Skip to content

Food & Recipes

The Anticancer Diet

Eat to tip the odds in your favor
Font Size
A
A
A

Should It Really Be "10-a-Day"?

Although some earlier scientific studies failed to find a link between eating vegetables and fruits and reduced risk for some types of cancers, more recent ones are reversing that trend.

For example, a recent study in Northern Italy suggested that raw vegetables may help protect against both breast and prostate cancer. Other research has indicated that cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage) may play a role in reducing breast-cancer risks in premenopausal women. One of the benefits of cruciferous veggies may be their abundant supply of isothiocyanates. These phytochemicals may help increase certain enzymes that detoxify cancer-promoting chemicals.

While we're on the subject of broccoli, another phytochemical in this vegetable recently made medical news. A report from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the first to show how the isothyiocyanate found in broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale -- called sulphoraphane -- can block late stages of the cancer process. Using human breast cancer cells in the lab, researchers were able to hinder the growth of the cancer -- much like certain drugs do.

Various fruits and vegetables have also been scientifically linked with prevention of colon, mouth, esophageal, lung, and stomach cancers. Population studies have repeatedly suggested that certain types of produce -- dark green vegetables; tomatoes; citrus; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage; and carotene-rich ones such as carrots and cantaloupe -- reduce overall cancer risk.

More and more studies are being done all the time. But obviously, fruits and vegetables are very important to our health in general. It's hard to argue with those food choices!

Bottom line: Strive to eat 10 servings (about 1/2 cup is a serving) of fruits and vegetables a day, choosing carotene-rich produce, dark green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, and citrus when possible.

Specific Nutrients or Foods with an Anti-Cancer Connection

Flaxseed. This sesame-like seed has three things going for it. Ground flaxseeds contain soluble fiber, alphalinolenic acid (a form of healthy omega-3 fatty acid), and are the richest source of lignans (phytoestrogens that function like antioxidants) on the planet. These are not to be confused with flaxseed oil, which contains just the oils from flaxseed, not the fiber or plant estrogens.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
grilled steak
Video
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow