Fruits, vegetables and nuts

Home Treatments Lifestyle Symptoms Cancers



In terms of cancer, fruit, vegetables and nuts contain most of the anticancer essentials:-

One concern however with non-organic foods is the amount of potential contaminants on the surface of fruit and vegetables. There are over 350 permitted pesticides and fertilisers allowed in western farming but researches have estimated that over 70,000 other chemicals have been detected in our food chain and most of these have not formally been tested for health risks. These pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers and industrial pollution are in our water because of rain erosion runoff from landfills and agricultural lands. They are in our food supply–in plants animals, fish and grains. Some of these may well have direct carcinogenic affects, of relevance to breast cancer, as some of the contaminants also have a chemical structure similar to oestrogen and can cause abnormal hormonal activity by disrupting the normal hormone pathway. These toxic estrogens mimics are called xenoestrogens and are presently found in large quantities in the environment with sources including pesticides, herbicides, car pollution, polychlorinated biphenyls PCB’s. There are worries that xenoestrogen are not contributing to the increased risks of hormone related cancers such as breast, testis ovary and uterus but are affecting the male sperm count and other infertility problems. Switching to a healthier diet, with more fruit, salad and vegetables is clearly healthy but  paradoxically may mean higher exposure to these chemicals unless they are organic. Other than this it is worth:

How much should be eaten? The DoH have issues guidelines on the amount of fruit and vegetables which should be eaten. They say all adults should aim to eat an average of 5 portions a day. Examples of portion sizes include:-

medium sized fruit, orange or banana    1 fruit
very large fruit e.g. melon, pineapple 1 large slice
small fruits e.g. plums, kiwis, satsumas 2 fruit
raspberries, strawberries, grapes 1 cupful
fresh fruit salad, stewed or canned fruit 2-3 tablespoonfuls
dried fruit eg prunes, apricots ½-1 tablespoonful
freshly squeezed fruit juice, smooties 1 glass (150mls)
vegetables, raw, cooked or frozen 2 tablespoonfuls
salad 1 dessert bowlful
mixed nuts (dried) 1 cupful
goji berries one eggcupful



Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

Home | Cancer management | Cancer treatments - Chemotherapy ¦ Radiotherapy ¦ Hormones ¦ Biologicals | Complementary | Lifestyle - Exercise ¦ Diet ¦ Smoking ¦ Sun | Tests for cancer | Books | Videos | Travel | Insurance | Symptoms | Side effects | Clinical trials | Glossary | Support groups & links | About cancer | About us | Disclaimer