It seems every day we’re hearing more studies confirming that eating from a wide variety of Mother Nature’s produce will prevent certain forms of cancer. Research shows that eating colorful foods often those which are the highest in phytochemicals, known for improving the immune system and are natural cancer fighters.
Here are some “rainbow foods” you can add to your daily meals – many of which can be found weekly at the Westchase District Farmers Market.
For a delicious taste, strawberries are hard to beat. They also happen to be one of best cancer fighters around. Strawberries and raspberries are full of powerful antioxidants and other compounds that can keep cancers from spreading. Another well-known red food, tomatoes, is also connected to a lower risk of ovarian cancer. In one study that involved 15,000 women, those who ate just a half a cup of tomatoes four times per week had much lower risks of developing tumors on the ovaries by an almost unbelievable 50 percent. Another study also showed eating tomatoes were found to fight pancreatic cancer. It’s thought that this was due to its lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, red peppers, raspberries, and strawberries.
Vegetables and spices that are orange in color like carrots, squash and turmeric have proven that their phytochemicals can treat cancer in the colon and digestive tract. Yams, have been proven to reduce the development of breast cancer cells. It has been suggested that orange colored fruits and vegetables be eaten about three times per week. Turmeric, according to the American Cancer Society, can stop certain types of cancer cells and thereby slow the spread of cancer as well as shrink tumors. Use turmeric in your cooking as often as possible.
Studies have linked eating green cruciferous veggies such as kale, cabbage, bok choy, endive and broccoli to a lower risk of stomach, ovarian and colon cancers. Researchers and scientists believe that this is most likely due to the glucosinolates in green-colored foods. Glucosinolates are compounds with vitamin K and strong anti-cancer properties that are effective in reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer. To get the maximum benefits, eat one green fruit or vegetable every day. Also, drink more green tea. It’s also full of cancer fighting compounds called catechins. Studies show that green tea can actually shrink cancerous tumors as well as slow their growth.
White fruits and vegetables – such as mushrooms, onions, garlic, and cauliflower – all have the ability to ward off cancer. Members of the allium family include garlic and onions and contain a powerful antioxidant called alllicin. Onions have high levels of a phytochemical linked to lower risks of colon cancer. Garlic and cauliflower are linked to lower risks of stomach cancer. If you want more foods that lower your risk of that silent killer, ovarian cancer, eat more mushrooms. These are a good source of vitamin D, also. Try eating mushrooms twice per day for the best protection.