BY JEAN LAMANTIA I can’t think of a cancer-fighting goal that could be easier than growing (and enjoying) fresh herbs in your garden. When cancer researchers suggest that you eat a “plant-based diet," I think many people think of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes. But I think most forget that herbs and spices are an important part of a cancer-fighting, plant-based diet too. This is because herbs, like other healthy plants in our diet, contain phytonutrients—healthy plant nutrients. I have assembled this chart to give you a quick look at some of the herbs you will find at your local garden center or produce store. The chart includes information on the cancer-fighting evidence for these herbs too. Want to know the neat part of this recommendation to grow and enjoy fresh herbs? Not only will eating the herbs have beneficial health effects but studies show gardening is beneficial too! Double wow! The seven herbs in my chart are super easy to grow. You may even find that mint and sage will grow as perennials for you. Some people complain about mint taking over the garden, so if you don’t want that, then plant it in a pot or contained space. When you go to the garden center, you will see several forms of most of these herbs. For example, basil comes in small leaf basil, Thai basil, and Genovese basil. Mint can be found as spearmint, peppermint, ginger mint, etc. Just plant the one variety you enjoy the most. They all contain the same active ingredient, so you will get the health benefits no matter which flavour version you choose. Happy planting! Jean LaMantia is a registered dietician, cancer survivor, and best selling author of The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. She can be found at www.jeanlamantia.com.
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.