Broccoli. Blueberries. Lentils. Oatmeal. Beans. Apples. The list goes on and on. If you want to reduce your risk for all cancers, two-thirds of what you eat every day should be plant based. The closer to raw the better, but even that’s not a big deal. That’s the conclusion of a study by the American Institute for Cancer Research.
The question is why? It may be that the vitamin and mineral content of the plants are higher than a diet based on enriched foods. It may be the phytonutrient content of plant foods—those are the substances in foods that seem to help vitamins and minerals do their jobs; even dark chocolate, coffee, and tea have beneficial phytonutrients in them. Or it may be the fiber in plant foods that’s missing from animal foods.
On the other side of the coin, it may be that if you eat that much from the produce section, then you don’t eat a lot of meat, you don’t eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, and you don’t eat as much saturated fats. I don’t think it’s clear which one is more important, but this I can tell you: if you’re concerned about reducing your risk of all types of cancers, then you should start shopping in the produce section first and filling two-thirds of your plate with those foods at every meal.
By Dr. Chet