Colorful autumn produce fights cancer

Nov. 21, 2012 at 4:38 PM

BOSTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Autumn offers a cornucopia of cancer-fighting foods and they should end up on the dinner table often this season, a U.S. nutritionist says.

There may be something to the adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," because studies suggest eating at least one apple a day can help prevent throat, mouth, colon, lung and possibly breast cancer. Apples also contain quercetin, a nutrient that protects the cell's DNA from damage that could lead to the development of cancer.

"The key is to eat them raw and with the skin on," Kennedy said in a statement. "That's where many of the nutrients are found."

Kennedy encourages patients to eat cranberries all year-round because they contain benzoic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of lung cancer, colon cancer and some forms of leukemia. She recommends buying bags of fresh cranberries now and popping them in the freezer for later use.

Fall is a time for colorful in-season vegetables such as beets, carrots and parsnips. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale lower the incidences of lung, prostate and stomach cancer.

"The brighter and richer the pigment, the higher the level of cancer fighting nutrients," Kennedy said.

Pumpkin, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all packed with a cancer-fighting nutrient called carotenoid. Kennedy says carotenoids have been linked to the prevention of colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancer.

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