This dark, leafy green has carotenoids and antioxidants, helping the body prevent free radicals from harming DNA that could cause cancer. (Kale also contains vitamin C, folate, calcium, dietary fibre and beta-carotene.)
Dr Stubbins suggests there’s no harm in taking a shortcut when it comes to working more kale into your diet. “I buy it already washed and prepped [because] it’s easier to add to soups or make a quick salad,” she says.
Once again, Dr Stubbins goes for pre-washed, bagged spinach. “[It’s] easier to add to smoothies or make a quick salad,” she says.
Spinach is loaded with vitamin C, fibre and beta-carotene and may have phytochemicals that can protect against cancer.
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Cruciferous vegetables – think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower – contain folate, beta-carotene, vitamin C and dietary fibre. (Fun fact: this family of vegetables is called “cruciferous” from Latin, thanks to the fact that they’re picked from the stem and then branch out, vaguely resembling a cross.)
For one, Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants and protect the body from free radicals. And broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that one 2017 nutritional biochemistry study found may protect against prostate cancer, due to the minimising of the long noncoding RNAs preventing cancerous cells from spreading. Additionally, a study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that cruciferous vegetables may protect against ovarian cancer.
Dr Stubbins shared one of her favourite ways to use cruciferous vegetables: “I love making cabbage steaks or stir-fry with cabbage [and other cruciferous vegetables],” she says.