February 23, 2012

A Constellation on Your Plate

(excerpt from Healthy Starts Here!)

There isn’t a single food or an element in a single food that can protect you from cancer all by itself. But according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), scientists believe that the combinations of foods, mostly from plants, can have a strong impact on reducing your chances of developing cancer.

When is this math statement ever correct?

1+1 = 3

Not when I was going to school, but this math equation, when the sum of the parts is greater than the individual effects, is called synergy, and this is one of the ways scientists are trying to explain the power of eating combinations of foods to boost their individual anti-cancer effects.

The research keeps piling up in the YES category, that diets high in fruits and vegetables may help you live a healthy life. Antioxidants such as phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may play a key role in reducing chronic disease risk.

To get those powerful fruits and vegetables onto your plate you need to make room for them.


The AICR recommends that your plate should have the following proportions:

  • 2/3 should be filled with fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans
  • 1/3 for all other protein sources


The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that your plate should have:

  • Half filled with fruits and vegetables
  • One quarter filled with whole grains
  • One quarter of the plate filled with a protein source


Slightly different, but still putting the emphasis on fruits and vegetables plus whole grains; whichever of the two diet styles you choose, they’ll both steer you in the right direction for healthy eating.

To get the biggest impact choose intensely colourful fruits and vegetables, aim for a rainbow of colours on your plate.

One Comment on “A Constellation on Your Plate

kerry merkley
February 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

hi mairlyn

your blog came at a most aspicious time. i have lung cancer so am always looking for an edge. i really would like to be one of the five percent who survive it. you know, alive tends to be a more attractive state than dead. just sayin’….
anyway, i love veggies, and cooking and looking at my food, if not always eating it. your blogs and recipies and general happy irreverent outlook on life boost me, give me a giggle. i look forward to reading you very much. (also see you on cityline. hope to be there one day when you’re a guest. but i’m not a stalker, just ask tracy.) lol. anywho, just wanted to let you know you have a loyal follower who appreciates your culinary advice and sense of humour. and let me reiterate, i’m not a stalker. honest!! lol.

yours in food,

kerry merkley.


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