I refuse to use the pharma-invented word, “chemoprevention” to describe natural means to reduce risk for cancer. In every letter I write in response to research showing the efficacy of plant compounds, I use the term “nutrioprevention.” Eventually, this will catch on.

The latest nutrioprevention evidence comes from this month’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, which looked at intake of carotenoid-rich foods and risk for cancers of the head and neck.

In a well-designed analysis, including case-controlled and prospective cohort studies, researchers found that intake of carotenoid-rich foods were remarkably nutriopreventive. People consuming the most caretenoid-rich foods had a50% reduction in risk for oral cancers and 59% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer compared to those consuming the least. Any pharmaceutical posting benefits like this would be hailed as a miracle drug.

Now, we immediately think of red and yellow fruits and vegetables, but dark green veggies also provide a widerange of carotenoids. To gain the most benefit, this research suggests – asNatalie and I have consistently promoted – a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including apricots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, turnip and mustard greens, butternut squash, mango, red bell pepper, spinach, sweet potato, tomato and watermelon.  Always have a bag of organic frozen peas in the freezer. A half cup added to any meal will instantly boost your carotenoid levels.

Reference:Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 24(7); 1003–11. ©2015 AACR.

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