Dear Veggies, What are you good for?


We all have stiff necks from watching the ping pong match over the years between believers of the role of nutrition in cancer prevention and the non-believers. Today comes a science column in the New York Times (“An Apple a Day, and Other Myths”) reporting on the recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Researchers now believe that diet does not play a role in most cancers.

I don’t “get it.” We must have spent a gazillion dollars in the past few decades studying links between nutrition and cancer. If we read my favorite website “The World’s Healthiest Foods”, we can see innumerable peer-reviewed articles published in respected journals reporting on exciting research connecting micronutrients to cancer prevention. What am I missing? How can all of this good work by all of these smart people suddenly be considered invalid? As I have done, read George Johnson’s “Apple a Day” article and become a little less bewildered. (He does mention a few possible exceptions shown in the current research, including coffee and Vitamin D.)

I continue to hitch my star to this green wagon: Scientists do believe that many other good things come from eating your vegetables, including the important benefit of weight control, reducing inflammation, controlling blood pressure, and preventing heart disease.