunlight (yes, they are an inherent sunscreen for plants), and pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses).
Below is a listing of some of the most researched phytochemcials:
- n-3 Fatty Acids (omega 3 fatty acids)
- Terpenes (mono-, di-, tetra-, etc.)
There are many classes of phytochemicals. Every class of phytochemical has bioactive compounds that are important for health. For instance, in the flavonoid class there are three bioactive compounds that are frequently studied (along with the foods where you can find them):
- Apigenin (celery, parsley)
- Catechin (kiwi, tea, cocoa)
- Coumestrol (alfalfa, soybean, Brussel sprouts, spinach)
3 Ways Plants Improve Health
The three ways fruits and vegetables are cancer-fighting foods are listed below:
- Lowering Inflammation
- Reducing Endotoxemia – this is caused by a leaky gut, which allow LPS (lipopolysaccharides) from certain bacteria (gram-negative bacteria), to enter the bloodstream causing inflammation
- Reversing Oxidation
The last one (#3) is important. Oxidation is like rust accumulation that occurs in your body (think about a bike that’s been sitting outside and rusting due to exposure to sun and rain) that occurs in the cells, tissues and organs. Oxidation occurs all the time (when you breath oxidation occurs). High levels of oxidation and inflammation are linked to increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. You can reverse the effects of oxidation by eating a diet with lots of antixoxidants. You can lower the “rust” in your body, and prevent disease, by eating fruits and vegetables.
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Thompson MD, Thompson HJ. “Botanical Diversity in Vegetable and Fruit Intake: Potential Health Benefits. Pg. 3 – 17. Watson RR, Preedy VR. Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health: Fruits and Vegetables. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Thompson HJ. “Vegetable and Fruit Intake and the Development of Cancer: A Brief Review and Analysis.” Pg. 19 – 36). Editors: Watson RR, Preedy VR In: Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health: Fruits and Vegetables. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 2010
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