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