Foods That Fight Cancer?
Berries are good sources of vitamin C and fiber. According to AICR's second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, foods high in vitamin C probably protect against cancer of the esophagus, while foods containing dietary fiber probably decrease colorectal cancer risk.
All berries, but particularly strawberries and raspberries, are rich in ellagic acid. In laboratory studies, this phytochemical has shown the ability to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast. Research suggests that ellagic acid seems to utilize several different cancer-fighting methods at once: it acts as an antioxidant, it helps the body deactivate specific carcinogens and it helps slow the reproduction of cancer cells.
Strawberries also contain a wide range of other phytochemicals, called flavonoids, each of which seems to employ a similar array of anti-cancer strategies.
Blueberries contain a family of phenolic compounds called anthocyanosides, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.
AICR has funded research on berries and the cancer-fighting components they contain. Click each topic to read a summary of AICR-funded research studies.