Pink has become a symbol of strength and hope for many breast cancer patients, which is why many companies take advantage of this color during breast cancer awareness month. However, many food products wrapped up in pretty pink packaging are bad for the people they're supposed to be advocating for. To avoid being fooled by these health scams, go for naturally-occurring organic pink foods.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are great additions to a person's diet because of the many nutrients that they contain. Each of their own nutritional profiles cater to specific purposes such as cancer prevention. To make it easier to remember which foods are great against breast cancer, here are some fruits and vegetables that are naturally found in different shades of pink.
Red cabbage -- Like other cruciferous vegetables, red cabbage contains indole-3-carbinol, which has shown great potential in reducing the incidence of breast cancer. It also has another cancer-fighting agent called sulforaphane. This sulfur-containing compound, which gives red cabbage its slightly bitter taste, inhibits histone deacetylase, an enzyme involved in cancer cell proliferation. Moreover, red cabbage is rich in anthocyanins that give it its unique color and contributes to its antioxidant properties.
Pomegranates -- Pomegranates inhibit an enzyme called aromatase that converts androgen to estrogen, effectively reducing the risk of hormone-driven breast cancer. Previous studies have also shown that pomegranates are effective against cancer stem cells, which differentiate into cancer cells. Conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy aren't always effective against these types of cells, allowing them to form more invasive and treatment-resistant tumors.
Radishes -- Another cruciferous vegetable with anticancer potential are the radishes, which contain large amounts of fiber, potassium, folate, and glucosinolates. The last compound is broken down into indole and isothiocyanates that prevent cells from becoming cancerous. Radishes are also rich in antioxidants that effectively prevent breast cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
Carrots -- Carrots are not always orange. They also have red and purple varieties that are rich in beta-carotene, a compound that is known for its antioxidant properties. Moreover, non-orange carrot varieties also contain the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent anthocyanin. These compounds effectively prevent damage against cells, proteins, and DNA, which can contribute to cancer development.
Apples -- The red peels of apples are due to the presence of cancer-fighting anthocyanins, similar to those found in red cabbage. Additionally, apples contain a flavonol called quercetin that has been shown to prevent breast cancer growth in an in vitro study.
Beets -- Extracts from the beetroot prevent the growth of tumors not just in the breast but in other organs as well. This anticancer effect is attributed to the presence of betanin, which is also responsible for the unique color of beets. Moreover, it also reduces the toxicity and increases the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments like doxorubicin. (Related: Beets can fight cancer, reduce blood pressure and more.)
Sweet potatoes -- Large amounts of beta-carotene are found in the orange flesh of sweet potatoes. This compound reduces the risk of breast cancer by up to 25 percent when eaten regularly. Moreover, extracts from sweet potatoes also reduce existing breast cancer tumors and prevent new ones from forming by repairing cell damage and regulating cell proliferation.
Grapes -- Red grapes are rich in antioxidants that significantly reduce cancer risk. Some studies suggest that this anticancer effect of grapes can also be acquired from red wine. However, one has to be careful since alcohol can also boost cancer risk.
For more articles about foods that reduce cancer risk, visit Anticancer.news.