No single food lowers cancer risk

Nov. 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- No single food protects against cancer, but there is strong evidence eating produce, whole grains and beans helps lower cancer risk, U.S. researchers say.

A report by the American Institute for Cancer Research said studies showed many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects.

However, evidence suggests it is the synergy of compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection, and institute recommends filling at least two-thirds of the plate with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.

In addition, vegetables and fruit are low in calories and help maintain a healthy weight. Whole grains and beans are rich in fiber and moderate in calories, which help in weight management, the report said.

The institute has initiated a Web-based tool that details the current state of the research on the food-cancer link at

"Our goal is to provide a practical and accessible Web resource that people interested in lowering cancer risk can use as they plan meals, and that health professionals can use to stay abreast of the latest evidence-based information, and answer their patients' questions," Alice Bender, nutrition communications manager for the institute, said in a statement.

Bender said foods that fight cancer include blueberries, cranberries, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables,

flaxseed, beans, berries, dark green leafy vegetables, garlic, grapes and grape juice, green tea, soy, tomatoes and whole grains.

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