Both of these cruciferous family vegetables are well known for their cancer-fighting compounds, especially isothiocyanates and indoles. And broccoli and cauliflower are even more protective in this dish, which also uses bell peppers, onion, garlic and oregano. That’s because each ingredient offers its own set of cancer-preventive phytochemicals, which reinforce the others. Eating a wide variety of vegetables improves the odds of reaping their health benefits.
Quinoa is a whole grain that may rank highest in protein content, providing 8 grams per cup. Along with the vegetables, it also contains cancer-fighting fiber. To add protein but keep it light, serve this dish with some diced chicken breast or baked fish.
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Onions, ginger, garlic, cumin and Indian spice mix (“masala”) give these lentils more of the protective phytochemicals found in al plant foods, plus a spicy fragrance that stimulates the appetite. Lentils also contain protein, and dal is a dish eaten daily in India.
Although red lentils are called for in this recipe, you can opt for green lentils instead. Lentils don’t need soaking and can be cooked either to a liquid consistency of soup or simmered longer until they become thick enough to eat as a dip with whole-wheat pita bread. Creamy, cool yogurt and chopped cucumber balance the spices in the lentils. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare this tasty, nutritious dish.
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If you’re looking for a bright new way to enjoy fresh summer vegetables, try our Health-e-Recipe for Summer Veggie Soup. It’s loaded with nine tasty vegetables that bring you cancer protection and it’s ideal to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.
Every vegetable contains many phytochemicals – naturally occurring substances that may protect our cells from damage from aging and toxins that, over time, can lead to cancer development. These compounds work together for health protection, so this soup is a terrific way to eat the wide variety of vegetables that AICR recommends to reduce cancer risk.
To get the most out of your garlic, mince it first and let it stand for 10 minutes so its allium compounds are fully activated. The carrots add beta-carotene to this soup, and the yellow squash and zucchini contribute fiber (found in all plant foods). The potatoes, chickpeas and corn make this soup hearty, providing other nutrients. Asparagus, tomatoes, basil and chives add even more individual phytochemicals.
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