We’ve known that spinach is good for you and is high in the much needed vitamin Iron. New findings give us more reason to include this healthful vegetable into our diets.  A recent study published in Molecular Food and Nutrition Research reveals spinach can offset the damaging effects of a known carcinogen called PhIP found in cooked red meat.

Numerous studies have shown that two-thirds of cancers can be controlled by lifestyle modifications, including diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will significantly offset the effects of carcinogens.  In lab tests, rats with colon cancer tumors were fed a diet with spinach while others had a diet with no spinach.  Researchers fed these rats about 30 grams of fresh spinach every day for a year.  The rats with the spinach diets had nearly half the amount of tumors as they did at the beginning of the year.

There are about 90 publications so far proving spinach is an anti-cancer food. Most studies so far were done on mutation and protection for liver in animal model and showed positive results in colon, prostate, stomach and breast cancers.  However encouraging results were shown in human breast and prostate cancers.  Phytochemicals present in spinach affects cancer cell survival and inhibits inflammation – one of the four basic processes of cancer growth.

Spinach contains chlorophyll, carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids, as well as micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  These miracle agents fight tumor formation and decrease the amount of cancer-promoting molecules by affecting signaling pathways regulating cell functions.

Cancer is the nation’s second leading cause of death, and every day it seems we learn about a new risk factor or something we need to stop doing or avoid to reduce our chances of getting this deadly disease.  We’re told to eat lots of dark leafy green vegetables and avoid eating a lot of red meat.  Now let’s be honest, in the summer months, what’s better than a grilled steak or burgers?  Just by adding spinach as a side to your steak, you can significantly off-set your cancer risk.  Eat one cup of cooked spinach, or two cups raw, four times a week to get the most benefits of this great anti-cancer food!