Antioxidants have long been lauded for their role in breast cancer prevention because of the neutralizing effect they have on free radicals, cancer-causing molecules found in the body. Pomegranates are rich in Vitamin C, one of several types of antioxidants that include lycopene, Vitamins E and A, and beta-carotene, among other substances.
But antioxidants aren’t the only things that make pomegranates a cancer-fighting powerhouse, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research. Ellagitannins, a group of phytochemicals found in abundance in pomegranates, helps inhibit estrogen production in the body. While not all forms of breast cancer are estrogen-responsive breast cancer, for those that are, ellagitannins and foods that contain them might make a difference. Researchers were careful to state, however, that results are preliminary and it is too early to tell whether humans or animals are capable of ingesting the levels necessary to increase ellagitannin levels in the bloodstream.
In addition to antioxidants and ellagitannins, pomegranates are also a good source of dietary fiber. A 2011 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found breast cancer risk was reduced 7% for every 10 grams of fiber consumed per day. Pomegranates contain 4g per 3.5 oz. serving.
Pomegranates will soon be in season, starting in September until February, so eat up! Check out these wonderful pomegranate recipes we found on our favorite recipe site, Epicurious.com. This exotic fall fruit can not only improve your health and reduce your risk of breast cancer, but it’s delicious, too!