By Milka Gronlund, Ph.D., Fitness Director of Aliso Viejo Country Club

Many of us are trying to eat more vegetables and herbs. Some people consider it being a chore and something they do reluctantly.  This can make the task very challenging. There are many health benefits to eating vegetables, greens and herbs. Some of these health benefits are discussed in this short article. Be sure to love the awesome veggies! They will love you back. American Cancer Society recommends a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of cancer.

Happy eating!

 Basil– helps with digestion. It is also considered antibacterial and anti-inflammatory (Katz, 2009 p. 31).

Black Pepper– helps stimulate digestion and possibly have anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties according to National Cancer Society (Katz, 2009 p. 31).

Ginger– may help with healing chronic inflammation, cleansing of the body and improve circulation. It may help protect the liver and stomach. Best not to be used during pregnancy or for those with gallstones (Balch 2006 p. 110).

Mushrooms– are considered anti-inflammatory and good choices for cancer prevention, based on animal studies. They may help reduce the risk of breast, lung, stomach, colon and prostate cancers among other cancers (American Cancer Society; Katz, 2009 p. 31).

Onions– are considered antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Onion extract has been shown to have anti-tumor properties (Katz, 2009 p. 37).

Oregano– is considered anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antibacterial. It may be good for immune system, healing and prevention of cancer due to powerful anti-oxidants- thymol and rosmarinic acid (Katz, 2009 p. 37).

Radishes– they are good for the digestive system, especially for the liver and gallbladder. They are also categorized as anti-inflammatory (Katz, 2009 p. 38).

Tomatoes- contains lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. Can help reduce the risk of cancers such as prostate, breast, colon and pancreas, especially when combined with olive oil and broccoli (Katz, 2009 p.40).

Turmeric– helps fight free radicals and may help protect the liver from toxins. May also good for cancer and arthritis prevention. Has been found to inhibit the spreading of HIV in lab tests (Balch 2006 p. 123).


Corn and Tomato Salsa

¾ cup frozen corn

½ cup chopped red onion

½ red chile (seeded and chopped)

2 ripe tomatoes

½ cucumber

4 radishes

1 tbsp. fresh basil (shredded)

Juice of 1 lime

Black pepper to taste

Cook corn and mix it with other ingredients. Let is stand at room temperature for one hour before eating. Bon Appetite! (Rose, 2004 p.59)

Establishing new lifestyle habits and a healthy diet can be challenging. Be kind and understanding with yourself when making changes. Change can be difficult to manage. Please remember to listen to your body for feedback and work with appropriate health and wellness professionals for optimal results. This is not intended to be a complete detoxification, wellness, nutrition, counseling or exercise program. Please do listen to your body and be very sensitive to the needs of your body.  Enjoy the journey!


  • American Cancer Society, retrieved 2/18/13
  • Balch, P. (2006). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. NY, NY: Avery.
  • Katz, R. (2009). The Cancer Fighting Kitchen. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts
  • Rose, S. (2004). Detox. Bath, UK: Paragon Publishing Book

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