Nutrition Corner: What do pomegranates and raspberries have in common?

Pomegranates and raspberries both contain ellagic acid, which is one of the many cancer fighting properties that these foods possess.

In the journal Toxins, 2016, studies show that some of the most powerful phytochemicals that contain chemopreventive and anticancer activities are ellagic acid, which is generated by the hydrolysis of the ellagitannins.

“Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that the pomegranate fruit as well as its juice, extract, and oil exert anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-tumorigenic properties by modulating multiple signaling pathways, which suggest its use as a promising chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent towards skin, breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers,” according to the journal, Molecules, 2017.

Researchers from the City of Hope “identified six chemicals in the pomegranate that suppress aromatase — a substance in the body that helps produce estrogen. About 70 percent of breast cancers need estrogen to grow, so pomegranate is a prime candidate as a breast-cancer-blocking superfood. Other scientists have detected two substances in the fruit with the potential to fight both colon cancer and diabetes.”

Raspberries come in colors of black, golden, red, and purple. Studies from 2016, investigated the black raspberry in a clinical setting and report “positive effects on preneoplastic lesions or cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, and colon. Common themes across studies support that black raspberries are anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, reduce oxidative stress and restore tumor suppressive activity.”

And according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, current evidence supports that the powerful antioxidants that berries contain which hinders cell damage that precedes cancer, can also influence “genes that are associated with inflammation and cell damage.”

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that “40% of cancer cases are linked to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, being overweight, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake, occupational hazards, and exposure to the sun and sunbeds.”

In the book, Live Long, Live Strong: An Integrative Approach to Cancer Care and Prevention, attention on how lifestyle changes, including diet, can help reduce the risk of cancer is discussed. Current medical research is revealing to us just how powerful food can be in cancer care and prevention. Please speak to your practitioner at the Tao of Wellness for more information.