Scientists: More fruit at a young age to prevent cancer later?

Scientists: More fruit at a young age to prevent cancer later?

Fruit in particular can protect women from developing breast cancer
Fruit and vegetables should be the main ingredient of any healthy diet. If people eat a healthy diet, they protect against many diseases. This also includes cancer prevention. Researchers have now found that consuming fruit at a young age can protect us from later cancers. Young girls who eat a lot of fruit are significantly less likely to get breast cancer later in life.

Are fruits and vegetables part of your daily diet? If not, you may want to change your diet to protect your health. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have now found in an investigation that people who eat lots of fruit at a young age are better protected from cancer later in life. The scientists published the results of their study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Flavonoids contained in fruits protect our body
Many studies have already documented the lower risk of various cancers in people who eat more fresh products. In addition, these people avoid excessive consumption of red and processed meat, the researchers explain. Most of these studies have so far been designed for adults. Cancer usually begins much earlier in life. Researchers are now investigating the effects of diet during puberty and whether it significantly affects the risk of cancer. Another study has already found that teenagers who eat almost three servings of fruit a day are 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer compared to adolescents who eat only half a serving of fruit a day, the experts explain.

There were some specific fruits that appeared to offer the greatest protection against breast cancer. The consumption of apples, bananas and grapes has been linked to a greater reduction in risk, experts say. People who eat cabbage and oranges frequently in adulthood are also at reduced risk of breast cancer, explains Maryam Farvid of Massachusetts General Hospital. Apples, bananas and grapes contain fiber, which could contribute to a lower risk of cancer. These fruits are also rich in so-called flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and fight cell damage, explains Farvid. Oranges contain a lot of vitamin C, which is also one of the antioxidants.

Chronic illnesses usually appear late, but prevention begins early
This study highlights the importance of what specifically young girls eat. Adolescent nutrition can have a major impact on future health, says Farvid. Schools should recognize the need and spend more fruit and vegetables on the food on offer. According to the researchers, it has not been possible to determine exactly why the consumption of fruit reduces the risk of human breast cancer. But the current study wasn't designed to do that either, the scientists explain. The results, however, underline the importance of healthy eating at a young age. Many of the chronic diseases occur late in life, but the systems for this are set up in the first years of life, the scientists explain. It is important to eat whole fruits, not just to consume fruit juice. Farvid adds that there was no significant relationship between the consumption of fruit juice and the likelihood of breast cancer.

Conclusion of the study:
Taken together, the results show how important nutrition can be for the individual risk of breast cancer, the researchers say. A simple change in diet can be a relatively easy way to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. However, people should start at a young age, the experts add. (as)

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