Did you realise that almost half of the molecules used in anti-cancer drugs are derived from natural products? It’s no wonder then that up 40% of all cancers are considered preventable by dietary and lifestyle modification. In an effort to help identify foods which could have the greatest cancer beating potential, one research group have looked at the number of “cancer beating molecules” present in a number of foods. They’ve characterised these molecules in foods according to their similarity to the molecules present in anti-cancer drugs. While there’s no one food that can prevent or fight cancer, foods that were found to contain the highest number of “cancer beating molecules” were tea (Camelia sinensis), carrot (Daucus carota), grape (Vitus vinifera), dill (Anethum gravolens) and wild celery (Apium gravolens). Of carbohydrate-containing foods, fruits stood out near the top of the list as a food group that is rich in cancer-beating components. This month’s Shopping Guide lists the 5 fruits found to contain the highest number of cancer beating molecules (in order, below).
Kaye Foster-Powell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has worked with people with diabetes for 30 years. She was co-author of the original series of international, best-selling books on the glycemic index. She conducts a specialized private practice for people with diabetes in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.