Dear Veggies, What are you good for?

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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.

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