Rose, Cardamom and Earl Grey Latte

written by Rebecca Moutoussidis

rose, cardamom, early grey latte, ginger snap cookies, Valentine's Day, gluten free, Dairy free

With the cold, gloomy weather in Toronto, we’re naturally keeping cozy with delicious warm drinks. Wellness lattes are becoming a popular drink of choice lately, and many health food restaurants and cafes are now selling a wide array of warm superfood drinks. Chaga hot chocolate, turmeric golden milk, and matcha lattes are all really popular, but we at Living Kitchen love to experiment with new flavours. 

A while back, I was on Pinterest and came across this recipe for a rose and earl grey latte, and was inspired to make a wellness latte based around these flavours. Valentine’s Day is today and the combination of these flavours matches this holiday perfectly! After loads of testing, I finally developed a delicious, fragrant recipe for a Rose, Cardamom, and Earl Grey latte. If you’ve ever had a London Fog, you’ll love this healthy and soothing alternative! 

Earl grey tea contains bergamot, a citrus oil which is known for its uplifting properties. A 2014 study on 58 hospice patients showed that all participants who simply applied a blend of oil containing bergamot to their hands reported less pain and a decrease in depression symptoms. Every single patient reported this! Bergamot is also known to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Cardamom, another main flavour in this latte, is believed to also contain anti-depressive properties. It is also known to prevent bad breath as well as infections of the throat and mouth and mouth ulcers. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Rose, the last main flavour in this latte, has several health benefits. The compounds found in roses are the reason behind this flower’s anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties. It carries a plethora of health benefits; it is antiseptic and antiviral, helps to treat menstrual cramps, and is also a very well-known aphrodisiac. 

This wellness latte is refined sugar free and vegan, so that everybody can enjoy it. It’s incredibly soothing, and is the perfect Valentine’s Day drink! Whip one up for yourself or special someone today!

Rose, Cardamom and Earl Grey Latte 

Serves 2

½ cup dried edible rose petals
½ cup maple syrup
6 green cardamom pods, crushed
3 tbsp water
2 dates (optional if you want to add more sweetness)
½ tsp rosewater (optional- leave this out if you don’t want a very strong rose taste)
3 tsp loose leaf earl grey tea, or 2 teabags
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk (We used coconut milk, but any non-dairy milk will do!)

Crushed dried rose petals, for garnish

 

Directions:

To make the syrup:

1. Combine the rose petals, maple syrup, cardamom pods and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer very gently for 20 minutes, until reduced by about 1/3. Strain liquid into a container, pressing the rose petals against the strainer to extract as much syrup and release their colour as much as possible.  

2. If using the dates, pour syrup back into the saucepan and add the dates. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for an additional 7-10 minutes, until dates are very soft and begin to fall apart.  Remove from heat and pass the mixture through a fine sieve,  pressing the softened dates through with the back of a spoon. 

3. Add rosewater if desired. 

To make the lattes:

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and steep the tea for 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. 

2. Heat the milk to just below a simmer over the stove and use a whisk or milk frother to develop a layer of foam if desired. 

3. Pour 1 ½ tbsp of rose syrup into a mug. Fill the mug halfway with the steeped tea and top with the hot, frothy milk. Garnish with crushed rose petals and enjoy!  

 

References: 

Peterson, D. (2017). Anxious or Feeling Down: Can Essential Oils Help? Retrieved from http://info.achs.edu/blog/depression-and-anxiety-can-essential-oils-help

Mercola, J. (2016). The Blissful Benefits of Bergamot Oil. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/bergamot-oil.aspx

Pulsiper, C. (2013). 15 Health Benefits of Cardamom. Retrieved fromhttps://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom

Organic Facts. (n.d.) Health Benefits of Cardamom. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-cardamom.html

Organic Facts. (n.d.) Health Benefits of Rose Essential Oil. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-rose-essential-oil.html

3 Cancer Prevention Foods You Didn't Know About

cancer prevention foodsjpg

World Cancer Day is this Saturday, February 4. Continuing with the Union for International Cancer Control’s three-year campaign slogan “We Can, I Can”, this day highlights how we, both as a society and as individuals, can reduce the burden of cancer. Cancer affects everyone, but we all have the ability to lessen the impact this disease has on individuals, families, and communities. There are a number of Key Messages that the UICC suggests we, both independently and together, should be focusing on pushing in order to help fight cancer. These messages (which you can find on their campaign website),  range from  promoting healthier cities and work environments to shaping policy changes. Two of UICC’s Key Messages stood out to us here at Living Kitchen:  Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices, and Prevent Cancer. 

We are what we eat, quite literally. The food that we put into our bodies has a tremendous impact on our health. Something as simple as changing what you eat could drastically lower your chance of developing cancer. For example, it has been established that a diet high in red meats, refined grains, and added sugars increases the risk of colorectal cancer; if you were to cut out those risk increasing factors and replace them with more plant based options, less added sugars, and whole grains, you would be lowering your chances of developing that type of cancer.

