No single food or food substances can protect you against cancer.
But scientists believe that the right combination of foods in
a predominantly plant-based diet may. Evidence is mounting that
the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods interact
to provide extra cancer protection. This concept is called synergy.
In addition, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are
low-energy-dense, low calorie foods and probably protect against
weight gain. According to the Second Expert Report, experts
believe that weight gain – particularly obesity and overweight
– are implicated in the development of cancer. Eating a predominantly
plant based diet can help prevent weight gain and therefore
protect against those cancers whose risk is convincingly increased
by higher body fat (namely cancers of the colorectum, esophagus,
endometrium, pancreas, kidney, and breast in postmenopausal
women). That is why AICR recommends that at least 2/3 of your
plate should be filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains
Grapes and Grape Juice
Both grapes and grape juice are rich sources of resveratrol
a specific type of natural plant chemical that belongs to a much larger
group of plant chemicals called polyphenols
The skin of the grape contains the most resveratrol, and red and
purple grapes contain significantly more resveratrol than green grapes.
Grape jam and raisins contain much smaller amounts of this phytochemical.
Wine also contains resveratrol. However, with AICR’s second
expert report noting convincing evidence that alcohol is associated
with increased risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx,
esophagus, breast (pre- and postmenopausal) and colon and rectum (in
men), wine is not a recommended source of resveratrol.
Scientists believe that polyphenols in general and resveratrol,
in particular, possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In laboratory studies, resveratrol has been able to prevent
the kind of damage known to trigger the cancer process in cell, tissue
and animal models.
Other laboratory research points to resveratrol’s ability
to slow the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the formation of tumors
in lymph, liver, stomach and breast cells. Resveratrol has also triggered
the death of leukemic and colon cancer tumors.
In one series of studies, resveratrol blocked the development of
skin, breast and leukemia cancers at all three stages of the disease
(initiation, promotion and progression).
AICR has funded research on the following topics relating to grapes
and the cancer-fighting components they contain. Click each topic
to search for relevant AICR-funded research studies performed to date.
the full list of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.