There are many reasons to eat fruits and vegetables, and their powerful antioxidants that may help reduce your risk for many cancers is just one of them.
It’s a pretty big deal though, and researchers now think what we eat could be the most promising ammunition against cancer. This is why you and your family should try to eat about 2 cups of fruit, 2½ cups of vegetables and plenty of whole grains every day.
A predominantly plant-based diet will get you off to a great start. Make sure you include some of these powerhouses in your family’s meals every day.
As we continue Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September, consider trying new kinds of tea and experimenting with ginger as they’ve been shown to have additional powers against ovarian cancer.
- Tea: Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that may protect against colon, skin and stomach cancer. Black tea may help protect you, too. Tea also contains flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant effects. One flavonoid in particular, kaempferol, has shown protective effects against ovarian cancer. One study suggested that consuming 10 to 12 milligrams daily of kaempferol, the amount found in four cups of tea, offers protection against ovarian cancer.
- Ginger: Long used to relieve nausea, ginger may soon be used to fight cancer too. Researchers have discovered ginger’s ability to kill cancer cells in two ways – apoptosis and autophagy. This is particularly promising for fighting ovarian cancer since many women develop resistance to conventional chemotherapy drugs.
- Blueberries: These small fruits are blue thanks to anthocyanins, the antioxidant that gives blueberries, cherries, plums, red and purple grapes and red cabbage their color and helps neutralize cancer-causing substances and may help prevent gastrointestinal cancers.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, turnip greens, cauliflower, chard, kale and brussels sprouts include substances that cause enzymes to be released into your system that help break down cancer-causing chemicals. They may also slow early tumor growth.
- Orange foods: Beta-carotene is the pigment that gives pumpkins, carrots, acorn and winter squash, apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes and sweet potatoes their bright color. An antioxidant in beta-carotene may help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
- Tomatoes: Lycopene makes tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit red and may help prevent bladder, breast, cervical, digestive tract, lung, prostate and skin cancers. Cooked tomatoes (in a little oil) provide more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
- Whole grains: Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bran cereal and other whole grains may help stop cancer from starting and slow tumor growth.
- Vitamin D: This fat-soluble vitamin helps absorb calcium to build strong teeth and bones may also protect against cancer. Vitamin D is commonly known to be found in milk, but eggs and seafood like cod, shrimp and Chinook salmon are also good sources. And don’t forget sunshine. Spend about 10 minutes outside and you can soak up your daily allowance.
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