One of the most useful books in my library is Eat to Beat Cancer, by Robert Hatherill, a nutritional biochemist who came up with an easy-to-implement system of grouping those families of plant foods known to prevent cancer. These are his “9 Cancer-Fighting Food Groups” and they are the: 

  1. Onion group – onion, garlic, asparagus, leek, water chestnuts
  2. Cruciferous group – arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, cauliflower, kale, radish, rutabaga, turnip
  3. Nuts & seeds – pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, etc.
  4. Grasses group – corn, oats, rice, wheat, millet, bamboo shoots
  5. Legume group – soybeans/soy products, green & wax beans, red beans, garbanzos, lentils, peas and split peas
  6. Fruit group – citrus, berries, honeydew, cantaloupe
  7. Solanace group – tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, beets
  8. Umbelliferous group – carrot, celery, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley
  9. Mushroom group – white button, Portobello, baby bello, enoki, shiitake, etc.

caesar salad pure food and wine

Pure Food and Wine’s Caesar Salad

There’s so much variety here that it’s easy to eat something from nearly each group everyday, and certainly to consume several foods from each group every week. Hatherill also adds some additional foods, mostly spices, for our cancer-preventing arsenals:

  • Licorice
  • Cayenne
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Seaweed
  • Algae

Southern Platter Candle Cafe West

Southern Platter from Candle Cafe West

For anyone who comes, as I did, from a history of restrictive dieting, the idea that the best way to protect our health might be to think more in terms of eating than of not eating is a welcome thought. Enjoy your dinner. It’s good for you.

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