Vegetable VARIETY Cuts Cancer Risk!!

As I say in Set Your Metabolism on Fire, you should not only eat vegetables, but you should eat a variety of veggies.  Well, my friends, it’s not just me touting the benefits of vegetable variety.

A new study published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention shows that eating more types of vegetables, and fruits, significantly reduces the risk of cancer, especially among smokers.  In fact, they found that for each new fruit or vegetable that one adds to their diet, the risk of cancer is reduced by an additional 4%!

Variety vs Amount of Veggies

Eat a Rainbow of Vegetables
Eat a Rainbow of Vegetables

This study is unique in that it closely looks at the benefits of not simply eating more vegetables (i.e. more volume), but eating a larger variety of vegetables.  This really piqued my interest because…

I’ve had a theory for quite some time, and one that I have no doubt we’ll find to be true.  Here’s the gist of my theory: fruits and vegetables have a variety of nutrients in them, many of which we’ve not yet discovered.  Therefore, one can’t simply focus on supplementing with vitamins and minerals, or even on eating a couple types of vegetables.  Even if you make sure to consume nutrients like the flavinoid, quercitin, it’s impossible to consume all (or even most) existing nutrients without eating a wide variety of nutrient dense foods like fruits and veggies.

As someone who wants to live a long, healthy life and help you do the same, I find this study interesting.  I think it really is a clue as to how we can start to conquer cancer.

Sure, we still need a cure for cancer – no doubt.  But understanding how to prevent cancer is just as important.  And I think this study brings us a step closer to understanding how to prevent the onset of cancer.

By eating a variety of natural, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, we are also consuming a synergistic blend of disease-fighting, health-promoting nutrients that can NOT be found elsewhere.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take supplements like a multivitamin/mineral, in fact you probably should.  I’m just saying that we still need to eat ample amounts of natural food to have the best chance of consuming naturally occurring nutrients, whether known or unknown.

Undiscovered Nutrients?

While it may seem odd to think that we haven’t uncovered (and synthesized) all the various beneficial nutrients in food, keep in mind that it was just over 50 years ago that Coenzyme Q10 was even discovered! And it wasn’t even begun to be understood until well after that.  Lycopene is another nutrient who’s role was not understood at all until the 1980’s.

Let's all eat more fruit & veggies!

So I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to think we have more nutrients left to discover and understand.  Actually, I think it’d be naive to think otherwise.  But I’m not going to wait on these discoveries.

I’m going to make a more conscious effort to consume a larger variety of fruits and vegetables and I hope you will too!

Yours in health,

Dr Clay

PS – for more information about the benefits of fruit and vegetables, check out these posts: Beet Juices Improves Endurance and Fruit even Healthier than We Thought!

Best Food Choices for a Clean Diet

Which Foods are Best?

Question: Hey Dr. Clay, I am a personal trainer myself and i am trying to get and understand more knowledge of training and diet. I have been reading some your articles especially the ones on carb cycling.

I understand how your eating changes from day to day, but can you give an idea of the types of foods that you would want to eat at the different meals, especially on the days where you eat higher fats.

Thank You,

Jeremy S.

Answer: that’s a very good question Jeremy.  Before I get into the answer, I want to commend you on your seeking more knowledge about nutrition.  That will definitely help you to be a top-notch trainer, no doubt.

Although this list will by no means be comprehensive, let me give you some of the main protein, carb, and fat sources that people should be eating.JennieO-turkey

Here’s a list of what I call clean foods.

Good Protein Sources:

egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red meat, cottage cheese, and/or a good quality protein powder or a good, custom-made protein blend.

Good Carb Sources:

oats (old-fashioned or steel cut), quinoa, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, Ezekiel bread (which I mentioned in episode 6 of the Dr. Clay show), fruit, rice, and/or beans (black beans, red beans, navy beans, etc.).

Good Fat Sources:avacado

avocado, olives, flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, walnuts,  pistachios,egg yolks (omega-3 enriched), and/or fatty acid supplements like fish oil.

Good Fiber Sources:

Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, spinach, Romain lettuce, onions, bell peppers, and/or other fibrous vegetables

I hope this helps you out, Jeremy, and gets you started in the right direction.


Dr Clay

Dirty Dozen Foods are the Most Pesticide Contaminated!

The Environmental Working Group recently updated their list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables.  They refer to the top 12 as The Dirty Dozen foods.

Although I talked about this in Episode 1 of The Dr Clay Show, I wanted to give you the concise list right here, plus 3 extras cause I’m lookin’ out for you! ;)

Dirty Dozen Foods

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Grapes (imported)
  11. Carrots
  12. Pears
  13. Collards
  14. Spinach
  15. Potatoes (white)