Eat Leafy Greens to Prevent and Fight Cancer

Leafy greens contain powerful anti-cancer compounds: isothiocyanates, carotenoids, and folate. You should eat leafy greens at least three times a day, so start making green smoothies, salads, and cooked leafy greens part of your daily routine.

How do leafy greens fight cancer?

  1. Isothiocyanates are known cancer-fighting substances found in the cruciferous or “cabbage family” of vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, wasabi, kohlrabi, rutabaga, Chinese cabbage, horseradish, radish, and watercress.
  2. Carotenoids are the cancer-fighting antioxidants that give fruits and vegetables their bold orange, yellow, or green colors. Fruits and vegetable with high levels of carotenoids are all rich in color. Examples of carotenoid containing foods include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potato, tomato, and cantaloupe.
  3. Folate (vitamin B9) prevents and fights cancer. High amounts of folate are found in leafy greens, beans, and lentils. Not only does folate protect you from cancer, it is also essential for the health of your heart, nervous system, and eyes.

To get these components in your diet, do not take beta carotene or folate supplements, which can have potentially harmful effects. Instead, eat the whole foods that contain these elements. Green smoothies are a quick and easy way to begin adding leafy greens to your diet.

Easy Leafy Green Smoothie Recipe

1 cup kale
1 frozen banana
1 Granny Smith apple, quartered and seeded
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cup water
½ cup ice cubes (4 ice cubes)
Extra boost: add flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or pumpkin seeds

Blend on High for 1 minute. Makes one 12 oz. serving.

Leafy greens contain powerful components that prevent and reverse cancer as well as many other diseases. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you should follow your doctor’s treatment plan and eat a cancer-fighting whole food, plant-based diet. If you choose to adopt only one new healthy habit, it should be eating  greens every day.


Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention.  National Cancer Institute website. Accessed December 21, 2015.

How Isothiocyanates Protect Against Cancer. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. Accessed December 21, 2015.

How Carotenoids Protect Against Cancer. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. Accessed December 21, 2015.

Yang G, Gao YT, Shu XO, et al. Isothiocyanate exposure, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms, and colorectal cancer risk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;91(3):704-711.

Hecht SS. Inhibition of carcinogenesis by isothiocyanates. Drug Metabolism Reviews2000;32(3-4):395-411.

Gupta C, Prakash D. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents. J. complement Integr Med. 2014 Sep; 11 (3); 151-69.

By |2019-05-29T13:43:08-05:00December 21st, 2015|Eat delicious food|0 Comments

Get 8 SIMPLE STRATEGIES to help you take control of diabetes

Overcoming Diabetes Naturally Opt In
Download the Guide and receive free wellness tips, offers, and insights via email. We collect, use and process your personal data in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You may opt out at any time.

About the Author:

Carla Hightower, MD is an integrative health coach. She provides an online group health coaching program for diabetes. In this online course, she educates clients on how to improve the underlying diet and lifestyle factors causing insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Clients learn how to help the body heal itself and reduce the need for medication. Quality of life is greatly improved.

Leave A Comment