We all know we should “eat our fruits and vegetables” and oft en are reminded to eat a wide variety of produce. But research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention,  a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research has shown new evidence that eating a variety of vegetables can help decrease the risk of lung cancer.

 Although quitting smoking is one of the most important preventative actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of lung cancer,  researchers have shown that consuming different types of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce the risk. The key is the diversity of the vegetables not the amount or the form (fresh, frozen or canned) researchers from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, in the Netherlands reported.  

“Fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds, and it makes sense to assume that it is important that you not only eat the recommended amounts, but also consume a rich mix of these bioactive compounds by consuming a large variety,”  said H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., senior scientist and project director on the project.

 “The results are very interesting and demonstrate a protective effect in smokers. There are still over a billion smokers in the world, and many are addicted to nicotine and cannot stop in spite of their best efforts,” added Hecht, who is the Wallin Land Grant Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

 The report reminds readers that quitting smoking, or education against smoking are still primary routes to reduce the risk of lung cancer, but it’s good to know there is more we can do to help reduce our risk. Have a colourful dinner, rich in fruits and vegetables tonight!