Nutraceuticals can be defined as foods, food ingredients or health supplements that demonstrate specific bodily or medical benefits including the prevention and treatment of disease beyond basic nutritional functions. They can include nuts, fruits, seeds or products infused with herbal items.
Evidence is growing about the many ways in which eating dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes can improve your health. These foods have earlier been associated with healthier hearts and a lower risk of diabetes, but now studies show they may also largely reduce the risk of getting cancer!
Nuts are described as “nutritionally precious,” which may explain some of the mechanisms by which nut components induce cancer cell death and inhibit cancer growth. Eating large amounts of peanuts, walnuts, almonds can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a 2015 study. Another study examined the possible link between ovarian cancer and foods high in phytoestrogens and/or fiber, including nuts, beans, and soy. They found that these foods seemed to help prevent “borderline ovarian cancer”—slow-growing tumors that are less dangerous and more likely to affect younger women.
Extracts from dried fruits such as currants and raisins have shown potential to stop cancer cells from growing – even killing them off – and to suppress inflammation. A small study gave freeze-dried black raspberries to patients with oral cancer and showed that it decreased levels of certain markers associated with cancer progression, and based on these findings, including a serving or two of berries in your diet each day may help inhibit the development of cancer.
Allyl-Sulfur compounds derived from garlic have significant anti-proliferating activity against human cancers. Diallyl-sulfide and diallyl disulfide, -also compounds found in onion and garlic- induce apoptosis (the inhibition of uncontrolled division of cancer cells) in lung, prostate, breast cancer cells. Many cancer chemotherapeutics drugs are derived from plants including alkaloids of Vinca species.
In addition, Nutraceuticals may also be helpful in reducing toxicity associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy which thus leads to better living conditions by reducing cancer cachexia – which is the weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness.
Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.