As we start the October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, nutritionists recommend some foods that help to reduce risks of cancer.
Cancer is a chronic disease which occurs when abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through blood. The common ones include breast, colon, esophageal, prostate and stomach cancers.

Some environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, some metals, and high-oxygen atmospheres, according to Wilson Kirabira, a nutritionist, may stimulate the body’s cells to produce more free radical cells which can be hazardous to the body.

As a result, the nutritionist says, these damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins, and cell membranes leading to cancer development. “Antioxidant chemicals are known to interact with and neutralise free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage. These are found in vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms. Fruits such as apples, avocado, chili pepper, soursop (ekitaferi). Herbs and spices such as garlic, rosemary, and seeds and nuts,” Kirabira says.
Similarly, Jamiru Mpiima, a nutritionist at Family Nutritionist Uganda, adds that generally all fruits fight cancer as they are good for detoxicating the body and hence reducing cancer risks.

Mpiima, however, points out all berries such as strawberries as good. Soursop, cannabis and tomatoes are also recommended. For the case of tomatoes, Mpiima says they are good for prostate cancer. “But this does not mean that one is not susceptible to cancer. It only reduces the risks of getting cancer,” Mpiima says.

Soursop
This is a small, upright, green tree that can grow to about four metres tall with dark green prickly fruits. Their taste is often related to a combination of pineapple and strawberry and it also has an underlying creamy flavour, similar to a banana or coconut.

Cannabis
This is a flowering herb that usually comes in form of dried flower buds also known as Marijuana. However, because it contains chemicals which produce mental and physical effects when consumed, it has since been declared illegal in most countries.

Apples
Apples are very popular fruits which contain a list of antioxidants as well as essential nutrients required for good health. They come in different shapes and their outer peel appears in different colours depending on the cultivar type. Inside, the fruit is white to cream in colour and tests with a mixture of mild sweet and sour flavour. Its seeds are usually bitter which makes them inedible.

Avocado
Avocados are fruits which mature on the tree, but ripen off the tree. They have a green-skinned fleshy body which is sometimes pear-shaped, egg-shaped and round. They are usually soft when they ripen after harvesting. As plants, avocado trees are somewhat self-pollinating.

Carrots
Carrots are bright orange fruits which are grown from seed and can take up to four months to mature, but they are also used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spice rice.

lnamagembe@ug.nationmedia.com