Need convincing to eat your veggies? Check out these powerful antioxidant foods, which do far more than prevent cancer!

Looks like Popeye had it right. Remember him popping open a can of spinach, downing it in a single gulp before taking on Bruto? While canned spinach strikes most of us as unappetizing, that’s all they had in the 1950s canned food craze, unless you were blessed with a garden. Today, we know that veggies are a great source of antioxidants, which help prevent cancer. Here we take a look at the top-drawer veggies, loaded with antioxidants, that you’ll want to make a regular part of your diet. All of these antioxidant foods have many other health building virtues, with an impressive array of other health benefits.

Let’s shop the produce aisle.

Most of the green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants. Spinach is one of the best of the antioxidant foods. Many credible studies have determined that people who eat spinach often are least likely to get cancer. However, the story doesn’t end there. Spinach, consumed regularly, reduces the ‘bad’ cholesterol and is a rich source of fiber, keeping your digestive tract in good order. You gain the most nutrition by eating raw, or lightly steamed spinach.

Broccoli, anyone? This powerful antioxidant food seems to particularly target the prevention of breast, colon and lung cancer, while also reducing the ‘bad’ cholesterol via its high fiber content. Broccoli is also good news for diabetics, helping to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. Again, eat it raw or lightly steamed.

The humble garlic is an antioxidant food powerhouse that is lauded by the National Cancer Institute as the King of anti-cancer agents. Garlic is also an excellent remedy for heart and circulatory problems, reducing HBP, ‘bad’ cholesterol and preventing blood clots in veins and arteries, as well as reducing plaque on artery walls. One study found that just 2-3 cloves of garlic a day reduced the risk of heart attack by 50%! Garlic is also a natural antibiotic, killing bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites. Got a cold? Garlic is far more effective than an OTC medicine, without the side effects. It serves as a decongestant, expectorant and simultaneously triggers good immune system response. Arthritis patients should make use of its anti-inflammatory activity.

I hear you. You don’t fancy the garlic breath. That’s where parsley comes to the rescue, countering the garlic breath with its mouth freshening qualities – no more garlic breath. Not only that, but parsley is also one of the richest antioxidant foods. With its diuretic properties, it helps prevent water retention and edema. If you’re a bit anemic, the high iron content of parsley builds up your blood in a hurry.

Cabbage is another powerful antioxidant food. In addition to helping to prevent breast, stomach and colon cancer, cabbage is another natural antibiotic, effective against bacteria and viruses alike. This veggie boosts your immune system and is a good blood cleanser. Attention men: eating cabbage two times each week can cut your risk of developing colon cancer by almost 70%!

You can really put some punch in your cabbage by making coleslaw, combining carrots with the cabbage. Carrots contain massive amounts of beta-carotene and, like cabbage, boosts your immune system. Several studies have concluded that carrots dramatically reduce the rate of stroke among women, as well as providing significant protection against macular degeneration and cataracts in both genders.

Cauliflower is another of the antioxidant foods you’ll want to make friends with – this veggie has been shown to reduce your risk of stomach, colon and rectal cancer. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. It’s also an excellent choice for diabetics, particularly when lightly steamed and seasoned with a curry spice mix which contains turmeric, which reduces blood sugar levels within minutes of eating!

In addition to its antioxidant properties, cayenne peppers are effective against a variety of bacteria, helps break up blood clots and is an excellent remedy for respiratory problems. Cayenne pepper acts as an expectorant and decongestant, warding off conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema. You may find it surprising that the hot cayenne pepper can prevent stomach ulcers. Dieters, take note: cayenne pepper increases your metabolic rate, burning calories as you eat!

Tomatoes are a must-have, unless you suffer from arthritis. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, known to reduce your risk of cervical and pancreatic cancer.

I’ll bet that veggie plate is looking fairly appealing about now! Loading up your menus with these antioxidant foods will do you a world of good!

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