Of course, there is no such thing as an anti-cancer diet, we are constantly told that. Interestingly, however, more and more studies are being published showing that this and that food can protect against cancer.
Prunes belong in the anti-cancer diet
It has long been known how important a healthy intestine and healthy intestinal flora are for health and the immune system. However, it is not always know which foods have a particularly positive effect on the digestive organs. Fermented foods (sauerkraut, bread drink, combi flora) are undoubtedly one of them. Also foods high in soluble fiber and foods high in chlorophyll.
Prunes protect the intestines and intestinal flora
Scientists from Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina have now (September 2015) discovered that prunes (dried plums) are also one of these foods that can have an extremely beneficial effect on the intestinal flora. According to the researchers, prunes promote the health of those intestinal bacteria, which in turn protect the intestines and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. In 2015 alone, 49,700 colorectal cancer deaths are expected in the United States. In Europe, the situation is quite similar.
Control of the intestinal flora: important therapeutic component in diseases
Many scientific studies have already shown that personal nutrition has a significant influence on both metabolism and the composition of the intestinal flora, says Dr. Nancy Turner, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Texas A&M University, explains why gut microbiota management is increasingly being used to prevent and treat disease.
Disturbance of the intestinal flora promotes cancer
Many billions of bacteria colonize our digestive system – from the oral cavity to the rectum – and more than 400 individual strains of bacteria have already been identified. Disorders of the intestinal flora (dysbacteria) are known to lead to inflammatory processes in the intestinal mucosa. However, recurring or even permanent inflammatory processes promote the development of cancerous changes.
Prunes protect against cancer
‘Our investigations clearly demonstrated the anti-carcinogenic properties of prunes,’ explains Professor Turner. “Prunes contain phenolic compounds that have a variety of effects on our health. Their antioxidant potential is particularly noteworthy. In this way, they neutralize free radicals that would otherwise damage the cells’ DNA and thus promote their conversion into cancer cells.”
In addition, it has been shown that prunes lead to a higher number of beneficial intestinal bacteria in the entire intestine and thus reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Prunes promote healthy gut bacteria
Compared to the subjects who did not receive prune, the intestinal flora of the prune consumers showed higher numbers of Bacteroidetes (beneficial bacteria) and reduced amounts of the so-called Firmicutes (rather unfavorable bacteria that can also contribute to obesity).
It was also shown that the intestinal mucosa of the prune group was much healthier. The group that did not eat prunes, on the other hand, already had abnormal changes in the intestinal mucosa. These changes are considered the first noticeable precursors to colorectal cancer, the research group explained.
Eat prunes regularly!
Professor Turner concluded her remarks by saying that prunes can obviously protect against colon cancer and that with this information one would have a simple method of preventing colon cancer: simply eat prunes regularly!
Incidentally, prunes also provide fiber (they consist of 10 percent fiber), lots of iron, vitamin B1, and beta-carotene.