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Check out our Cancer Prevention Primer

Nutrition Smarts

Tea, Tomatoes and Garlic: Cancer-Busters in Your Pantry

tea    Tea
We all know a cup of tea can warm the bones and soothe the spirit, but did you know it can also help fight cancer? Black and green teas contain flavonoids (check out our Cancer Prevention Primer for the meaning of this tongue-twister and others) which can battle cancer at every stage of its development. Scientists are looking for ways to maximize these anti-cancer effects through tea processing, preparation and brewing time.
tomatoes Tomatoes
Don't skimp on the red sauce. Tomatoes are full of lycopene which protects against harmful cell damage from oxidation. What's more, cooking tomatoes makes lycopene easier for your body to use. So tomato sauces, soups and juices can contain five times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Cook with a little fat, like olive oil, to boost absorption.
garlic Garlic
Never mind vampires, garlic may ward off several cancers, particularly digestive tract ones. Garlic's got allyl sulfides which deliver a one-two-three punch against carcinogens: preventing some from forming, inhibiting others and ushering activated carcinogens out of the body.

The cancer-busters in tea, tomatoes and garlic are all phytochemicals — the catchall term for a bunch of naturally-occuring compounds in foods. Check out our Cancer Prevention Primer for more info. And remember, most plant chemicals don't work solo. Eat a diet high in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), one of our Resource Associations, has great information on cancer and diet.

The AICR is a non-profit charity focusing on the link between diet and cancer. Contribution of informational articles to this website should not be construed as an endorsement of any products sold on this site.

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