Eat the colors of the rainbow. It's a saying that encourages you to build your basket for a healthy lifestyle, but it can also help fight off cancer.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -
Growing up, your mom probably told you to eat your fruits and vegetables.
Since March is National Nutrition Month, it’s a good time to remember the importance of a healthy diet.
But, did you also know the super foods can help fight off cancer?
"With vegetables especially you want to look for those vibrant deep colors, that contain a lot of carotenoids," said Saint Francis Medical Center Registered Dietitian Debbie Schumer.
Eat the colors of the rainbow, a saying that encourages you to build your basket for a healthy lifestyle, but it can also help fight off cancer.
Schumer said veggies like peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, or carrots can help prevent or delay the growth of cancer cells.
"We encourage cruciferous vegetables, so cabbage, kale, cauliflower," said Dr. Olivia Aranha with Saint Francis Medical Center.
Aranha said the antioxidants in the veggies can stop cancer cells from growing, can kill off tumor cells, and can keep already diagnosed cancer from coming back.
"Women who have had breast cancer, if they incorporate more fruits and vegetables, in their diet, they are preventing breast cancer recurrence as well," said Aranha.
"Root vegetables make wonderful roasting vegetables," said Schumer.
Schumer suggest roasting vegetables, since that can capture the nutrients and enhance the flavor.
"You can even toss them with a little bit of olive oil, olive oil has that good plant fat," said Schumer.
If you’re planning to roast vegetables, Schumer says you should set your oven to a high temperature, between 400 and 450 degrees. She said you should spread the vegetables out on a sheet, so they don’t steam, but actually roast. Then, depending on the vegetable they should cook for about 40 minutes.
Dr. Aranha tells her patients five key things to help prevent cancer.
increase your intake of fruits veggies and whole grains
limit your intake of fat
try to get more of the healthy proteins like fish or poultry