It’s summer and stone fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines are in season and ripe for the picking. I always recommend to my patients, and my readers, that they eat more fruit, as they are full of healthy antioxidants,vitamins and fiber content. Now, I’d like to share with you two more important reasons you should eat stone fruits. Let’s start with the first one. . .
Stone Fruits Kill Breast Cells in Lab Tests
I like to keep up on the latest natural ways to treat disease so that I can pass this information on to my patients and readers. Recently, research out of Texas’ AgriLife Research Lab crossed my desk that both delighted and amazed me. The findings indicated that very aggressive types of breast cancer cells couldn’t survive when treated with extracts from peaches and plums. Just as amazing, the extracts did not harm healthy cells! This means that these stone fruit extracts were preferential in killing cancer cells only – something that most traditional chemotherapy can’t do.
What AgriLife’s research further showed was that it was the phenols in stone fruits that killed the cancer cells. Phenols are not only what gives fruit their color, smell, and taste but apparently their cancer fighting power as well. The active stone fruits phenolic compounds include anthocyanins, quercetin, chlorogenic acids and catechins. Two types of one of these phenolic compounds – chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acid – are the cancer cell killers and are most abundant in plums and peaches.
What this means for you is that, with stone fruit extracts, toxic chemotherapy could become a thing of the past. It seems promising that soon we could have a perfectly natural and healthy way to treat breast cancer successfully.
Now for the second part of this exciting new research on stone fruits…
Stone Fruits Help Prevent Diabetes
AgriLife’s research also showed that these same phenolic compounds in stone fruits could also help prevent obesity-related (type II) diabetes. This type of diabetes, often called “diabesity”, is prevalent throughout the United States today with about 30% of the population affected. As I frequently tell my patients, obesity has always been a risk factor for developing diabetes. With obesity, a condition called metabolic syndrome frequently develops, which is when the body does not use insulin properly and blood sugar levels start to run too high. If left unchecked, this condition can eventually progress to type II diabetes.
Interestingly, the phenolic compounds in peaches, nectarines, plums effectively change different types of cells that help prevent diabesity from developing. First, they reduce the size of fat cells; second, they help macrophages (scavenge and remove dead cells) do their job more efficiently; and third, they help strengthen the cells that make up vascular linings helping blood flow.
They also help reduce the oxidation of LDL, “bad” cholesterol that can lead to dangerous arterial plaque buildup. By performing these tasks, these compounds help reduce inflammation and cardiovascular disease. These are two problematic health complications frequently associated with metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes.
With the findings from this significant new research, I hope you will include more stone fruits in your diet – at least 2-3 servings a day – to help ward off disease. You should also know that obesity is a risk factor in developing both breast cancer and type II diabetes. Maintaining a normal, healthy weight can go a long way in helping you to prevent these two serious diseases.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.