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Eating Green to Prevent Cancer

March 5, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 5 Comments

Why do people who eat more plants get less cancer? The largest prospective study of diet and cancer in history, for example, found that vegetarians had lower levels of all cancers combined. This could be due to what they eat less of:

There are also components of plant foods they are getting more of that can help eliminate excess estrogenextinguish free radicals; and boost our antioxidantdetoxification, and DNA repair enzymes. What we do eat may be as important as what we don’t eat.

The healthiest food is dark green leafy vegetables, which we should ideally eat every day. Greens can improve our eyesightimmune functionathletic performance, and even our physical appearance.

The green pigment itself—chlorophyll—may even intercept carcinogens. See my 2-min. video Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, where which I profile a study entitled  “Effects of Chlorophyll on Low-Dose Aflatoxin in Human Volunteers.” Researchers had people drink a solution of radioactive aflatoxin, the carcinogen that used to be a problem in peanut butter, with or without spinach chlorophyll. Check out the video to see the amazing results.

For more on protective compounds in plants, check out my 2-min. video Phytochemicals: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label. Green pigments are just one sliver of the rainbow though. There are benefits to the yellow onesorange onesred ones, and blue ones. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book!

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Anderson Mancini / Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

View all videos by Michael Greger M.D.

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  • Jo

    Thanks Dr. G.! My boyfriend is going in for his second cystoscopy post TURBT this weekend. Convincing him to go totally vegan hasn’t worked yet, but he has incorporated more of a vegan and vegetarian diet into his lifestyle — he even makes vegan carrot cake, quiche and pesto for me, which in turn is for him as well. You are a part of this change.

    Wish us luck!

    • Thea

      Jumping in here: Your story is inspiring! I wish you both all the luck!!

  • Bruno L.

    Sweet, thanks.
    Enjoyed meeting you on Sunday in Torrance.
    Your lecture was powerful and a lot of fun!

    • http://twitter.com/sweltman Steve Weltman

      Where was he in Torrance? I live in Torrance.. Thx!

  • brit

    great info, enjoyed hearing you a few weeks ago in Clakrsville MD. Love your sense of humor :)

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