March 27, 2015

Nutrition for Prevention: The Three A’s

By cancerconnect

Smart food choices that do your body good

When you make the effort and choose food that is fresh, well prepared, and attractively presented, chances are you are also selecting dishes that provide you with the three A’s of cancer prevention: antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and anti-carcinogens.

Antioxidants are found in foods that provide nutrients to protect DNA from oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (such as free radicals). Examples include:

  • Foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus, strawberries, kiwi fruit, and bell peppers
  • Foods rich in vitamin E, such as nuts, seeds, egg yolk, and wheat germ
  • Fruits and vegetables with a high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score, such as açai and goji berries, pomegranates, blueberries, and spinach

Anti-inflammatories are found in foods that prevent excessive cell turnover. Examples include:

  • Oily fish, such as salmon and sardines (rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D)
  • Foods rich in natural salicylates, such as apricots, culinary herbs, and spices
  • Green tea, red grapes, and cocoa

Anti-carcinogens are found in foods that provide nutrients that enhance the removal of carcinogens (mutation inducers) from the body. Examples include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as those in the cabbage family, including cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard, kale, and watercress
  • Allium vegetables, such as those in the garlic family, including onions, leeks, chives, scallions, and shallots

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