Fall foods fight cancer

The harvest bounty should end up on your dinner table. Stacy Kennedy, a senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, says many fruits and vegetables are at their nutritional peak in the fall so it’s a great time to incorporate them into a healthy diet.


Kennedy shares the ABC’s of fall foods:

•  “A” is for apple. Studies suggest that eating at least one apple a day can help prevent some types of cancer. Besides being crisp, sweet, and juicy, apples contain quercetin, a nutrient that protects the cells’ DNA from getting damaged. This damage could lead to cancer. Eat apples raw with the skin on because that’s where many of the nutrients are found.

•  “B” is for berries—cranberries. Eat cranberries year-round. Cranberries contain benzoic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of lung cancer, colon cancer, and some forms of leukemia. Buy bags of fresh cranberries now, while they are in season and at their nutritional peak, and pop them in the freezer for later use. This will help ensure that the berries will provide the highest level of cancer protection whenever they’re used.

•  “C” is for color. Just like the leaves on the trees, fall is a time for colorful vegetables like beets, carrots, and parsnips. They add a burst of color and taste. The brighter and richer the pigment, the higher the level of cancer- fighting nutrients.

•  “D” is for dark leafy vegetables. Kale is a top choice because it’s rich in phytonutrients called indoles, which stimulate liver detoxification and help fight cancer. Other members of the cruciferous family include broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

•  “E” is for everything orange. Pumpkins, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all packed with a cancer-fighting nutrient called carotenoid. Kennedy stresses that pumpkin isn’t just for pies. She suggests eating it year round by adding it to soup, smoothies, pancake batter and even raviolis.


FYI: Tomatoes and plastic

To keep your plastic storage containers from becoming discolored from acidic tomato products, spray with a non-stick cooking spray first, then place your food items inside. This food prep advice is from the extension experts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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