ANTIOXIDANT RICH CHOICES
Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries contain flavonols and anthocyanins, naturally occurring substances with strong anti-cancer properties. Frozen berries have the same nutrition benefits as fresh, so you can improve your health, even when fresh berries aren’t in season.
Citrus Fruitssuch as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit-all have vitamin C, a vitamin long associated with preventing the common cold. Vitamin C may also help reduce the risk of cancer and cataracts. In addition, citrus fruits contain limonese, a compound that may help the liver detoxify carcinogenic chemicals.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts feature a substance called sulforaphane, a naturally-occurring compound in foods that neutralizes highly reactive, dangerous forms of cancer-causing chemicals before they can damage cells and promote cancer.
Garlic and other members of the allium family such as onions, scallions, shallots, chives and leeks are loaded with allicin and S-allylcysteine-compounds associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Grapes, grape juice, are sources of resveratrol, which protects against heart disease and fights the production and progression of cancerous tumors.
Nuts and seeds have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Nuts are good sources of vitamin E, which can prevent the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol and the resulting buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. Nuts and seeds are also filled with selenium, another powerful antioxidant.
Olives and olive oil are monounsaturated fats, and this type of fat can help lower total blood cholesterol and increase the ratio of good cholesterol to bad. Improving blood cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart disease.
Orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin all contain beta-carotene-the substance that gives these vegetables their intense colors. Beta-carotene may reduce the risk of cancer and protect against cataracts.
Flax seed is a particularly good source of omega-3 fat, a type of fat that has been shown to help thin blood and keep blood platelets from clotting and sticking to artery walls. The result is a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tomatoes, especially in the form of tomato sauce, and other members of the nightshade family. Eggplant, tomatillos, cayenne and chili peppers contain a substance called lycopene, which research has shown may help to reduce the risk of prostate, colon, and bladder cancers.
Chili peppers are a source of capsaicin, which is the compound that makes the peppers spicy hot. Capasicin has been shown to help prevent the growth of certain types of cancer and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent.