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Dinner Diva: Breast Cancer and Your Diet

Dinner Diva
Breast Cancer and Your Diet

When you consider that 2/3 of all disease is lifestyle induced, it's not hard to make the argument that you are what you eat. To illustrate that concept, there is a commercial on television for some kind of cereal showing a woman walking down the street who has (apparently) just eaten cinnamon buns and is quite literally wearing them on (where else?) her buns. I love that commercial...such a visual!
You can end up "wearing" the wrong foods for sure (as in the cinnamon bun lady). I've often said there is no need for me to eat certain foods, I should just apply them to my thighs and skip all the work of eating and digestion-that's where it will end up anyway!
But more than just outer appearances, food impacts our health and the inner workings of what's going on in our bodies, significantly. There are healthy foods lists (I've written several over the years) telling you what to eat and why, there are books of the same genre and people (like me) speaking all over the country, trying to get people to understand the impact of eating the wrong food. It may be a life and death matter.
Cancer, and particularly breast cancer for women, is a disease that chills the blood of most women. The fear of losing a breast or both is a palpable concern, as we've known someone who has or has had this disease. It's become all too common.
So what can we do as women, to combat this disease?
The answer of course is to eat better. I can help you with that, I love food! And I love lists, so here's a little one:
The top five foods for combating cancer are:
Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, oh my! These mighty veggies contain indole-3-carbinol that may help fight breast cancer by changing up cancer promoting estrogen into a more protective type of estrogen.
Tomatoes: Turns out lycopene, the phytonutrient in tomatoes that is linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer, can work its same magic with breast cancer risk as well. New research has shown that to properly absorb lycopene, you need to eat it along side a little oil. I'm thinking olive oil and tomatoes sounds good, huh?)
Carrots and Their Orange Colored Friends: The pretty beta-carotene does more than color your carrots orange. It may also protect the DNA in the cell nucleus from cancer causing chemicals outside the membrane. Think of beta-carotene as a shield every you nibble a carrot!
Citrus Fruits: The lovely orange and gorgeous grapefruit contain monoterpenes that may help prevent cancer as this compound sweeps the body of carcinogens. How cool is that? A cancer swiffer!
Seaweed: When you consider this amazing sea vegetable is chocked full of beta-carotene, fiber and chlorophyll as well as chlorophylones, fatty acids that may help fight breast cancer, you just can't say no to sushi! Domo arigato!
And while you're digesting those five foods, how about cooking up this delicious, cancer fighting soup?
Cream of Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Serves 6
1tablespoon olive oil
1onion - chopped
1 bag frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes - leftovers
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese - shredded
Salt and pepper - to taste
In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and cook onion. When onion is translucent, add broccoli and chicken broth. Cook till broccoli is tender, about 3 minutes or so.
Add mashed potatoes, mixing well till incorporated. Heat for 5 minutes then add milk and heat a little while longer. Add cheese and stir. Serve.
Per Serving: 180 Calories; 7g Fat; 12g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 18mg Cholesterol; 591mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with a big salad and some whole grain rolls.

For more help putting dinner on your table check out Leanne's website or her Saving Dinner Book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times Best Selling book Body Clutter (Fireside). Copyright 2008 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.

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