As mentioned in my previous blog post, scientists have identified naturally occurring substances in foods that have the power to defuse potential carcinogens. Some of these substances are thought to seek out dangerous toxins and eradicate them from the body, before they cause damage. Cellular repair and protective services become available through these foods as well. Even after a cell begins to have damage that leads to cancer, what you eat and drink, and how you live, can still help short-circuit the cancer process.
The day has arrived for savvy consumers to seek out these protective foods. And, as luck has it, these foods are readily available and are some of our favorites! (Check out the chart below.) Further research can discover the exact action of certain phytochemicals and antioxidant vitamins. For the purpose of this blog post, we will simply consider the how’s and why’s of adding valuable fruits and vegetables to our diets to help protect ourselves from disease processes.
Colorful Fruits & Vegetables with Phytochemicals:
- White and Green: the onion family is something we use on a regular or even daily basis.
- Green: the valuable broccoli family and cabbage. Perhaps with some work these could be added weekly.
- Yellow and Green: very popular in fresh markets and gourmet restaurants, asparagus and spinach are favorites.
- Orange and Yellow: little to say, but some of the most tasty and flavorful fruits. (Peaches are my favorites.)
- Orange: vegetables are in constant use and carrots are identified by healthy people as first and foremost in their diets.
- Red and Purple: berries have long been identified as a favorite fruit. They are worth the extra expense, and beautiful in all-year menus.
- Red: juicy tomatoes; full of vitamins and available in sauces, as juice, or in whole form. Tomatoes should probably be used every day and as your #1 choice.
Take a minute to add up how many of the various fruits and vegetables listed above you already incorporate regularly into your diet. Do you have every color covered? How can you sneak in more?Schedule a Nutrition Consultation
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By Rita Larsen, RD, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor