Super Veggies Have the Power to Heal

According to a major international report on cancer prevention from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)and the World Cancer Research Fund, there are an estimated 1.2 million new cases of cancer in America every year. The lifetime risk of developing some form of cancer is one out of every two men in this country and one out of every three women. A new report from the AICR, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, suggests that cancer is a preventable disease. One of the top suggestions for prevention is to choose predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of veggies and fruits,legumes and minimally processed starchy staple foods.

This is good news for gardeners who not only eat a large variety of vegetables hand-grown from their own gardens, but love to do it as well. If you are growing a variety of vegetables and foregoing pesticides, you are probably well on your way to cancer prevention.

Here a few ways to produce a cancer-fighting garden:

  • The Lung Cancer Center suggests these lung-cancer-fighting vegetables: dark leafy greens, such as spinach or kale; romaine, boston andred-leaf lettuce, winter squash, tomatoes, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, purple and yellow onions, purple cabbage
  • Several commonly used herbs have been identified by the National Cancer Institute as possessing cancer-preventive properties.These herbs include garlic, onions, chives, basil, mints,oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, ginger, licorice root, green tea, flax, carrot, anise, caraway,celery, chervil, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel,parsley and tarragon.
  • Diets low in calories and rich in vegetables, fruits, whole-grain foods and legumes, especially soybeans, can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.
  • The folate found in legumes, vegetables and fruits (including green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, oranges, strawberries, melons and fortified grain products) has been shown to prevent some birth defects, and research suggests that insufficient amounts of folate in the diet may increase the risk for colon cancer.
  • Eating lots of fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, lung and stomach.

It seems if it comes from the garden, it must be good. It is nice to know that all that hard work and sweat equity put into our gardens not only tastes good but may be life-saving as well.

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