Asparagus may have the ability to act as a cox-2 inhibitor, because of its linoleic acid content as well as other molecules in the vegetable. Because of this, it is good at reducing pain and a very good anti inflammatory vegetable, great for preventing cancer.1,2
Asparagus is considered one of the best libido-boosting foods and it can help balance out your mood since it’s rich in folate. 1 cup has 2/3 of your daily requirement of folate, which is a naturally occurring form of folic acid. Folate regulates the production of histamine, which is the chemical in the body that is released during an orgasm and it helps dilate your blood vessels, which is great for men and erections.2
Asparagus is also a good source of prebiotics, which help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut.
The vegetable is a natural diuretic and has a similar effect on the intestinal tract as a prebiotic so it works great for bloating, constipation, and helping out your digestion.2,3 Eat a ½ cup of Asparagus when you feel bloated.
- Jang D, Cuendet M, Fong H, Pezzuto J, Kinghorn A. Constituents of Asparagus officinalis evaluated for inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenase-2. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry. April 21, 2004;52(8):2218-2222.
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- Sabater-Molina M, Larqué E, Torrella F, Zamora S. Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential benefits on health. Journal Of Physiology And Biochemistry. September 2009;65(3):315-328.
Artichokes are great defenders against atherosclerosis and heart disease.6 Artichokes have a very high number of antioxidants in them, which make them excellent defenders against cancer and other diseases. The vegetable also contains a high amount of fiber per serving and is considered a high-fiber food. One medium sized Artichoke has about 10 grams of fiber in it. The USDA has them as #7 on their list of high antioxidant foods. They also increase the bile flow in the liver, which helps with the digestion of high-fat meals.7
Artichokes have been shown to stop the growth of liver cancer tumors as well as help treat hepatic and gallbladder disorders, when part of an herbal mix that contains turmeric, dandelion, and rosemary oil according to one study. 1
The leaves of the plant have been shown to possibly reduce blood lipid levels and may lower cholesterol levels over time.2,7
Artichokes may also help relieve the effects of Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia, which includes upset stomach and indigestion4,5. It may help enhance certain probiotics by keeping bacteria called Bifidobacterium bifidum, which is also naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract and the vagina, alive longer3. Artichokes are also an excellent source of prebiotics as well. The Jerusalem Artichoke may be an even better source than common Artichokes.
Jerusalem Artichoke is not really an Artichoke, but, it can help to get rid of those circles under your eyes. They also contain five times more iron than Potatoes do. Because of its high iron content it can help to relieve anemia.8
To get the full benefits of artichokes, eat about ¼ cup of artichoke hearts per day.
- Menghini L, Genovese S, Epifano F, Tirillini B, Ferrante C, Leporini L. Antiproliferative, protective and antioxidant effects of artichoke, dandelion, turmeric and rosemary extracts and their formulation. International Journal Of Immunopathology And Pharmacology. April 2010;23(2):601-610.
- Bundy R, Walker A, Middleton R, Wallis C, Simpson H. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine: International Journal Of Phytotherapy And Phytopharmacology. September 2008;15(9):668-675.
- López-Molina D, Navarro-Martínez M, Rojas Melgarejo F, Hiner A, Chazarra S, Rodríguez-López J. Molecular properties and prebiotic effect of inulin obtained from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.). Phytochemistry [serial online]. June 2005;66(12):1476-1484.
- Bundy R, Walker A, Middleton R, Marakis G, Booth J. Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life in otherwise healthy volunteers suffering from concomitant dyspepsia: a subset analysis. Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.). August 2004;10(4):667-669.
- Marakis G, Walker A, Middleton R, Booth J, Wright J, Pike D. Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study. Phytomedicine: International Journal Of Phytotherapy And Phytopharmacology. December 2002;9(8):694-699.
- Englisch W, Beckers C, Unkauf M, Ruepp M, Zinserling V. Efficacy of Artichoke dry extract in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia. Arzneimittel-Forschung. March 2000;50(3):260-265
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Arugula contains glucosinolates, which are a powerful group of antioxidants that stimulate the production of natural detoxifying enzymes in our bodies. Other vegetables that contain glucosinolates include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage1 . Arugula also contains Kaempherol and quercetin, two powerful antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce a series of different cancers.
