Food Preventing Cancer: Beets

Pages: 16 (4419 words) Published: April 15, 2010
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Beets are protective against cancers of the skin, lung and colon.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States today. While the link between diet and cancer remains somewhat elusive, there are specific dietary factors tied to a reduction in cancer development. Foods that are high in fiber, nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich offer the most protection against cancer development. According to the American Cancer Society, foods that offer the most benefits include legumes, cruciferous and green leafy vegetables, whole fresh fruits (especially red and citrus fruits) and foods high in omega-3-fats. Broccoli

Broccoli is an example of a cruciferous vegetable. Others within the same family include cabbage, onions, garlic and cauliflower. They are rich in phytonutrients, or disease-fighting plant compounds that directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells and the development of tumors. 2. Salmon

Fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in vitamin D--which offers protection against the development of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer--and omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats act as anti-tumor agents because they help prevent cancer cells from sticking together, forming solid tumors. Oranges and Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C protects the body's cells against free radical damage, which can cause damage to DNA (mutations) that increases the risk of cancer development, especially of the digestive system and colon. Blueberries

The nutrients found in blueberries may help reduce the risk of developing colon and ovarian cancer. Phenolic compounds (another phytochemical found in blue/purple vegetables and fruits) inhibit the rapid growth of cancer cells and work to destroy cancer cells in the colon. Spinach and Kale

Dark, leafy, green vegetables such as spinach and kale are rich in a flavonoid phytonutrient called kaempferol. Women who eat the most kaempferol-rich foods have a 40 percent lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than those that with the lowest intake of kaempferol-rich foods. Raspberries

Raspberries are the richest food source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a phytochemical that offers powerful anti-cancer benefits according to the American Cancer Society. It can inhibit cancerous tumor growth in the esophagus, lung and colon as well as the breast and prostate. Pomegranate Juice

Recent findings by the American Cancer Society also show that drinking 8 oz. of pomegranate juice daily significantly slows increase of blood levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, which is the marker used to test for prostate cancer as well as measuring the growth of prostate cancer. Black Beans

According to a study published in Food Chemistry and Toxicology, when researchers fed laboratory animals a 20 percent black bean diet, it significantly reduced the number of pre-cancerous cells, even in animals who were also given an agent that promotes cancer by mutating cellular DNA (cyclophosphamide). Green Tea

Green tea is high health-promoting flavonoids, including catechins. The most notable catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG offers anticancer and antioxidant benefits. Like vitamins E and C, catechins act as free radical scavengers and are particularly protective against breast and prostate cancers. Beets

The pigment that gives beets their purple-deep red color is known as betacyanin. This phytochemical acts as a powerful cancer-fighting agent, particularly against the development of cancers of the skin, lung and colon. Compounds in beets increase the effectiveness of antioxidant liver enzymes which help protect our cells against free radical damage. [pic]Sponsored Links

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