Good Morning! I was recently asked to write an article for our local paper on diet and cancer. Cancer prevention is very near and dear to my heart as several close relatives have been impacted by this horrible disease. Anything I can do to help educate people on the importance of a healthy diet in relation to cancer prevention is a high priority to me. I thought I would share the info with all of you and of course I had to include my oldie but goodie AMAZING BEAN SALAD RECIPE!
DIET AND CANCER PREVENTION
Although no single food can protect against cancer, strong evidence suggests that consuming a diet filled with a variety of colorful fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes/beans may help lowers the risk for many cancers. Limiting the intake of sugary food and drink, processed and red meat can certainly help reduce the risk of cancer but I would like to focus on all the tasty healthy foods you can ADD to your diet to reduce your risk. A comprehensive review of thousands of studies on diet and exercise conducted for the American Institute for Cancer Research indicated that foods such as broccoli, berries, garlic, tomatoes, carrots and spinach showed a very strong link to cancer prevention. Don’t limit yourself to these foods – the sky is the limit! Plant based foods are jam-packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants; components in food that have been strongly linked to cancer prevention.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Eat a RAINBOW every day – The brighter and more colorful the better. Think Red, Yellow and Orange in addition to your everyday green. These items are loaded with beta carotene and lycopene, components of foods strongly linked with cancer prevention.
Keep fruits and veggies visible and out in the open. Place a bowl of fruit on the counter and store cut-up fruits and veggies in clear containers in the refrigerator. If they can see them – they will eat them!
Make an effort to add a fruit/veggie to EVERY meal. Toss some chopped veggies into your morning eggs, add spinach to your morning smoothie and toss a couple of whole fruits into your lunch bag every day. Nature’s most portable snack.
Got a picky child? Try sneaking veggies into soups, casseroles and stews. If texture is an issue – pureed veggies are a great way to start. Carrots and sweet potatoes are tasty and easy additions to quick breads and even meatballs or meatloaf.
Scan the Internet for bean-based recipes (including this website!!!) Lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans are inexpensive low-fat lean protein sources that have been linked with cancer prevention.
Keep in mind that any small change in your diet is a step in the right direction. Start by choosing one or two additions each week and before long you will be consuming a healthy cancer prevention diet! Baby steps will get you there!!
NOREEN’S AMAZING BEAN SALAD
Here is a great BEAN SALAD recipe I adapted a few years ago. Mix it up at the beginning of the week so you have a healthy cancer prevention option for lunch every day!
1) Toss 1 can chick peas, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can black beans and 1 can corn in a colander and rinse under cool water for a few minutes.
2) Place in a large salad bowl. Crush several cloves of garlic in to the mix and add 1-2 tbl of fresh lemon juice. Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup red wine vinegar to the mix. Toss and add fresh snipped parsley to the salad.
I tend to go heavy on the parsley and vinegar and light on the olive oil, you may want to experiment with how your family likes it. I usually try to make the salad a day ahead of time as the flavors meld nicely over time.
Enjoy! To Your Health – Noreen