By Madeline Elkin-Aquino, Health Educator and Outreach Specialist at Little Red Door Cancer Agency, AmeriCorp Public Ally
Most people have heard of superfoods, which usually refers to eating specific fruits and vegetables that do wonders for your body and health. But what about a food so super that it can kill cancer?! Recent studies have shown that certain fruits and vegetable extracts may be able to enhance current cancer treatment therapies.
Grapes and colon cancer
Grapes are not only delicious, but also nutritious. A recent study has found that a combination of resveratrol—a polyphenol compund with antioxidants properties found in grapes, red wine, peanuts and some berries—and grape seed extract decreases colon cancer cells in mice. So researchers are concluding that grape bioactives may be able to be used to prevent and/or treat colon cancer.
Blueberries and cervical cancer
Blueberries are a superfood because they have antioxidants which provide a host of health benefits. Eating blueberries is great for you. And now researchers are finding that using blueberry extract may enhance radiation therapy for cervical cancer. They found a combination of blueberry extract along with radiation therapy reduced the number of cervical cancer cells by 70% compared to just 20% with radiation alone. They also found that not only does the extract kill the cancer cells, but it also inhibits the existing cancer cells from birthing new cancer cells. In other words, the extract is found to keep cancer from growing, and to kill it.
Tomatoes and stomach/gastric cancer
Tomatoes are the apples of the vegetable world; eat one a day and it should keep the doctor away. Many studies have already found anti-cancer properties in this super-veggie. And now, a new study shows that whole tomato extract can treat and prevent stomach cancer. This study found that San Marzano and Corbarino tomatoes stopped the growth and migration of gastric cancer leading to cancer cell death. Therefore, this vegetable may be able to support current cancer treatment therapies.
There are always great new studies that may one day change the face of cancer treatment. Until then, Little Red Door is here to support cancer patients with education as well as programs. We offer both nutrition education classes as well as healthy recipes online all of which can aid in you or a loved one’s cancer journey.