According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, superfoods are “a super nutrient-dense food, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and/or phytonutrients, etc.”. I have also read they have specific benefits for health improvements, few negative properties and are a whole food in its natural state.
In a perfect world, we would all be able to buy organic, local, grass fed, free-range food on a daily basis. But if you’re anything like me, that’s not possible, the grocery budget is only so big, especially with 2 growing boys.
Now, I’ve made some changes in our monthly budget so that I can buy more organic food. Cut back on the Starbucks for one. But I’ve also found this great guide that shows which produce has the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic, and which are the least contaminated and you can save your money by buying them conventional.
Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website to get your copy of the “Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen” list.
Since cancer prevention and support is my passion, I’ve chosen 3 foods from each list, highlighting their cancer fighting properties.
The Dirty Dozen list…BUY THESE ORGANIC
- Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which helps in preventing bone loss, osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism
- Greens are also high in iron, high in fiber and low in calories (eat them with a little lemon squeezed on to get the full absorption of iron)
- The risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently included cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate
- Lycopene has been shown to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer and reduces the aggressiveness by up to 60% (and recently, shown to reduce breast cancer risk and aggression as well)
- Orange colored tomatoes have a higher bioavailability of lycopene (better absorbed)
- Helps to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- Excellent source of immune boosting anti-oxidants like vitamin C & E and beta-carotene (can you say anti-cancer?)
3. Strawberries (or any berry for that matter)
- 1 cup of berries have 8 – 10 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of strawberries have 100% of your daily vitamin C
- While all berries are high in antioxidants (powerful anti-cancer nutrients), wild blueberries have the highest available antioxidants
- Help control blood lipids which reduce heart disease and diabetes
The Clean Fifteen list…OK to eat conventional
- Part of the cruciferous vegetable family which also consists of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, radishes
- Prevent precancerous cells from forming and promotes the death of existing cancer cells (apoptosis)
- Best kinds to consume are Asian like shiitake and maitake
- Contains lentinian, a molecule that stimulates the immune system
- Best part of the immune system support is activating an immune cell called macrophages. These identify and clear out potential cancerous cells in the body
- Also shown to reduce cholesterol and keep our blood cells healthy, which reduces cardiovascular disease
- Part of the allium veggie family – leeks, shallots and chives
- Garlic is considered a natural antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
- The sulphur compounds of this family helps to reduce the carcinogenic effects of BBQ’d meat (FYI-include it in your marinade)