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Plan your cancer defense—Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Can something as simple as eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevent cancer? Increasingly, scientific evidence suggests that eating right may well reduce the risk. Numerous studies have associated a daily diet of fruits and vegetables with a decreased risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx, lungs, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum.

As a result, The National Cancer Institute now recommends eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. What’s a serving? It’s one cup of raw, leafy vegetables like spinach or romaine; a medium-sized piece of fruit; one-half cup of chopped, cooked or canned vegetables or fruit; or three-quarters of a cup of juice.

Two of the easiest times to increase your intake, the NCI has found, are at breakfast (try berries on your cereal, along with a glass of juice) and when you’re having a snack (keep an orange or a jar of applesauce nearby). Dinners that focus on fruits or vegetables can also be easy to prepare—not to mention delicious.

Broiled scallops with grapefruit

(Serves 12)

3 lbs. medium sea scallops6 pink grapefruits
1/4 c snipped chives1 lb. kale
1 Tbsp. olive oil2 cloves garlic, halved

  • Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Slice each scallop in half horizontally. Place in a large bowl.
  • Working over the bowl to catch the juices, peel and section the grapefruit (remove all the inner membranes). Add the sections to the scallops. Squeeze the leftover membranes to extract as much juice as possible. Add the chives and toss gently to combine. Then set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash the kale, trim off tough stems, and break the leaves into small pieces. Drain in a colander, but don’t shake off the excess water; it will help to steam-cook the kale later. Set aside.
  • Transfer the scallops and grapefruit to a large broiler pan. Broil, close to the heat, for 3 minutes. Flip the pieces and broil for 2 more minutes.
  • In a large no-stick frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Discard the garlic. Add the kale to the pan and cook, stirring, until its edges start to crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Place the kale on a platter. Top with scallops and grapefruit.

Per serving: 156 calories, 2.2 g fat (13% of calories)

Reprinted from Prevention’s Quick and Healthy Low-Fat Cooking, © 1983 by Rodale Press, Inc.