Research has shown that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors is a great way to get lots of cancer fighting phytochemicals according to the American Institute for Cancer Research .  Not only is eating from the rainbow good for us but a beautiful plate makes our meals more appealing and tastes delicious too! What we eat is one of the best ways to protect ourselves in preventing cancer.

Phytochemicals plant chemicals (phyto means plant in Greek) that occur naturally in plants. Not only do they provide plants with color but also odor and flavor. In addition to helping the plants in many ways, when we eat them, they also provide lots of health benefits.

Here are a few:

-Stimulates the immune system
-Blocks things from the air we breathe, food we eat and drink from becoming carcinogens
-Reduces inflammation to help prevent cancer growth
-Prevents DNA damage & assists with DNA repair
-Reduces oxidative damage to cells that may start cancer growth
-Slow the growth rate of cancer cells
-Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce
-Helps regulate hormone levels

This is a short list of some of the colorful foods used in my new Colorful Cabbage Slaw and some of the great things that it can do to help prevent cancer:

Carotenoids
Like  beta-carotene found in rich orange colored vegetables like carrots,  lycopene found in the red foods, lutein and zeaxanthin found in the green leafy vegetables like the cilantro. Carotenoids may reduce cancer cell growth, help as antioxidants and benefit the immune response

Flavonoids
Such as anthocyanins found in limes and other citrus food (considered orange yellow food instead of deep orange) may stop inflammation and tumor growth; may assist immunity and increase production of detoxifying enzymes in the body.

Indoles and Glucosinolates 
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage considered a green food is rich in sulforaphane which may cause a increase amount of detoxification of cancer causing chemicals, reduce the making of cancer-related hormones, stop carcinogens and prevent tumor growth. In addition cruciferous vegetables also contain isothiocyanates which may begin the detoxification process of carcinogens, limit tumor growth and work as antioxidants.

Polyphenols
These include ellagic acid and resveratrol which are found in purple pigments like the red pepper and purple cabbage. Polyphenols prevent cancer formation, inflammation and work as antioxidants.

Healthy Mexican Cabbage Slaw

This salad has every color imaginable and it contains lots of healthy phytochemicals to promote health!

Colorful Mexican Cabbage Slaw

I tried to use all the colors possible in this slaw! It looks beautiful, tastes great and is also good for us also with an abundance of phytochemcials!

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups grated cabbage

1/2 cup red grated cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup thawed frozen corn

Slaw Dressing

1 lime squeezed

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 clove garlic minced

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, mix slaw ingredients and lightly toss. Mix all of the slaw ingredients in a cruet or mason jar and shake well. Toss over the slaw and mix well. Move the slaw to a serving bowl and serve.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist living in Asheville, I enjoy being able to share recipes from my kitchen with friends, family and clients to help them stay healthy! I am so glad that you found my blog and I hope that you give this recipe a try and you can find even more recipes on my blog and my recipe page that makes finding something healthy to make real easy to find!

This recipe is easy to make, flavorful, beautiful and has lots of cancer preventing phytochemicals!

 

 

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