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The busy mom's cancer-free diet

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Ward off cancer

Want to give yourself a leg up on being cancer-free? Eat more antioxidants! Antioxidants are vitamins found in foods like citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, nuts and more. Even fish, red meat and eggs have important antioxidants! How can you easily get more of these important nutrients, while also juggling your kids, carpools and soccer practice?

Woman Drinking Green TeaAccording to the National Cancer Center, lab tests have shown that antioxidants can slow or even ward off cancer. Tests in humans have been more mixed, but scientists are still researching how eating more antioxidants might help you ward off cancer. Types of antioxidants include beta carotene, lycopene, and Vitamins A, C and E.

There are many ways that you can fit more antioxidants into your day, without adding lots of prep time or taking time away from your job or family.

Drink it!

Pomegranate is one of the best sources of antioxidants. The nutritional powerhouse can be mixed with ginger ale for a tasty spritzer or served straight up. All you need is eight ounces! Be sure to choose a 100 percent juice version like POM Wonderful so that you get the maximum benefits.

Green tea is another good source of antioxidants. Tea contains a type of antioxidant like catechins, and green tea has the greatest amount since it's left closer to tea's natural form. Choose a tea with flavors to your liking and sweeten with an antioxidant-rich dark honey such as buckwheat honey.

Check out: Celestial Seasonings has several new flavors of green tea out that do double duty, helping you to ward off cancer and helping experts search for a cure. A portion of proceeds from the varieties are being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dip it

Got a hankering for chips and dip? The crunchiness with a nice dip can be a great afternoon snack and if you choose wisely you can get antioxidants in the process. Head for an antioxidant-rich dip like a homemade guacamole or a hearty tomato salsa.

Check out: Deep River Snacks are donating a portion of their proceeds from their 40% Reduced Fat, Lightly Salted Kettle Chips to the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, which is named for a Connecticut wife and mother who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005.

Cook it!

Some vegetables release more nutrients into the body when they've undergone a bit of cooking. Roast up some garlic, cook some onion or steam some carrots. Vegetables like those are enhanced by light cooking. For instance, you get more of carrots' antioxidants like beta carotene and Vitamin A when you cook them. Steaming is a quick way to soften up vegetables like carrots, releasing all the good stuff.

Check out: Cooking Light's website has some great recipes for carrots.

Add some herbs!

Flavoring your food with fresh herbs like oregano, dill and rosemary is an easy way to up the antioxidants in your dinner. Believe it or not, some herbs rival vegetables. Just chop them up and toss them into sauce, mix them into pasta or combine with salad greens.

Check out: The food blog Kalyn's Kitchen has a great roundup of herb recipes from around the world.

Grab the chocolate!

Yes, you read right. Eat your chocolate. Dark chocolate, in particular, is rich in antioxidants. In fact, according to WebMD, dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant, but don't even think of ordering milk or white, which are not antioxidant-rich.

Check out: Munson's Chocolates is donating a portion of the proceeds from certain chocolates to the American Cancer Society through Oct. 31, 2008.

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