Good nutrition has always been a part of cancer prevention and supportive therapy for those who are experiencing cancer or are recovering from recent treatment. Here are vegetables and fruits with cancer protective properties that you can try to eat more or add into your diet:
• Red colored fruits and vegetables contain lycopene which may protect against prostate cancer. Food sources include tomatoes and tomato products, papaya, pink grapefruit and watermelon.
2. Red and Purple
• Red and purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins and polyphenols that help prevent cancer formation, decrease inflammation and provide antioxidant support. Food sources include berries, grapes, red wine, plums, purple cabbage and peanuts.
• Orange fruits and vegetables contain Alpha and beta carotene that help protect against oral, esophageal, pharynx, larynx, and lung cancers. It also helps improve the immune system. Sources include carrot, mango, pumpkin and sweet potato
4. Yellow and Green
• Yellow and green fruits and vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin that protects our DNA from damage that triggers cancer cell formation. Food sources include kale, spinach, collard, dandelion, mustard and turnip greens, asparagus and cooked winter squash.
• Green vegetables contain sulforaphane and indole that help alter the DNA process that regulates cancer progression. Food sources include arugula, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
6. White and Green
• White and green vegetables contain allyl sulfides that help protect against stomach and colorectal cancer. Food sources include leeks, onion and garlic.
In general, having a balanced and varied diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables will give you most of the cancer protective benefits as well as improve your overall nutrition when practiced consistently. So, try to have at least one serving of vegetable and fruit every meal and make healthy eating a habit!
• Raymond, J. L., & Morrow, K. (2020). Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
• Nelms, L., Sucher, K.P., Lacey, K. (2016). Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology, 3rd ed. United States of America: Cengage Learning.