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DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES -- FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


OTHER FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


NOTE: No single food or food substances can protect you against cancer. But scientists believe that the right combination of foods in a predominantly plant-based diet may. Evidence is mounting that the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods interact to provide extra cancer protection. This concept is called synergy. In addition, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are low-energy-dense, low calorie foods and probably protect against weight gain. According to the Second Expert Report, experts believe that weight gain particularly obesity and overweight are implicated in the development of cancer. Eating a predominantly plant based diet can help prevent weight gain and therefore protect against those cancers whose risk is convincingly increased by higher body fat (namely cancers of the colorectum, esophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney, and breast in postmenopausal women). That is why AICR recommends that at least 2/3 of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, along with saponins and flavonoids.

According to AICR's second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx.

Researchers believe that carotenoids seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants – that is, scouring potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm. Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.

The Second Expert Report also noted probable evidence that foods containing folate decrease risk of pancreatic cancer and that foods containing dietary fiber probably reduce one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.

The Research

AICR has funded research on the following toics relating to dark green leafy vegetables and the cancer-fighting components they contain. Click each topic to search for relevant AICR-funded research studies performed to date.

Read the full list of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.



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