Incorporating dried plums into your diet might reduce your risk of developing colon cancer, researchers speculate. The theory, which was supported in a recent animal study, is based on the idea that dried plums have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria.
Using a rat model, researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina found dried plums to “promote the retention of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon.”
This, in turn, could very well reduce colon cancer risk.
“Dried plums contain phenolic compounds, which have multiple effects on our health, including their ability to serve as antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that can damage our DNA,” Dr. Nancy Turner, study author and professor in the nutrition and food science department of Texas A&M University, said in a press release.
In the statement, she added that trillions of bacteria exist in the intestinal tract. If disrupted, they’re believed to trigger intestinal inflammation that could eventually support the development of cancer.
For the study, researchers closely examined the effects of consuming dried plums. What they found was that the fruit’s antioxidants counteracted dangerous changes brought on by cancerous cells.
What’s more is that the super-fruit was also found to dial down early signs of precancerous lesions called aberrant crypts. The discovery could offer some insights into the protective benefits of dried plums.
According to Prevention, making positive and conscious food choices can stave off many types of cancers. This includes buying organic, eating plenty of fruits, veggies and fish, getting enough fiber, drinking green tea, and more.