Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits, including lowering the risk of certain types of cancer. (Photo courtesy of

Cancer prevention starts on your dinner plate; actually, it starts in the garden. Growing your own nutrient-rich cancer fighting vegetables allows you to grow pesticide-free vegetables, harvest them at their peak, and use them right away, ensuring the highest nutrient value and best flavor.

Be sure to include some broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and turnip greens. These cruciferous vegetables release cancer fighting substances that help fend off lung, breast, liver, colon, and prostate cancer. Three weekly servings of these vegetables can greatly reduce your cancer risk. Include these vegetables in your stir fries, as a side dish, as an appetizer or eat them fresh as a snack.

If your space is limited, these plants can easily blend into your current garden space. The bold texture and form of red cabbage makes an eye-catching focal point. Turnips can easily be mixed with flowers or planted between longer season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Or mix some kale in with your flowers; the color and upright growth habit creates a nice vertical accent in the garden or containers.

Another popular vegetable that is a cancer-fighter, the tomato, can easily be grown on any size balcony or landscape. And nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. Whether eaten fresh, juiced, sauced, or added to your favorite dish, this lycopene vegetable (a powerful antioxidant) will help in the fight against cancer.

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