Fruits and Vegetables - Reduce Your Cancer Risk

50% reduction

of diagnosis for certain cancers with frequent fruit & vegetable consumption.


Foods that contain fibre can reduce the risk of colon cancer.


of South Africans have low dietary intake of fruits & vegetables.

A balanced lifestyle includes making smart food and drinks choices. Avoiding known cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) such as excess red meat and alcohol will reduce your cancer risk while making sure you don’t neglect your fruits and
vegetables can provide several benefits.


Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants which help to boost your body’s natural immune system and protect against cancer cells. For this reason, it’s important to consider your health before indulging in your favourite meals. Research strongly indicates that leading a balanced diet and making smart choices in terms of what you eat can have a positive effect not only on your well-being but also reduce your cancer risk.


Phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables most likely work together to lower cancer risk


Which fruits and vegetables are most beneficial?

The table below demonstrates some of the benefits that adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can have on decreasing your risk of cancer:



Fruits are particularly good for reducing the risk of stomach and lung cancer. Fruit can be high in sugar so be sure to moderate your intake.

Vegetables containing carotenoids

These vegetables include carrots, Brussel sprouts and gem squash which contain nutrients that reduce your risk of lung, mouth, and throat cancers.

Non-starchy vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, beans, and legumes assist in fighting against the potential risk of stomach and oesophageal cancers.

Fruit & veggies high in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful cancer preventing antioxidant found in oranges, berries, cherries, bell peppers and dark leafy greens.

Fruits high in lycopene

Lycopene helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and can be found in red fruits like guava, tomatoes, and watermelon.


What other benefits can I get from fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables also provide a fantastic source of fibre and healthy fats which are crucial for general health and digestion. Fibres play an important role in keeping the gut clean by removing cancer-causing compounds by pushing them through the digestive tract before they can manifest into something harmful. By having a diet full of fibre you’re being especially proactive against colorectal cancer.


Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are not only found in fish but also flaxseeds and avocados aid substantially in reducing inflammation which reduces your risk of cancers that effect the brain and heart.


Other key factors to consider

 It is not only important to include fruit and vegetables in your daily diet, but it is also important to consider where you source your fruit and vegetables, as well as to consider how you prepare your food. As far as possible, try to source your fruits and vegetables from organic suppliers who avoid the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides. You may be paying a bit more for them but taking the extra precautions could save you thousands of Rands in the long run.

 It’s also crucial that you carefully consider how you choose to prepare your meals. Here are some tips to ensure you’re doing it right!


1. Don’t cook all the vitamins out of your food

Many fruits and vegetables are more beneficial when consumed raw or steamed until tender and crispy. Over cooking your vegetables will only ensure you lose those precious cancer fighting nutrients, while steaming your vegetables for only a few minutes will ensure you maximise those vitamins and have a tasty crunch to your meal.


2. Make sure you wash your food before you prepare it

While fruit and vegetables are great for your health, the chemicals and pesticides used to enhance their growth and keep away bugs or birds can be extremely harmful to your health. Washing them in water will reduce most of the pesticide residue.


3. Don’t cover your veggies with sugar and salt

If you feel your veggies are a little bland, there are healthier alternatives to caramelizing or showering your meal in salt. Natural immune-boosting herbs, like garlic, ginger, thyme, parsley etc are excellent for spicing up your meal.


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