Baby Arugula leaves are sweeter and nuttier tasting than the adult leaves so if you like these tastes, go for the young leaves when buying Arugula. Eat about 1 ½ cups per week. It can lower the risk for lung cancer by up to 15%.2
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Beets have the potential to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels in the blood. There is also some evidence that beets can help reduce the formation of cancerous lesions in the colon and may help fight off kidney cancer too.1,2 The pigment responsible for the dark color of the beet is itself an antioxidant that helps to fight off cancer.
The antioxidants and nitric oxides in beets dilate blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure and allows blood to circulate around the body more smoothly. Foods that do this are great for increasing libido.
Beets also contain high levels of potassium, which helps regulate your nerves and muscles.2 This also means that its excellent at increasing the blood flow to the brain, which keeps it healthy, improves your mental performance and helps protect it against aging and Alzheimer’s.
Eat at least ¼ cup of beets daily to reap its health benefits.
Beet Juice ★★
Beet juice is made from juicing raw beets. This juice has an exceptional ability to lower your blood pressure and may even reverse high blood pressure. Most other foods lower blood pressure but this juice may actually reverse it by as much as 10 points. What’s so great is that 1 cup of beet juice can do this 3,4.
Some of the powerful antioxidants that we get from beets and beet juice is formed in your mouth. Bacteria on your tongue digest some of the juice as you drink it and turn it into the compounds that open up your blood vessels.
The juice can help increase your stamina and increase blood flow throughout your body. It increases blood flow since it dilates your blood vessels. The raw beets are even better because cooking beets causes some of the nutrients to leech out into the water it’s cooking in. The water can become as purple as the beets, which shows just how easy it is for the antioxidants to leech out.
Beets also come in a golden yellow color. What makes them that color is beta carotene. The effect is the same whether you use the purple or golden yellow beets.
- Bobek P, Galbavý S, Mariássyová M. The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Die Nahrung [serial online]. June 2000;44(3):184-187.
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- Hobbs D, Kaffa N, George T, Methven L, Lovegrove J. Blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and novel beetroot-enriched bread products in normotensive male subjects. The British Journal Of Nutrition [serial online]. December 14, 2012;108(11):2066-2074.
Bok Choy ★
Bok Choy, a cruciferous vegetable, contains many of the antioxidants and healthy compounds found in other cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. It also contains another powerful antioxidant called brassinin, which may help stop cancer cells in their tracks and may even help prevent them from forming.2-5 Eat 3 times a week, in 1/2 cup servings to obtain its full benefits.1
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- Mezencev, R., et al. “Antiproliferative and cancer chemopreventive activity of phytoalexins: focus on indole phytoalexins from crucifers.” Neoplasma 50.4 (2002): 239-245.
- Izutani, Yasuyuki, et al. “Brassinin induces G1 phase arrest through increase of p21 and p27 by inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathway in human colon cancer cells.” International journal of oncology 40.3 (2012): 816-824.
- Kim, Sung‐Moo, et al. “Brassinin Induces Apoptosis in PC‐3 Human Prostate Cancer Cells through the Suppression of PI3K/Akt/mTOR/S6K1 Signaling Cascades.” Phytotherapy Research 28.3 (2014): 423-431.
- Mehta, Rajendra G., and John M. Pezzuto. “Discovery of cancer preventive agents from natural products: from plants to prevention.” Current oncology reports 4.6 (2002): 478-486.
Broccoli contains a large variety of antioxidants including brassinin, which is a powerful cancer fighter also found in other cruciferous vegetables like Bok Choy, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts. Even more interesting, Broccoli sprouts (baby broccoli) have even more cancer fighters than full grown broccoli. This vegetable can have up to 100 times more of compounds that help protect against disease than other fruits and vegetables.
Broccoli may also help protect against H. Pylori, which is linked to many peptic ulcers, gastritis and esophagitis as well as an increased risk of gastric cancers.
Overall, broccoli has the potential to protect against many hormone related cancers such as prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancers.
According to one study, broccoli may have the ability to lower the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and follicular lymphoma when it’s eaten regularly.
Broccoli is also an extremely good source of Isothyocyanates and Glucosinolates, which are powerful antioxidants that also help detoxify the liver. Cruciferous/Brassica vegetables like broccoli, kale and dandelion greens are some of the best natural food sources for enzymes and compounds that can detox your liver.
Broccoli also contains lutein (like Eggs) so it may also help protect against macular degeneration. It’s also a much better source for vitamin A than milk. 1 cup of chopped broccoli (raw) provides a little over 10% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains about 3 times more vitamin A than fortified milk.
