We know we’re supposed to eat our veggies, but they’re not all created equal. A new study actually finds that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, along with yellow and orange veggies like carrots and yellow bell peppers are the best for lowering the risk of breast cancer for women between the ages of 27 and 59.
Researchers also learned that women who eat more than five and a half servings of fruits and vegetables a day had an 11% lower risk of breast cancer than those who eat two and a half servings or fewer. The study also finds that eating more produce is linked to a lower risk of more aggressive tumors.
And when you’re loading up your plate, these are the cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables you want to fill it with:
- Kale - It’s high in carotenoids, the pigment that gives fruits and veggies their dark colors and helps prevent cancer. And kale has beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of cancers of the lung, breast, bladder, mouth, esophagus, and others.
- Tomatoes - They’re full of lycopene, which is also known to help ward off cancer.
- Watermelon - This summer favorite is also high in lycopene.
- Oranges - It’s the vitamin C in oranges that’s been found to lower risks of cancers of the esophagus and stomach, and the antioxidant neutralizes cancer-causing chemicals in the body.
- Peppers - They’re high in vitamin C also, with yellow peppers having the most and green ones having the least.
- Brussels sprouts - This cruciferous veggie contains flavones and indoles that have anti-cancer properties.
- White grapefruit - It’s got more selenium than most fruits and also has the antioxidant powers from vitamin C and beta-carotene.
- Spinach - The leafy green is high in carotenoids and selenium, too.