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Is there a relationship between green food and cancer prevention?
Your Cancer Answers

Is there a relationship between green food and cancer prevention?

Question: Is there a relationship between green food and cancer prevention?

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, fill up on these nutritious green foods! Wearing the color green is customary on St. Patrick’s Day and that celebration has trickled down to include a myriad of green foods, everything from baked goods to beer. But if you plan to add St. Paddy’s Day flair to your menu, look to nature, not artificial dye, to bring the luck ‘o the Irish.

Here are eight green foods to add to your menu or your everyday diet:

Cucumber skin contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber including vitamin K, which helps keep bones healthy. It is also hydrating as it is made up of 95% water. Avocado has monounsaturated fat that may help improve blood lipid profiles. Lutein in avocado promotes eye health, fiber promotes healthy digestion, and potassium supports heart health.

Broccoli contains carotenoids which help prevent certain cancers. It is a great non-dairy source of calcium for bone health and contains folate which helps repair cells. Green bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin K. One half cup of edamame provides nine grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein, it is also a good source of iron, vitamin C, and A.

Kiwis contain more than 100 percent of vitamin C needs to help keep immune systems strong. Make sure to eat the skin of the kiwi for added fiber and other nutrients. Asparagus has prebiotics that promote the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps rid the body of excess sodium, it also contains glutathione which can help prevent cancer.

Green tea is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and may help prevent cell damage, it also stabilizes blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

Not only do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March we need to remember and prevent colorectal cancer. The foods that we eat, our physical activity, and weight management are three of the most important things to keep in mind when discussing colorectal cancer prevention. The following specific nutritional recommendations may contribute to an overall well balanced diet and may assist in colorectal cancer prevention.

Melanie Logue

Melanie Logue

Take note, there are many more nutritious green foods out there — find your favorites and include them in your diet regularly!

Mission Hope is here to support all cancer patients in our community. To put these recommendations into practice, consider setting up a one-on-one or telephone appointment to discuss your nutritional needs with our Registered Dietitian Melanie Logue at 805-346-3403.

Also, join Melanie and John Malinowski, cancer exercise trainer, on Zoom for our upcoming Healthy Eating and Activity for Living (HEAL) Class, April 13 at 2 p.m. with head and neck cancer guest speaker Gina Rotondo, MS, CCC-SLP, speech and language pathologist. Please call Melanie at 805-346-3403 to make a reservation.

HAVE A QUESTION? This weekly column produced by Marian Cancer Care invites you to submit your questions to “Your Cancer Answers” at the following email address: mariancancercare@dignityhealth.org

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