Everyone knows that a nutritious and balanced diet is essential to good health – it’s like Motherhood. On the flip side of this issue, it has become clear that too much of foods such as red meats, bacon, and seared meats, predispose a person to cancers of the stomach and colon. Nevertheless, large studies in the past few decades have demonstrated the health value of fruits and vegetables.
A 1992 report in Nutrition and Cancer states that a statistically significant protective effect of fruit and vegetables was found in 128 of 156 dietary studies. A 2006 article in the same medical journal reports that a study of 520,000 persons in European countries showed that consumption of fruit was associated with less lung cancer, and consumption of vegetables (mainly onion and garlic) was associated with less stomach cancer.
The Health Improvement Program of the Stanford School of Medicine has incorporated these and other study results in their dietary recommendations, and this information was reported in a news item, “Here are ten cancer-fighting foods” by the Foundation of Sustainable Living. The “cancer-fighting foods” are: beans, berries (especially strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale), dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, garlic, grapes (especially red), green tea, tomatoes, and whole grains. Hey, who couldn’t get with a diet containing lots of these good foods!
Could there be a downside to these foods? Yes. Most fruit and vegetables are heavily contaminated with pesticides that are neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and reproductive and developmental toxins.
We can examine pesticide residues on the listed cancer-fighting foods, using USDA data (as reported by Whatsinmyfood).
- Strawberries: 54 pesticide residues, including 9 carcinogens
- Blueberries: 21 pesticide residues, including 4 carcinogens
- Lettuce: 51 pesticide residues, including 12 carcinogens
- Spinach: 48 pesticide residues, including 8 carcinogens
- Grapes: 34 pesticide residues, including 4 carcinogens
- Tomatoes: 35 pesticide residues, including 5 carcinogens
What is a person to eat, be healthy, and avoid cancer? It’s really simple: eat organic fruits and vegetables. So, indulge with uncontaminated fruits and vegetables!