Plant foods are all-stars because each contains unique phytochemicals that work together to fight disease. What's more, there are thousands of foods that have yet to be analyzed, so there's more good news to come.
Based on the latest research, the following foods contain phytochemicals that are proving to be terrific choices, says David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Human Nutrition and author of What Color Is Your Diet? (HarperCollins, 2001). So eat more of these:
Broccoli, cabbage and kale
The isothiocynanates in these cruciferous vegetables stimulate the liver to break down pesticides and other carcinogens. In people susceptible to colon cancer, these phytochemicals seem to reduce risk.
Carrots, mangos and winter squash
The alpha and beta carotenes in these orange vegetables and fruits play a role in cancer prevention, particularly of the lung, esophagus and stomach.