Eating broccoli together with tomatoes and eggs provides more cancer fighting antioxidants. Tomatoes provides extra antioxidants and lycopene, and the combine effect of eggs can help improve your mood. Eggs contain vitamin D and broccoli has a form of calcium that’s easy for our bodies to absorb when vitamin D is present. The vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium, which can relax your nerves. One cup of Broccoli provides 4-7 grams of fiber per serving and is full of vitamins C and K .
Eat as much broccoli as you like in your daily diet as this vegetable is excellent at increasing health. Make sure to eat it in tandem with other healthy foods to get even more health benefits.
Broccoli Sprouts ★★★
There are compounds inside of broccoli that may help protect against breast and prostate cancer and may slow down the growth of the human papilloma virus (HVP), which is linked to cervical cancer. To cut your risk of cancer in half you would need to eat about two pounds of full grown broccoli per week. However, broccoli sprouts contain more of the protective compounds in them than full-grown broccoli. Eating about one ounce of sprouts per week or about two tablespoons per day may help provide the same cancer protecting benefits as eating full grown broccoli.
Studies have shown sulforaphane, one of the main antioxidants found in broccoli, causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells. Three servings of broccoli per week may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by more than 60 percent.
Sulforaphane encourages production of enzymes that protect your blood vessels, and reduces the number of molecules that cause cell damage — known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals — by as much as 73 percent.
Sulforaphane is both an immune stimulant and an anti-inflammatory.
It also helps raise testosterone levels, inhibits the retention of body fat, helps detox carcinogens, blocks certain enzymes linked to joint destruction and helps protect your muscles against exercise-induced damage. Cherries also have the ability to help protect muscles from exercise induced damage.
Glucoraphanin, a precursor of sulforaphane, also influences the process of carcinogenesis and mutagenesis. Compared to mature broccoli, broccoli sprouts can contain up to 20 times more glucoraphanin.
Frozen broccoli has a diminished ability to produce sulforaphane. The enzyme myrosinase, which converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane, is quickly destroyed during the blanching process.
Phenolic compounds, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have a potent ability to eliminate damaging free radicals and quell inflammation, resulting in a lower risk for diseases such as asthma, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
One of the ways phenolic compounds slow the encroachment of disease is by defending against infection, most dramatically by zapping ROS linked to atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Researchers have noticed that broccoli may also help strengthen the blood-brain barrier, which are capillaries that help protect the brain from injury as well as protect against pathogens and compounds that may cause damage to your brain.
Kaempferol is another powerful antioxidant found in broccoli. One large study looking at ovarian cancer showed that women with the highest levels of kaempferol had the lowest risks of ovarian cancer.
Diindolylmethane (DIM). Your body produces DIM when it breaks down cruciferous vegetables. Like many other broccoli compounds, DIM has shown multiple potential benefits, including boosting your immune system and helping to prevent or treat cancer.
One of the best ways to eat broccoli, besides eating it raw, is to lightly steam it for about 3-4 minutes. This will preserve the antioxidants while also cooking the food. Boiling broccoli breaks down or leeches out antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- MSNBC, Diet and Nutrition, ‘Move over, alfalfa! There are new sprouts in town.’ Located at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41479488/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/#.TrMi8GDHcgY
- Vasanthi H, Mukherjee S, Das D. Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview. Mini Reviews In Medicinal Chemistry. June 2009;9(6):749-759.
- Thompson C, Habermann T, Wang A, et al. Antioxidant intake from fruits, vegetables and other sources and risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. International Journal Of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer. February 15, 2010;126(4):992-1003.
Cabbage is a member of the Brassica family and contains the same disease fighting groups of chemicals as Cruciferous Vegetables. It also contains a compound called Lupeol that has very effective and potent anti inflammatory abilities.1 This makes cabbage a great vegetable to eat to fight off inflammation in the body as well prevent all kinds of diseases such as arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s, which stem from inflammation. Many known diseases tend to stem from inflammation in the body so eating cabbage daily can help fight off the onset of many diseases before they begin Cabbage has also been a very effective treatment for peptic ulcers.3
Red cabbage seeds seem to also have potential anti fungal and anti bacterial qualities to them as well as similar cancer fighting chemicals as grown cabbage.2
- Saleem M. Lupeol, a novel anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer dietary triterpene. Cancer Letters. November 28, 2009:285(2):109-115
- Ye X, Ng T, Zhang Y, et al. Protein from red cabbage (Brassica oleracea) seeds with antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer activities. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry. September 28, 2011;59(18):10232-10238
Carrots may help reduce the risk of reduced bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. 1
One study shows that carrots may reduce the risk of developing bladder and kidney cancer.2,3
Carrots are best cooked although they are also good when raw. When carrots are cooked, they release more beta-carotene (vitamin A) of which they are an excellent source. Beta-carotene is a very powerful antioxidant and a pre-cursor of Vitamin A. Cook carrots with the peel intact, which will help seal more of the nutrients in3.
