Atkins Ratio

Garlic (1 clove) 23.2

Leaf Lettuce (1 leaf) 8.2

Onion (1 tablespoon) 6.2

The world of vegetables is filled with natural chemicals that help protect you from illness. Scientists now call these defenders phytonutrients-phyto being Greek for plant. Here, for instance, are three phytonutrients that have been shown to lower the risk of cancer. Bear in mind that a complete list would be long enough to fill an entire book.

1. Beta carotene: You'll find a rich supply in green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and beans, as well as in squash, peppers and yams.

2. Lycopene: The king of this nutrient hill is the tomato, and there is very good reason to think it will help protect you from prostate cancer. Note, however, that fresh tomatoes contain less lycopene than tomato puree or tomato juice.

3. Lutein: This carotenoid has been identified with reduced breast cancer risk, and it can be found in kale, collard greens, spinach and yellow squash.

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