Eat produce to prevent cancer

This month I have started teaming up with the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute from the New Ulm Medical Center to promote its program “Eat Healthfully For Cancer Prevention.” We will be promoting produce that can help prevent various types of cancer.

I often tell customers I work with to “eat a rainbow;’ the reason for this is because each of those colors typically come from the different antioxidants that help our bodies in various ways. The best way to think of antioxidants is to think of them as protectors. They protect the cells in our bodies from damage. This protection can help keep us healthy and prevent diseases, such as cancer.

One food that has been linked to cancer prevention is the beet. Beets contain antioxidants called betalains. These antioxidants give beets their red coloring and may prevent the development of lung and esophageal cancer in lab animals. Beets are also high in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and other vitamins and minerals.

Another vegetable to add to your diet is eggplant. Eggplants are rich in delphinidin and anthocyanins, both of which are active against prostate, colon and breast cancer cells. These antioxidants are active against leukemia as well. Eggplant also contains vitamins A, B and C that boost the immune system and improve resistance to many diseases. Minerals found in eggplant include phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium, which help prevent arthritis, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.

The artichoke is one more vegetable to take a closer look at for cancer prevention. It is rich in caffeic acid no relation to caffeine. In lab studies, caffeic acid was able to inhibit the growth of liver, breast, fibrosarcomas, prostate, gastric and pancreas cancer cell lines. Artichokes may also lower blood cholesterol levels and protect the liver from damage.

There are multiple ways to enjoy these vegetables. Here is an easy way to enjoy eggplant as a side dish.

Garlic-Roasted Eggplant

Source: www.hy-vee.com

Serves: 4 (1/2 cup) each

All you need

5 cups chopped eggplant

cup chopped shallot

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp. dried rosemary

2 tbsp. olive oil

tsp. salt

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once.

Nutrition Information per serving:

90 calories, 1g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 150mg sodium, 4g fiber

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.

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