Do You Know Nutrition: Asparagus single most cancer-fighting food

By Phylis Canion
June 26, 2012 at 1:26 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I have read an email circulating about all of the benefits of asparagus and that it can help someone fighting cancer. I don't believe most of what I read on the Internet, but this caught my attention. Do you think this is true?

Here is what we know about this succulent, spring, perennial vegetable. Asparagus is a member of the lily family and comes from the Greek word meaning shoot or sprout.

This regal vegetable is believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago in the Mediterranean region where it was prized for its medicinal qualities.

What we know for a fact is that asparagus is the single most powerful cancer-fighting food known because it boasts the highest levels of glutathione than any other food.

Glutathione is a small protein composed of three amino acids (glumatic acid, glycine and cysteine) that bind to fat-soluble toxins, and therefore, serves as a powerful oxidation-reduction agent in the body. With this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property, asparagus is a natural fighter against cancer.

Researchers at the Institute for Cancer Prevention, ICP, found in preliminary studies that asparagus, and its high glutathione levels, is a potentially effective means of enhancing the body's defense systems and preventing cancer development.

Based on nutritional evidence and the ICP study, led by Dr. Despina Komniou, major grant underwriting will be provided to the National Institutes for Health.

By all means, eat your asparagus.

I love Caesar salad and had a long discussion (while eating a Caesar salad) about its origin. I am betting it came from France? Were donuts always called donuts?

So sorry to disappoint you. In the 1920s, Caesar Cardini, owner of an Italian restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, along with his brother, Alex, invented a salad of romaine lettuce, anchovies, coddled egg, lemon juice, grated Parmesan and garlic flavored croutons tossed with a garlic vinaigrette flavored with Worcestershire sauce.

At first, it was called Aviator's Salad, but Cardini later named the dish after himself.

Donuts used to be called dough naughts. Why, you are wondering? Dough for the dough they were made from, and naughts because they were shaped like zeros (zero is another word for naught).

Thought for the week: Don't follow where your path may lead. Instead, make your own way and leave a path.

Next free nutrition class will be at 7 p.m. July 9 at the Organic Emporium.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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