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Got Cancer? Fight Back With Jam and Jelly!

Pepper JellyFinally, Some Really Good Food News!

The New Scotsman reported yesterday on some exciting research into cancer and food. Researchers at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich announced that pectin, an essential ingredient in most jams and jellies, is a powerful cancer fighter.

In particular, it produces fragments that attach to galectin-3, a protein that influences all stages of cancer growth.

The team, led by Dr. Vic Morris, showed the right conditions for pectin to do its magic. Interfering with galectin-3 is thought to slow growth and spread of cancers of all types. Research last year also found that pectin could slow the growth of prostate cancer. (I’ve tangled with that one; don’t go there!)

The only problem noted is, most jams and jellies have high sugar content. There are a large number of low-sugar and sugar-free jams, jellies and preserves out there, though, so this shouldn’t be a major constraint to getting your daily pectin.

Don’t like jam or jelly? Then eat these fruits and vegetables: Apples, citrus (the peels, though), blackcurrants, plums, carrots and potatoes. Dr. Morris didn’t test pectin from these directly, but he said he thought its cancer-fighting power would still shine through.

Or, you can add the nutrition boost of chiles by eating pepper jelly! I recently gave pointers on how to make that tasty stuff.

No word on exactly how much pectin is required to fight cancer the best. So why take chances? Eat jam and jelly every chance you get! And always carry a twelve-pack of jelly-filled donuts in your car, just in case you feel an outbreak coming on…

Enjoy the (Cancer-Fighting) Heat!

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