The road to a life of eating right and living healthy starts at an early age. A nutritious diet combined with plenty of exercise not only keeps kids active and out of trouble but also goes a long way in preventing cancer. The earlier children begin eating plenty of cancer-fighting foods on a daily basis, the greater their chances of staying healthy for life.
Parents need to make smart food choices about what they feed their kids. Here are some of the top cancer-fighting foods for kids:
Dark Leafy Greens – Collards, spinach and kale are not only bursting with delicious flavor but they also contain both lutein and beta-carotene, which have been shown to help prevent breast cancer.
Tomatoes – Very few foods say summertime like a ripe, juicy tomato. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to help protect against prostate, breast, lung and stomach cancer.
Cruciferous Vegetables – No kid likes to broccoli but every parent should. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and mustard greens contain antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer.
Sweet Potatoes – These unmistakable orange tubers contain a wide variety of vital antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E; they also have a good amount of calcium, copper, iron and potassium. The best part about sweet potatoes, besides the taste, is that kids love to eat them, even without the cinnamon and marshmallow toppings.
Nuts – Almonds, cashews, walnuts, chestnuts and pistachios contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which may help prevent certain types of cancer. Nut-based oils like safflower, corn and soybean oil also contain cancer-fighting vitamin E. Obviously, you’ll want to be sure your child has no known allergies to nuts before feeding him or her anything from this category.
Garlic – Several components found in garlic are believed to help prevent stomach, colon, esophageal, pancreas, skin, lungs and breast cancer. These compounds are most effective and abundant when the garlic cloves are chopped or crushed. Just make sure, your child brushes his or her teeth before their goodnight kiss or else you’ll be getting a strong whiff of garlic breath.
Citrus – The citrus family contains delicious fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits. They contain tons of the anti-oxidant vitamin C which is shown to help prevent cancer-causing cell damage.
The best part about the foods on this list is that everything can be grown right in your own backyard. Your kids will have so fun much growing their own garden full of cancer fighting foods. If starting your own garden sounds like a fun project that you and your child would like to accomplish, be sure to check out Garden.com for all your gardening needs.