The Berry Brigade

by Dana Demas

What’s delicious and may help fight cancer, too? Berries.

According to a report by the American Institute for Cancer Research, berries are rich in fiber, vitamin C and ellagic acid. These compounds, which fight cancer and boost health, appear in delicious shades of red, purple, black and blue. In fact, including a rainbow of color in your diet is a great way to reduce cancer risk:

Strawberries: Not just delicious, these berries may be the most effective at slowing the growth of cancer cells – in particular, breast and colon cancer. The antioxidants (called anthocyanins) that give strawberries their ruby-red color also protect against damage to the body’s cells and tissues .

Blueberries: These berries have been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, and contain the same powerhouse anthocyanins as strawberries.

Raspberries and Blackberries:
Eating these berries, which also contain anthocyanins, may help to prevent esophageal cancer.

In the end, all types of berries may protect against a variety of cancers. Most experts recommend eating the whole fruit, rather than juices or supplements.

  • Keep frozen berries on-hand, which are as good (or better) than fresh berries.
  • Have a smoothie – mix up some yogurt, and a couple handfuls of berries.
  • Make shortcake for dessert – try angel food cake, pound cake or whatever you have around, add a little low-fat milk, a dollop of whipped topping and your favorite berries.
  • Put berries in chicken salad, with greens, for a filling, easy lunch.