Our defense against cancer is built of simple choices we make at every meal. Salad, carrot juice, whole-grain roll, fruit crisp are the life-affirming choices that seem so simple on their own but that can cut your risk of cancer over the days, months, and years. In this article you’ll learn why antioxidants in vegetables and fruits, fiber in whole grains and other foods, and other cancer-fighters, from herbs to soy, are such strong allies for health.
Plant foods are packed with protective compounds that guard our lungs from carcinogens in the air. For women, they protect breast tissue against the onslaught of too much estrogen. For men, they defend the prostate against hormones and harmful dietary components. The National Cancer Institute has recognized dozens of foods as having specific anticancer properties, and the list is growing constantly. Let’s take a closer look at how they perform their everyday miracles.
Veggies, Fruits, and Natural Antioxidants If the word “vegetables” doesn’t conjure up in your mind sensations of color, fragrance, delicious flavor, and bountiful health, it’s time to update your attitudes about these amazing foods. Forget the piece of overcooked broccoli you were reluctant to eat at age four.
Turn your attention to spinach burritos, salsa, tomato soup, or an autumn vegetable stew. When you have a savory soup and salad for lunch, and build your dinner around veggies, you consume a host of protective vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. More than any other group of foods, vegetables have proven their worth as cancer fighters.
This is a great time to make the acquaintance of some new members of this colorful family of plant foods, and see what friends they can be in supporting your health.
Fruits are nature’s sweetest protection. The benefits of fruits against cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, colon, and other sites have been clearly shown. Like vegetables, they hold an abundance of antioxidants, a wealth of other anticancer compounds, and fiber. The cancer-fighting power of vegetables and fruits comes in large part from their ability to knock out free radicals-unstable molecules that can spark the onset of cancer. Let’s take a moment to understand how they work.