Tomato

Image via Wikipedia

It is said that no one food can reduce your risk of cancer, but the right combination of foods may help make a difference.  You have the ability, by growing your own fruits and vegetables, to create perhaps the most potent tool in the fight against cancer.  The following highlights “what and why” you should have in your home “Cancer Victory Garden”.  You will not only be rewarded by the produce grown, but you may also reap the benefit of a cancer-free existence as you make vegetables and fruits a part of your daily life.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in cancer-fighting nutrients and the more color, the more nutrients they contain.  These foods can lower your risk in another way, also, when they help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.  Extra pounds will increase the risk of multiple cancers, including colon, esophagus and kidney cancers.  You should try to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day (one serving = ½ cup)…prepared in a healthy way.

Folate is an important B vitamin that may help protect against cancers of the colon, rectum and breast.  To get folate try growing melons (honey dew, musk, cantaloupe), strawberries and asparagus.  Other folate rich foods you can grow are leafy green vegetables like spinach and romaine lettuce and beans and sunflowers (use the seeds).

Tomatoes are another cancer-fighting agent.  Whether it’s the lycophene – the pigment that gives tomatoes their red color – or something else isn’t clear.  But some studies have linked eating tomatoes to reduced risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer.

Dried beans are especially good for you.  Therefore, it should not be a surprise they may fight cancer too.  They contain several potent phytochemicals that may protect the body’s cells against damage that can lead to cancer.  In the lab these substances slowed tumor growth and prevented tumors from releasing substances that damage nearby cells.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale.  Components in these vegetables may help your body defend against cancers such as colon, breast, lung and cervix.

Dark green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, lettuce, kale, chicory, spinach and chard have an abundance of fiber, folate and carotenoids.  These nutrients may help protect against cancer of the mouth, larynx, pancreas, lung, skin and stomach.

The potent antioxidants in blueberries may have wide value in supporting the fight against cancer too.  Antioxidants fight cancer by ridding the body of free radicals before they can do damage to cells.  The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  Other antioxidant vegetables and fruits are (by category):

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Green Peppers
  • Kale
  • Turnip/Collard Greens
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

 Vitamin C

  • Berries (all types)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Honeydew
  • Kale
  • Red, Green or Yellow Peppers
  • Snow Peas
  • Sweet Potato
  • Strawberries
  • Tomato

 Vitamin E

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Mustard/Turnip Greens
  • Pumpkin
  • Red Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Sunflower Seeds

So get your vitamins naturally from the food you grow.  Both the American Cancer Society and the American Institute of Cancer Research emphasize that getting cancer-fighting nutrients from foods like nuts, fruits and green leafy vegetables is vastly superior to getting them from supplements and eating a healthy diet is best.  So come on everybody…start digging!

Primary Source: WebMD

Advertisements