My life has been touched by cancer.
That is a true statement for me, however, the very sad thing is I can’t say I know one person who it would be an untrue statement for today. If you are out there, I’m extremely grateful you exist! Although I have struggled with many health issues in my lifetime, I have not personally battled cancer. But let’s be honest, when your best friend fights it…you feel the battle and when it’s a spouse, a mother, father, grandparent, child, niece, nephew, etc.; YOU feel the battle.So, is there anything you can do that may lower the risks for yourself and those you care about that has been learned from the earnest research done to end this battle? Yes, of course. Listing all those are not possible in the blog post, so I want to focus on this one.
Several studies have found that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower your overall cancer risk.
Is this too good to be true or too difficult to work? Look, you may not be a green smoothie lover but I’m willing to bet if you made a list of all the vegetables (and fruits) you are not just willing to eat but can ENJOY eating, your meals could shift towards getting 5 to 7 servings per day (this is a good start point and the bare minimum).
So servings, here are the measurements:
2 cups raw leafy vegetables
1 cup cooked greens
1 cup raw vegetables
1/2 cup cooked vegetables
1 small to medium sweet potato or potato
1/2 cup vegetable juice
1 cup berries or cut melon
1 small to medium apple, pear, peach, orange, banana etc.
¼ cup dried fruit
Remember, any vegetables are better than none. If you must have canned ones, buy BPA free cans and check labels for added ingredients. I recommend salt free. Again label reading is your best friend in the frozen section with the best option being ONE ingredient (whatever is pictured on the front). There can be benefits to frozen, such as a lower price even for organically grown fruits and vegetables, produce picked and flash frozen at peak ripeness and less waste for small families or those who live alone. I’m really putting vegetable before fruit because too many people simply ignore vegetables as part of their diet. If you do happen to want to know the nitty-gritty, as in you’re really going to take this thing by the horns and go full force than take note of these two things.
- Know about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen.
- Eat Seasonal
Some options for eating locally and seasonally include checking the local farmer’s market, joining a CSA or growing a small garden at home (this could even be in pots on the patio or balcony). If you are not familiar with what CSA means, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You become a member for a small fee and receive a share of the farmer’s harvest each week for a season or two or three. From time to time, you will catch me excitedly opening up my own CSA box over at the Kingdom Health Facebook page!
Last thing, don’t forget that things like celery, garlic, onion which are typically used as seasonings are ALSO vegetables. If you are making a spaghetti sauce, a chili, a soup, etc. load in plenty of vegetables (aka seasoning)! Tomatoes and avocado are technically a fruit but I’ll give you a pass on these and allow you to put them in the vegetable column. HA! Seriously,the important thing is to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy what you eat and think, think, think of how nourishing is your meal.
As always, I welcome your comments below and wish you good health!