MSNBC reports the phytochemicals in berries help slow the growth of cancer tumors. That's probably not news to regular readers of Dr. Fuhrman's writing, but it's great to see the word spreading. Reporter Karen Collins contends berries are great, but eating a variety of produce everyday is key:
Research does show that berries are among the fruits highest in antioxidant content and that they are excellent sources of several phytochemicals that seem to help block cancer development. However, other fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients and phytochemicals with unique health benefits. The best advice, then, is to eat berries often for their great taste and health boost, but stay focused on the main goal of eating a wide variety of produce every day.
Here's some of the berry advantages mentioned in Collins's report:
Strawberries are known as excellent sources of vitamin C, providing as much or more than a whole day's recommended amount in just one cup. But all berries are good sources of vitamin C, with one cup of raspberries or blackberries giving you close to half of amounts currently recommended for a whole day for adults. One of the ways vitamin C protects our health is its function as an antioxidant. Antioxidants attract and neutralize highly reactive molecules called free radicals that could otherwise damage body cells in ways that initiate cancer development, heart disease and age-related eye damage. Yet laboratory studies show that much of the antioxidant power of fruits and vegetables comes not from the classic antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, but from natural protective compounds called phytochemicals.