Carrots are absolutely full of vitamin A. One medium sized carrot has over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A. This helps make carrots a very powerful anti inflammatory food.
Purple carrots are high in anthocyanins and beta carotene, which are both powerful antioxidants. They may also help manage your weight and blood sugar, In one study, those with high levels of carotenoids cut their risk of diabetes in half.3
All in all, 1 cup of carrots per day should provide many of its’ health benefits.
Carrot Juice daily may help increase the amount of antioxidants in your system and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and the other things associated with it such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, atherosclerosis and strokes.4
- Fujii H, Noda T, Sairenchi T, Muto T. Daily intake of green and yellow vegetables is effective for maintaining bone mass in young women. The Tohoku Journal Of Experimental Medicine [serial online]. 2009;218(2):149-154.
- Silberstein J, Parsons J. Evidence-based principles of bladder cancer and diet. Urology [serial online]. February 2010;75(2):340-346.
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- Potter A, Foroudi S, Stamatikos A, Patil B, Deyhim F. Drinking carrot juice increases total antioxidant status and decreases lipid peroxidation in adults. Nutrition Journal [serial online]. September 24, 2011;10:96.
This vegetable is part of the Brassica or Cruciferous vegetable family along with other vegetables such as Broccoli, Bok Choy and Brussels Sprouts. This group of vegetables is one of the most potent group of disease fighters available to us.
Celery and Celeriac
Celery may have the power to give a boost to certain white blood cells. It contains coumarins, which can help keep lower blood pressure and may also be useful for migranes. There is some evidence that drinking celery juice after a workout may help you recover lost electrolytes. Celery is also a great source of fiber. Along with high levels of vitamin C, it is effective at detoxifying the body from chemicals that can increase the risks for cancer and other diseases. The tops of celery can also be an effective weapon against diabetes because it contains more magnesium in it than the stalks so eating celery whole is a one-two punch against diabetes.1-3,6
Celery may also be effective at battling rheumatism and other forms of arthritis as well as gout.2
Celery may also be effective at fighting off halitosis (bad breath) because of its fiber content. Carrots and Apples are also effective at this as well.2 Besides this, it is a great food to eat to combat dehydration since about 96% of Celery is actually water. Coconuts are great at helping you rehydrate as well.
Celery also contains luteolin, which is a compound that has been linked to a reduced risk of developing age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain, which is the foundation of Alzheimer’s disease.4
One of the most interesting things about celery is that it may possibly increase the sexual attractiveness of males since it contains a pheromone precursor called androsterone5.
It should be noted that Celery and Celeriac are part of a group of foods that may cause an allergic reaction in some people. It is on par with peanuts in the potential severity of the allergic reaction it can create. However, the prevalence of the allergy is not really known yet. It may be linked with a birch pollen allergy and possibly a Zucchini allergy. Celery seeds contain a higher concentration of the allergen and celery spice may also have more of the allergen than the vegetable celery7.
- Kolarovic J, Popovic M, Mikov M, Mitic R, Gvozdenovic L. Protective effects of celery juice in treatments with Doxorubicin. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2009;14(4):1627-1638.
- My Health News Daily. Myhealthnewsdaily.com. 6 Foods that are good for your brain. Located at http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/best-foods-brain-health-0975/5.
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- Vieths S, Lüttkopf D, Reindl J, Anliker M, Wüthrich B, Ballmer-Weber B. Allergens in celery and zucchini. Allergy. 2002;57 Suppl 72:100-105.
Chard is a great source of isothiocyanates, which are a large group of antioxidants that have been shown to protect against ovarian cancer. Eat 1 cup of the vegetable raw or a ½ cup cooked daily to get the daily intake of these antioxidants. Be careful not to boil it since excessive heat can destroy the isothiocyanates.
