The Source of a Superfood: Pectin

Superfoods are back in the news at the moment. After a brief attack earlier in the year by some nutritionists that suggested that foods should not be labeled as “super”, for fear that some people will believe that they can cure an unhealthy lifestyle, they have rebounded and proved themselves worthy of their title.

The latest research by the Institute of Food Research has shown that a plant fiber, that is common in many fruits and vegetables, is a source of a foods superpower. This fibre is capable warding of cancer, and is found in a plethora of vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, potatoes, plums and spinach.

Whereas most of the previous studies into “superfoods” were population / cohort studies, the new research actually examined the molecular mechanism that takes place in cells after consuming pectin.


As pectin is found in so many different foods, and carries properties to help fight cancer, by inhibiting the cancer causing protein Gal3, it is advisable to eat a wide variety of fruits and fibers, rather than relying on a small selection.

“For a whole combination of different effects it is best to consistently eat a range of fruits, vegetables and high-fibre foods. You don’t necessarily have to eat a superfood.” Professor Vic Morris,

Apples and oranges contain some of the largest amounts of pectin, whereas strawberries and grapes are quite low.

“It is very hard to know just what the effect of superfoods is as the evidence is not really available. But certainly we should not be focusing on these types and ignoring other fruit and vegetables. There are still not enough people getting their five-a-day intake.” British Nutrition Foundation.

Many people still fail to eat the recommended 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day, and of those that do, many eat the same 5 every day. Variety is not only the spice of life, but also the giver of life!

Sauce [sic]: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7663962.stm

Reference: “Pectin Power” Institute of Food Research

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