Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are packed with sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting substance so potent that researchers are testing it as a drug. "Sulforaphane is delivered to almost every tissue in the body," says Trygve O. Tollefsbol, a professor in the biology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Leafy greens — including arugula, kale, spinach and romaine — abound in antioxidants called carotenoids, which in laboratory studies have been shown to inhibit the growth of a variety of cancer cells, including skin, lung, stomach and certain kinds of breast cancer. Spinach may even block carcinogens from cooked meat.
Red grapes (and red wine) are loaded with resveratrol, which inhibits cancer-cell growth and causes cancer cells to self-destruct. According to recent findings, resveratrol remains effective — and may be more powerful — after it's metabolized by the body. The compound is found in peanuts, cranberries and blueberries, too.
For years, we've been urged to eat three to five servings of whole grains a day. There's good reason: They are linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer, a 2013 Danish study of 108,000 people has found. What's more, whole grains offer protection against other chronic conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
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