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Fruits, Veggies Might Ward Off Cancer

Try to eat five or more servings a day to help prevent disease, experts say

TUESDAY, Dec. 21, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- While there's no surefire way to prevent cancer, many kinds of foods can help lower the risk of certain cancers.

Research shows that people who eat diets rich in plant foods have a lower risk of serious diseases, including cancer, says an article in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Current dietary guidelines recommend that you eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

A diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of stomach, prostate, pancreatic, lung, oral, esophageal, colon, endometrial and breast cancers, the Mayo article noted.

Here are some other good reasons to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, the letter says:

  • Citrus fruits contain phytochemicals that may help guard against pancreatic, prostate and breast cancer.
  • Phytochemicals that may protect against colorectal and other cancers are also present in cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, watercress and kale.
  • Tomatoes contain naturally occurring chemicals that may reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about eating fruits and vegetables.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, December 2004
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