What is your favorite fruit? Perhaps you’re avoiding fruit because of the popular notion that it can disrupt blood sugar levels? In reality, certain fruits actually help balance blood sugar due in part to the high fiber content. Fruits are deeply hydrating, packed with cancer-fighting nutrients, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Fruit is considered a prebiotic, a food that feeds and supports the good bacteria in your gut, improves digestion, relieves constipation, and aides in detoxification while supporting liver function. Increasing the efficiency and health of your microbiome, the heart of your immune system, is paramount for wellness. While there should be a focus on maintaining healthy blood glucose levels and eating a low-glycemic index diet, there’s always room for fruit on your menu regardless of your state of health.
Many fruits have special anti-cancer benefits. Let’s start with berries, particularly blueberries.
Berries are delicious, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, have been linked to improved blood sugar control, and more importantly have been shown to prevent and inhibit cancer in multiple studies. A 2019 study found that blueberry extract was a powerful radiosensitizer and increased the effectiveness of radiation when treating cervical cancer. According to a February 2022 study, blueberry extract demonstrated selective anticancer behavior in C6 glioma (brain) rat cells. Targeting and decreasing viability and proliferation of C6 cells, blueberry extract decreased colony size and reduced oxidative stress.
Another phytochemical found in blueberries (and grapes) is pterostilbine or PTE. PTE is more bioavailable and stays in the body longer than resveratrol. In a March 2021 study, researchers explored the activity of PTE and found extraordinary potential for it to be used as a therapeutic agent against glioma cells. PTE induced an overproduction of ROS (reactive oxygen species) a factor in inducing cell death or apoptosis. PTE reduced tumor volume, inhibited proliferation and increased median survival. In a 2015 study, PTE was shown to sensitize colorectal cancer cells to the common treatment of 5-flurouracil (5-FU). This is particularly positive as 5-FU has demonstrated resistance and toxicity at high doses, especially when ER-β protein is expressed. This demonstrates further support of incorporating phytonutrients, particularly PTE via blueberries into your diet.
Research is continuing to grow in support of fruit in the anti-cancer diet. Despite the sweet and delicious flavor, fruit can help control insulin levels and the high fiber content helps with constipation caused by medications. Supporting hydration and improving microbiome health, fruit definitely has a role in an anti-cancer, anti-inflammation diet. Add a cup (or more!) of berries to your diet every day!
Patrice Surley MH, NC is a holistic healthcare provider with a focus on cancer and auto-immune illnesses, as well as wellness and disease prevention.
This piece was created in collaborative partnership with Alicia Brabazon-Curtin, https://www.aliciacurtincoaching.com