5 Summer Veggies with Cancer-Fighting Benefits

Many common summer veggies have known or suspected cancer-fighting or prevention properties. Here are five of them to feed to your family:

1. Cabbage

Cabbage is loaded with cancer-fighting compounds such as sulforaphane. A compound called diindolylmethane (DIM) may protect children from radiation therapy by protecting healthy tissues in the area being treated. There are many types of cabbage that can be used to prepare kid-appealing meals – red and curly cabbage are among them. Other cruciferous vegetables with similar benefits include:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

2. Asparagus, Beans, Peas, and Lentils

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, asparagus is a good source of folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. This makes asparagus a high-nutrient veggie that may provide some added protection against cancer. Dry beans, kidney and black beans, split peas, and lentils may have similar benefits because of cell-protecting antioxidants and high amounts of protein.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Aside from being an especially flavorful veggie kids often love, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A. Both of these nutrients have proven cancer-fighting benefits. Sweet potatoes also have a special protein with possible anti-cancer benefits that appeared to slow down the growth of leukemia cells when tested in a laboratory. Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer.

4. Tomatoes

One study didn't find many cancer-fighting properties in tomatoes. However, there are other reliable sources that consider tomatoes to be the "epitome of a cancer-fighting super-food." This is because tomatoes are rich with vitamins A, C, and E. All of these vitamins can provide a solid defense against cell-damaging free radicals that can make cells more susceptible to damage from cancer. Tomatoes are especially kid-friendly because there are so many ways to enjoy them!

5. Sweet Corn

Whether it's creamed, steamed, or left on the cob, sweet corn in all its various forms is chock-full of beneficial nutrients that may provide added cancer protection for children. What's more, cooked sweet corn does not lose its nutritional value! Therefore, it can easily be used as an appealing side dish for many meals. Corn also releases a cancer-fighting compound known as ferulic acid.

Not all children are thrilled about plates loaded with veggies, no matter how healthy, colorful, and beneficial they may be. Luckily, there are many tasty ways to incorporate the veggies mentioned here into various meals without significantly affecting their potential cancer-fighting or prevention abilities.

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