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We all know an apple a day keeps the Dr. away, but new research shows that adding colorful veggies and fruits to your diet can not only lower your cancer risk, but actually help your body fight cancer.

The brighter and the richer the pigment, the higher the level of cancer-fighting nutrients. This means foods like oranges, carrots, pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes are packed with carotinoids, nutrients that are linked in the prevention of colon, prostate, breast and lung cancer.

Many of these nutrients are found in the skin, so you want to eat them with the skin intact, and organic produce is now much more affordable, so there is no concern about pesticides. Raw is best, or lightly steamed, and the flavor is amazing.

Stacy Kennedy, a senior nutritionist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston has stated that eating an apple a day can prevent mouth, lung, breast and throat cancer because apples contain a nutrient called quercetin which protects the cell's DNA from damage that could lead to cancer. Cranberries, another healthy fall favorite, are in season and at their nutritional peak now. Kennedy suggested stocking up on bags of cranberries and freezing them for use throughout the year, because there is evidence that the benzoic acid found in these berries may inhibit lung and colon cancer, and some forms of leukemia.1

Adding these to your diet will certainly improve your risk, but the real answer is a plant based diet, and many studies have proven this. One Harvard study shows a 300% increase in cancer from people with large milk and meat consumption,2 Vegetarians avoid the animal fat linked to cancer and get abundant fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals that help to prevent cancer.

If you have an interest in becoming a Vegetarian, or just adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet, check out this website, The Vegetarian Resource Group at http://www.vrg.org/nutrition, 3which explain how to eat healthy and get all the essential nutrients your body requires.

Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr Dec. 2012

1. Healthday/ http://www.kpho.com/story/20186964/colorful-fruits-vegetables-may-be-key…
2. www.foodeditorials.com/liz allen
3. The Vegetarian Resource Group/http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/

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