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Berry Good Against Cancer



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SCIENTISTS may not yet have found the cure for cancer, but the right foods can go a long way.

If we all ate a healthy, balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, as many as one-third of all cancer deaths could be prevented, according to the American Cancer Society.

These 10 foods are all are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help guard against the disease. And although you can find some of these nutrients in a multivitamin, experts say it's better to get them from the real deal - the whole foods themselves.

BERRIES

Recent studies show that those who eat blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and blackberries have a lower incidence of cancer.

These berries all contain chemicals that act as antioxidants, which may help protect the body from the stresses of aging.

Have one cup every day on your cereal or blend up a smoothie.

SPINACH

Popeye may have a point: This dark, leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamin C and beta carotene, which are powerful antioxidants.

Spinach is also rich in vitamin A, calcium, iron and fiber, as well as two phytochemicals called lutein and zeaxanthin, which may ward off macular degeneration.

Get in 2 cups of raw or cooked spinach per week.

GARLIC

Your breath may never recover, but one clove of raw or lightly cooked garlic a day really does keep the doctor away.

Garlic contains the phytonutrient allicin, which has been shown to lower the occurrence of cancerous tumors.

BEANS

A great source of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates, beans can reduce cholesterol as well as the risk of cancer, since the fiber moves waste through the digestive track faster, giving toxins less time to hang out in your body.

Toss about two-thirds of a cup of beans into salads and soups.

ORANGES

Citrus fruits are loaded with cancer-battling bioflavonoids and immune system-boosting vitamin C. Oranges also contain limonin, which fuel the immune system to fight cancer.

Have an orange a day or half a cup of freshly squeezed juice.

SOY

Soy contains phytoestrogens and antioxidants called isoflavones, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers.

You can get your fill of soy from soy milk, tofu, edamame or miso soup.

TOMATOES

Tomato sauce, baked or stewed, or even ketchup, provide the most powerful doses of the antioxidant lycopene, which studies show may thwart certain cancers.

Have at least half of a cup on a daily basis.

SWEET POTATOES

Who says they're only for holidays?

Sweet potatoes are packed with disease-fighting beta carotene (a cancer fighter) and other antioxidants.

Try to have 1 to 2 cups per week.

SALMON

Fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which cut your heart disease risk by reducing blood clots and lowering triglyceride levels.

Studies also show the unsaturated fatty acids in fish may play a role in preventing rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Have a 3- to 4-ounce portion (the size of a deck of cards) twice a week.

NUTS

Almonds, peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts are bite-size powerhouses that help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Nuts contain beneficial mono- and polyunsaturated fats as well as the antioxidant vitamin E. They protect the heart by lowering triglycerides and bad (LDL) cholesterol, while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol.

Since nuts aren't fat-free, stick with a small handful (about 2 ounces) per day.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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