If there was ever two things that you would want a natural substance to do on your Breast Healing journey, it would be to:
1.) Increase the number cancer-destroying Natural Killer (NK) cells in the body and
2.) Slow or stop the growth of Breast Cancer Stem Cells (BCSC).
Many foods provides this one-two punch that can keep you cancer-free– and blueberries are one of them.
Say that again? Do you mean those yummy bursts of fruity flavor that may even be growing wild in the backyard as we speak?
You got it! Blueberries are not only a favorite fruit and low in natural sugars when compared to other fruits; they are also super healers as well.
5 Ways Blueberries Help Prevent and Heal Breast Cancer
- Blueberries increase levels of Natural Killer (NK) cells. A study done in 2014 by Appalachian State University in North Carolina, U.S.A, instructed men and women age 18-50 to eat daily amounts of blueberries. After just six weeks, researchers found that, among other things, all had increased levels of Natural Killer (NK) cells. NK cells are a vital part of the immune system. They are white blood cells whose job it is to hunt out “foreign invaders” such as potential tumor cells and pathogens like viruses and harmful bacteria. NK cells in a healthy body will “destroy” any abnormal cells before they turn into actual cancer cells.
- Blueberries slow breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) growth. Researchers at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine found that resveratrol found in blueberries and other dark fruits as well as in dark chocolate, can inhibit the growth of breast cancer stem cells in ER+ and ER- Breast Cancer cell lines by preventing fatty acid synthase. According to the study authors: “…resveratrol significantly reduced the cell viability and mammosphere formation followed by inducing apoptosis in cancer stem-like cells.”
Another telling study conducted in 2013 found that conventional radiation treatment of liver cancer cells resulted in increased cancer stem cells and increased invasiveness. But when researchers added pterostilbene, a molecular component extracted from blueberries, to the mix, this substance actually reversed the malignant trend caused by the radiation!
- Blueberries can cause apoptosis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer cells. More than one study has proven that resveratrol found in blueberries has the ability to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in many forms of aggressive cancers. One impressive study found that it did the same for Triple Negative Breast Cancer in both in vitro and live studies by interrupting cancer cell signaling.
- Blueberries are a vital antioxidant for cancer prevention. Of course, blueberries are also super-antioxidants which help prevent cancer by stopping free radical damage. In particular, blueberries contain anthocyanins, which also give them their rich color.
- Blueberries help your immune system. One of the most important ways of being proactive with prevention on your Healthy Breast journey is to keep your immune system functioning at its best. A handful of blueberries contains a healthy dose of vitamins K and C as well as manganese, fiber and copper. In addition, a 2013 study at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found that a both resveratrol and pterostilbene (mentioned earlier) work in synergy with vitamin D to enhance the expression of CAMP (cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide) genes, which are directly involved in proper immune system function.
I recommend adding blueberries to your protocol, especially when they are in season! In particular, if you can find them, wild blueberries carry a powerful anti-cancer punch. They are smaller than the store-bought variety, which means they have less water content and more antioxidant value as well as flavor. Of course, always be sure to buy ORGANIC when it comes to store-bought blueberries, whether they are fresh, frozen or dried. Although they didn’t make it to the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list for 2016, they came in a close second at #14, which means the commercial (non-organic) variety will still carry a high pesticide load. Also, consider growing your own berries! You don’t have to live in a cold or wet climate to enjoy home-grown blueberries. There are many varieties that can grow in hot, arid climates as well.
If you want to try a super concentrated form of the blueberry extract pterostilbene, you can find it here.
Can it get any better? Not only are blueberries proven cancer healers, but they are also super tasty! Here are some of my favorite blueberry recipes I have posted on this blog through the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
- Blueberry Chia Pudding
- Raw Grain-Free Blueberry Granola
- Summer Berry Crumble
- Blueberry Flax Bread
- Blueberry Blast Smoothie
Learn more about other foods that naturally kill cancer cells in the Survive & Thrive online program featuring some of the top healers and doctors in the world!