Foods that fight cancer

A recent study from the British Journal of Cancer provides more evidence that following certain dietary principles—the traditional Mediterranean diet,

A recent study from the British Journal of Cancer provides more evidence that following certain dietary principles—the traditional Mediterranean diet, in their study—can significantly decrease cancer rates.

Researchers collected data on about 25,000 people in Greece and assessed their adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet based on a number of dietary factors, including the type of fat used (olive oil vs. butter), the amount of red meat consumed, and the quantities of vegetables and legumes eaten. The study shows a strong correlation between high adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet and lower rates of cancer. They found that by either significantly decreasing red meat intake and increasing consumption of legumes, or by significantly increasing consumption of vegetables and substituting olive oil for butter, rates of cancer were 12 percent lower.

What does this mean for us here in Canada? For starters, most of us could use more vegetables in our diets. Try adding a serving to your breakfast—I like steamed spinach with my eggs—or packing raw veggies and dip for an afternoon snack at work. Or you could even have a salad for breakfast, as suggested by writer Cindy Burke in her blog on culinate.com.

For lunch and dinner, eat red meat less often and beans and lentils more. Add black beans to a green salad for a hearty and healthy dinner, or try one of these recipes:

Falafel Pitas
Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip
Tuscan Mixed Bean Soup

For more on cancer prevention, read about 10 ways to cut your cancer risk.

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