Photo gallery: How to fight cancer in your kitchen

Did you know your diet can affect your odds of getting cancer? Here are powerful foods that can help prevent cancer.

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Plant power

Food is one of the greatest tools we have to fight cancer. Studies show that up to 70 per cent of all cancers are caused by poor dietary choices, as well as smoking and a lack of exercise, says Dr. Richard Béliveau, research chair in cancer treatment and prevention at the University of Montreal and coauthor of Cooking with Foods That Fight Cancer (McClelland and Stewart, 2007). That's why eating the top cancer-fighting foods – namely, plant products – is a major step in protecting yourself against the disease. Here's what you need to know.

To get the most benefit from plant products, buy local veggies and fruits and eat them within a few days, says Carolanne Nelson, assistant professor in the department of family and nutritional sciences at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. The nutritional quality and cancer-fighting properties decrease the longer plants are stored, she explains. Alternatively, Nelson says, frozen options often contain more nutrients than unfrozen fruits and veggies that have been in transportation or storage a long time because they are flash-frozen shortly after being harvested. Read on for the top cancer-fighting plant foods.

What's your top cancer-fighting tip? Share your ideas with fellow readers in our comment section below.

This story was originally titled "Fight Cancer in the Kitchen" in the October 2010 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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