Strawberries may prevent breast cancer
06/03/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Strawberries may prevent breast cancer

Loaded with vitamin C and potent antioxidants, strawberries may play a valuable role in reducing your risk of cancer. In fact, a recent study shows that strawberry extract can stop breast cancer cells from spreading.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that strawberry extract reduced the expression of genes involved in cancer cell invasion and metastasis. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed, travel through the blood or lymph system and form new tumors in other parts of your body.

In addition, the strawberry extract reduced the weight and volume of breast cancer tumors. Overall, the study provides compelling evidence that strawberries can protect against breast cancer.

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Strawberries for breast cancer

In the study, Spanish and Italian researchers analyzed the effects of strawberry extract on both laboratory-grown breast cancer cells (in vitro) and female mice with breast cancer (in vivo).

For the in vitro model, they used cells from the aggressive and invasive A17 tumor cell line. They treated these cells with different concentrations of strawberry extract for 24, 48 and 72 hours. The results showed that strawberry extract blocked the cycle leading to cell division. The extract also blocked cell migration, keeping the tumor cells from spreading.

The strawberry extract also reduced the expression of genes involved in invasion and metastasis, such as colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) and melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM).

For the in vivo model, the researchers fed one group of female mice a standard diet and fed a second group an enriched diet, 15 percent of which was strawberry extract. They injected all mice with A17 breast cancer cells a month later.

When they extracted and studied the tumors in the mice, they found that tumors in mice fed the enriched diet weighed less than tumors in mice fed the standard diet. Additionally, the strawberry extract also stopped breast cancer cells from moving to adjacent healthy tissue.

The researchers suspect that the phenolic compounds in strawberries are responsible for the fruit’s protective effects against breast cancer. That said, the concentration of these compounds can vary greatly between varieties of strawberry.

Overall, the results highlight the cancer-fighting potential of strawberries. More studies on humans are required to determine whether humans will experience the same positive effects as the mice.

Breast cancer diet: Best foods to eat

Past studies have shown that eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of cancer. In other words, it’s not just strawberries you ought to consider eating more of.

The following foods may also help prevent the development or progression of breast cancer:

  • Leafy green vegetables – Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, arugula and spinach, are full of potent antioxidants called carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are best known for their anti-inflammatory properties. High blood levels of carotenoids have been linked to reduced breast cancer risk.
  • Citrus fruits – Tangy, juicy citrus fruits are rich in compounds that may lower your breast cancer risk, such as folate, vitamin C and carotenoids. These nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Citrus fruits include orange, grapefruits, lemons, limes and tangerines, to name a few.
  • Fatty fish – Salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. There’s been a lot of studies on the potential link between inflammation and breast cancer, so you may want to consider eating more anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Berries – Other berries, like blueberries and raspberries, are also rich in the same antioxidants present in strawberries. As such, they may also confer protective effects against breast cancer.
  • Fermented foods – Yogurt, miso and kimchi contain beneficial microorganisms called probiotics. Some studies suggest that probiotics’ protective effects against breast cancer are linked to their immune-boosting effects.
  • Garlic and onion – Pungent alliums like garlic and onion contain compounds with powerful anti-cancer properties, such as vitamin C, flavonoids and organosulfur compounds.
  • Fruits – Fruits, especially apples, peaches and pears, have been shown to protect against breast cancer. In one study, women who ate at least two servings of peaches per week had a 41 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Meanwhile, another study linked apple and pear intake to a lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage contain glucosinolates, which your body converts into molecules called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have significant anti-cancer potential.
  • Beans – Beans are full of fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet may help slash your calorie intake and help you maintain a healthy weight, which is vital to reducing your risk of cancer.
  • Herbs and spices – Elevate the flavor of your dishes with herbs and spices. Parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric and ginger contain antioxidants that have demonstrated anti-cancer effects. For instance, turmeric has curcumin, oregano has carvacrol and parsley has apigenin.

Strawberries show great potential against breast cancer. Other nutrient-rich foods, such as legumes, fatty fish, citrus fruits and leafy greens, may also help lower your risk of developing breast cancer and other serious health problems. For better protection against breast cancer, add more cancer-fighting foods to your diet.

Sources:

AgenciaSINC.es

Nature.com

Healthline.com

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