It may also have the ability to assist with healing liver and kidney diseases, stimulate the immune system, and may be a great additive in a diet for cancer patients.1
Swiss Chard is also a great source of biotin, which has been shown to help eliminate brittle nails.2
- Sacan O, Yanardag R. Antioxidant and antiacetylcholinesterase activities of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla). Food And Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published For The British Industrial Biological Research Association. May 2010;48(5):1275-1280.
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Chickory is a great source of isothiocyanates, which are a large group of antioxidants that have been shown to protect against ovarian cancer. Eat 1 cup of the vegetable daily to get the daily intake of these antioxidants. Be careful not to boil it since it can destroy the isothiocyanates.
Chicory root also seems to work well with NSAIDS to relieve pain from inflammatory conditions like arthritis.1 It’s also a very good prebiotic because it can help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut.
- Olsen N, Branch V, Jonnala G, Seskar M, Cooper M. Phase 1, placebo-controlled, dose escalation trial of chicory root extract in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. July 9, 2010;11:156.
One study suggests that it may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.1
- C. Chemoprevention of prostate cancer: what can be recommended to patients?. Current Urology Reports. May 2009;10(3):165-171.
Daikon is a Japanese raddish. It’s full of antioxidants and it’s a cruciferous vegetable so has the same disease fighting benefits as the vegetables in its family. It can be cooked the same way as Carrots. Its also high in vitamin C and has enzymes that help you digest your food.
These are the greens that are part of those familiar yellow and also soft cottony like flowers that grown pretty much anywhere there’s grass. These weeds that are so hard to get rid of are actually good for you (the green leafy part that is).
The greens are very good at detoxifying your liver and it can help fight bacteria, viruses and parasites. It’s also a strong anti inflammatory food. You can eat the roots and the greens together but both are great for your body. Dandelion greens can also help you sleep better because they keep the liver clean and balanced so it can keep your blood sugar levels stable at night. People who have Insomnia experience a sudden rise or drop in blood sugar levels at night. It can be especially helpful for women because a healthy liver and therefore healthy bloodstream can help prevent hormonal imbalances.
The greens when crushed can help heal poison ivy itching. Read this to see how.
These plants are found everywhere. Be careful which plants you use if you pick your own since lawns and yards may be sprayed with herbicides to get rid of them. Make sure to wash the dandelion greens after you pick them regardless. Harvest the leaves and try them in a salad, steamed, or stir-fry.
The secret of Eggplants lies in its skin. Eggplants contain an antioxidant called nasunin, which has been shown in other studies to protect against cell membrane damage and protect the fats that make up the cell membranes in the brain.2 This is important because the membranes in the brain help get wastes out and nutrients in, and receive nerve messages. Nasunin also helps remove excess iron out of the body, which may help lower the risks for heart disease and cancer.2 The antioxidant is especially helpful in men and pre and post menopausal women. Eggplant may also help lower LDL cholesterol levels.1,3,
Apparently this vegetable, according to Dr. Joe Mercola, may cure skin cancer, specifically, non-melanoma, basal and squamous cell skin cancers.4 The eggplant is not eaten in this case but a cream created from eggplant (and other eggplant family foods) extracts are applied to the tumor. The cream is called BEC and BEC5. It appears to eliminate non-melanoma skin cancers within a few weeks. One study found that 20 out of 24 skin cancer lesions disappeared after using the eggplant cream. There is currently one company that makes this cream called Curaderm and it costs about $125.
- Huang H, Chang C, Tso T, Huang J, Chang W, Tsai Y. Antioxidant activities of various fruits and vegetables produced in Taiwan. International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition [serial online]. August 2004;55(5):423-429.
- The Worlds Healthiest Foods, www.whfoods.com. Eggplant. Located at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=22.
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Endives are full of the antioxidants known as isothiocyanates and a flavanoid known as Kaempferol. Isothiocyanates and kaempferol can help protect against ovarian cancer. Eating ½ cup to 1 cup per day of raw vegetable provides the recommended daily amount of isothiocyanates. Make sure to chew the vegetable thoroughly to release the antioxidants.
Escarole contains a good amount of everything, which means it should be a part of your daily diet. It has isothiocyanates (a large subgroup of antioxidants) and it has plenty of water, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s great in salads and is also a good cancer fighter. It has also been shown to help prevent ovarian cancer.