Eating to prevent cancer

Eating ‘5-a-day’ has been a most advertised campaign for many years and one that most people resonate with..

..although recent research shows that we should be eating 7-a-day or even 10 portions a day if you want to cut your risk of shortening your life!

We all know that eating fruit and vegetables has many benefits for our health, in particular to our digestive system as well as the positive effect on our blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.  Fruit and vegetables, both fresh and frozen, are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants, which have been shown to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

However, the most recent research has found that certain vegetables can reduce the risk of bowel cancers!

The Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute focused on how vegetables alter the lining of the intestines as anti-cancer chemicals are produced when vegetables are digested.  The surface of the bowels is constantly being regenerated in a process that takes four to five days.  This constant renewal can be controlled with a protective diet.  Otherwise, the gut cells divide uncontrollably which can lead to cancer or gut inflammation.  Professor, Tim Key, from Cancer Research UK, said: “This study on mice suggests that it’s not just the fibre contained in vegetables like broccoli and cabbage that help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but also molecules found in these vegetables too. Further studies will help find out whether the molecules in these vegetables have the same effect in people, but in the meantime, there are already plenty of good reasons to eat more vegetables.”

So even if you are not a cabbage lover, there are plenty of other vegetables that help with the production of anti-cancerous chemicals being produced in the gut.

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress
Here’s a delicious Cabbage Soup recipe from Antony Worrall Thompson, to encourage you to eat your greens!
  1. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the garlic, cabbage and tomato.

  2. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until soft. Add the stock and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes.

  3. Finish by adding the parsley to serve.



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