How? Because they’re rich in beta-carotene, a naturally occurring chemical found in brightly coloured foods like squash, spinach, peppers and kale.
Beta-carotene is a health-boosting carotenoid that converts into the all-essential vitamin A to help protect our cells from damage and create antioxidants in the body.
For the largest ever study into the relationship between diet and cancer, scientists across Europe interviewed 1,500 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer as well as 1,500 women who were cancer-free.
Each woman was questioned about her diet and tests were carried out to measure their levels of beta-carotene.
The findings revealed that women who ate foods rich in beta-carotene reduced their risk of certain breast cancers by almost 60 per cent.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia with approximately 38 women being diagnosed with the disease every day.
Want to up your intake of beta-carotene? Remember it’s a fat soluble vitamin, meaning a small amount of fat is required for it to be absorbed, so try adding a drizzle of olive oil to roasted carrots.
In a similar European study, researchers found that women who consumed large amounts of extra-virgin olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing breast cancer over five years than women who followed a low fat diet.
For more carrot and oil combos, try this cumin and carrot dip or these healthy carrot muffins.