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The Health Centre

Cancer and the Importance of Vegetables

 

Not only are vegetables low in fat and high in fibre, they also contain many cancer-fighting substances. Carotenoids, the pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their dark colours, have been shown to help prevent cancer. Beta-carotene, present in dark green and yellow vegetables, helps protect against lung cancer and may help prevent cancers of the bladder, mouth, larynx, esophagus, breast, and other sites.

Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain flavones and indoles which are thought to have anti-cancer activities.

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and many vegetables, may lower risks for cancers of the esophagus and stomach. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing cancer-causing chemicals that form in the body. It also blocks the conversion of nitrates to cancer-causing nitrosamines in the stomach.

Selenium is found in whole grains and has the same antioxidant effects as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Vitamin E also has this effect. Caution is advised in supplementing selenium, which is toxic in large doses.


Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

 
 
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