Garlic and onions
Garlic may not protect you from vampires, but it can help keep colon cancer away. Both garlic and onions contain sulfides, which help to clear our carcinogens and force cancer cells that do develop to self-destruct. In the Iowa Women’s Health Study, women who consumed one to two cloves of garlic per week had a 32 per cent lower risk of colon cancer compared to women who rarely ate garlic. And according to a study that examined fruit and vegetable consumption among more than 650 people in South Australia, onion eaters reduced their risk by 28 to 52 percent.
Aim for: Eating a couple of garlic cloves and about ½ cup (125 mL) of onions at least a few times a week may help lower your cancer risk.
Helpful hint: If you plan to cook garlic, chop or crush the cloves first, then let them stand for 10 to 15 minutes to give the therapeutic compounds a chance to form.
Black and green tea
The next time you’re jonesing for a hot cup of somethin’, make tea your choice. Lab studies show that the compounds in tea help disable cancer-causing agents. They also stymie the growth of cancer cells and encourage them to self-destruct.
Among more than 35,000 women in the Iowa Women’s Health study, those who drank two or more cups of tea each day were almost 30 per cent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who rarely drank tea. And while they primarily drank black tea, it’s worth noting that green tea contains even more of the antioxidant compounds, called catechins, that appear to work the magic.
Aim for: Three to four cups a day.
Helpful hint: Brew your own tea. Commercial bottled teas generally contain less than 5 percent of the antioxidant compounds found in brewed tea.