Adding in lemon and orange juice and zest to this soup adds extra carotenoids. I have a deep attachment to my microplane zester and I use it all the time because adding zest gives a dish that extra boost of flavor. Turns out that these citrus carotenoids are also good at fighting cancer, especially breast cancer. Studies have found a 10% reduction in breast cancer (3)! Just by eating citrus fruits. That’s crazy to me, and good news, since I constantly am adding lemon zest (and juice) to my dishes.
So how is this working? The citrus compounds are helping aid DNA repair. Every day, your DNA takes a beating from oxidative stresses (such as environmental exposures, stress, chemicals, unhealthy foods). The foods we eat help to repair the DNA so that it can continue to function properly (if we eat whole plant foods, that is!). Damages in DNA leads to diseases, one such is cancer.
Then the question always asked next is – can’t I just take a supplement?
And the answer is: No.
It just doesn’t work. Studies have looked at it and the supplement did nothing for DNA repair (4)! There’s no money in telling people to eat oranges, but there is if you can make a pill, right? So that’s why you still will see such supplements being sold. But the reality is that there is something very complex happening when you bite a piece of citrus. It has the carotenoids that we know are so important, but they are attached to many many other citrus compounds. Together, they make the citrus effective in your body. Broken up, they are useless. In fact, even just drinking the juice is not any good. So eat the whole fruit and add in the zest for the best protection for your DNA!