Cancer research carried out during the last five years has shown that several fruits and vegetables are exceptional sources of phytochemicals, molecules that possess the capacity to interfere with various processes associated with the development of cancer. In fact, daily intake of a mixture of fruits, vegetables and drinks such as green tea, and red wine provides about 1 to 2 g of these phytochemicals, corresponding to the ingestion of thousand different compounds.
These molecules belong to well−defined chemical families, such as polyphenols, flavonoids,−isoflavones, and catechins), sulfur−containing compounds (isothiocyanates, diallyl sulfides) and terpenes (carotenoids, monoterpenes). These molecules possess a number of therapeutic properties that are analogous to those of synthetic drugs, but unlike most synthetic molecules whose inherent toxicity limits their usage as preventive medicine, the anticancer molecules present naturally in foods were selected by evolution as being beneficial for health and are therefore lacking secondary, harmful effects. It is therefore possible to use these molecules on a daily basis to prevent the development of cancer.
The inclusion of foods that are rich sources of anticancer molecules in the daily diet is crucial because most of us are constantly at risks of developing cancer. In fact, most individuals have, hidden in their tissues, pre−cancerous transformed cells that only require a favorable environment in order to grow and invade other tissues.
Functional food in your diet is a preventive weapon, therefore constitutes an essential approach to maintain these tumors in a latent state and prevent their progression to cancer. This approach can be considered as a form of chemotherapy, which uses the arsenal of anticancer molecules present in food in order to fight the cancerous cells that spontaneously develop in our bodies. Prevention of cancer by diet therefore constitutes a supplementary tool that everybody can use to benefit the organism with anticancer agents of nutritional origin.
The regular consumption of fruits and vegetables corresponds to a preventive chemotherapy that counteracts the development of cancer at several levels: 1.Cytotoxic against prolification, 2 Anti−angiogenic properties, 3 Cell immortality, 4 Inhibition of
If dietary habits contain a high amount of inappropriate foods or lack protective foods, such as fruits and vegetables, the latent tumors will be in an environment more favorable for their growth and are more likely to evolve into a cancer. On the other hand, if the diet is rich in protective foods and contains a nominal amount of cancer−triggering foods, the micro−tumors are not able to grow sufficiently and the risk of developing a cancer is reduced.