There is no doubt that there are certain foods that are renowned for their cancer fighting properties: Cruciferous vegetables, turmeric, and garlic are all disease fighting superfoods that come to mind. However, there are some lesser known foods that pack just as big of a punch when it comes to food for cancer prevention. This World Cancer Day, we can take a stand against this disease by making healthy lifestyle choices to prevent cancer.

Here’s our list of foods that are linked with cancer prevention, that you might not know about! 

 

Probiotic/ Fermented Foods

Did you know that 80% of your immune system resides within your gut? This is thanks to the hundreds of billions of microflora that live in your digestive system. They enhance immune function, regulate bowel movements, and enhance nutrient absorption. The probiotics found in fermented foods provide the gut with good bacteria. This in turn regulates your bowels, and also prevents unwanted infections and pathogens as the good bacteria outnumber the bad. Probiotics have also been shown to possess anti-tumor properties, and support cells that are responsible for fighting infections and tumors.  These powerful bacteria are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and even in sourdough bread! They’re also available in supplement form for convenience.  

 

Supergreens: Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheatgrass

If you’re looking to get a super concentrated amount of nutrients in the smallest amount of food, supergreens are your new best friend. Spirulina, a blue-green algae, contains all of the essential amino acids, several B vitamins (including folate!), and is high in iron, but its superfood properties don’t stop there. Studies have shown that spirulina helps to stop cancer cells from replicating; if cells can’t replicate, cancer can’t spread. It can be found in powder, tablet, or capsule form and makes a wonderful addition to smoothies, juices, and even soups. Chlorella is another supergreen that is a close cousin to spirulina. As well as being a great source of omega-3’s, it’s been shown to increase energy in breast cancer patients, prevent DNA damage, and even induce cancer cell death. Just like with spirulina, it can be found in powder, tablet and capsule form.  Other super greens to look for and try out include wheatgrass and chlorophyll. 

 

Mushrooms

Despite having been studied for their medicinal properties for ages, mushrooms are not always in the spotlight for their cancer-fighting properties as much as they should be. Known for having anti-cancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, mushrooms certainly are a powerful superfood. They also contain prebiotics, not to be confused with probiotics! Prebiotics are a specialized plant fibre which helps to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Think of it as a fertilizer for the good bacteria found in probiotic foods. Another awesome thing about mushrooms is their immunomodulating properties- they can help to regulate your immune system. A word of warning though: Not all mushrooms are created equally. The best mushrooms to eat that contain these wonderful benefits are shiitake, enoki, cremini, oyster, reishi, portobello, chaga, hen-of-the-woods, and turkey tail. 

written by Rebecca Moutoussidis

 

References:

Jackson, F. M.D . (2016). Prebiotics vs. Probiotics. Retrieved from https://www.prebiotin.com/prebiotin-academy/what-are-prebiotics/prebiotics-vs-probiotics/

Fung, T.T. & Brown, L.S. Curr Nutr Rep (2013) 2: 48. doi:10.1007/s13668-012-0031-1

Gilhuly, K. (2015). Spirulina and Vitamin B Deficiencies. Retrieved from  http://www.livestrong.com/article/492033-spirulina-b-vitamin-deficiencies/

World Cancer Day 2016-2018 (2017). Theme- We Can. I Can. Retrieved from  http://www.worldcancerday.org/about/2016-2018-world-cancer-day-campaign

Yu, Ai-Qun, et al.  “The potential role of probiotics in cancer prevention and treatment.” Nutrition and Cancer, vol. 68, no. 4: May-June 2016: pp. 535-544.

Maleki, Davood, et al, “Probiotics in Cancer Prevention, Updating Evidence,” Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics: Bioactive Foods in Health Promotion, 2016: pp. 781-791.

Zhujun, Wang, et. al. “Inhibitory effects of small molecular peptides from Spirulina (Arthrospira) platensis on cancer cell growth.” Food & Function, vol. 7, 2016: 781-788.

Gorjzdadeh, Homan, et. al. “Fatty acid composition of Spirulina sp., Chlorella sp. and Chaetoceros sp. microalgae and introduction as potential new sources to extinct omega 3 and omega 6.” Iranian South Medical Journal, vol. 19, no. 2: pp. 212-224.

Noguchi, Naoto, et. al. “The Influence of Chlorella and Its Hot Water Extract Supplementation on Quality of Life in Patients with Breast Cancer.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2014, 2014 March. 

Yusof, Yasmin Anum Mohd, et al. “Hot Water Extract of Chlorella Vulgaris Induced DNA Damage and Apoptosis.” Clinics, vol. 65, no.12, 2010: pp. 1371–1377. 

Patel Seema, et al. “Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review.” 3 Biotech. vol. 2, no. 1, Mar  2012: pp. 1-15.

Matcha and Adzuki Bean Muffins (the best testing healthy muffins ever)

matcha tea muffins, matcha adzuki bean muffins, vegan, gluten free, breakfast, the living kitchen, toronto, recipe

 

We’ve all heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that is absolutely true. It’s important that we nourish our bodies in the morning, because of how long we go without eating due to being asleep during the night. Eating breakfast also provides fuel for us, making tasks such as going to school or work much less stressful on our brain, increasing our performance and making it easier to concentrate on what we need to do.

Breakfast is definitely important, but what’s even more important is what you eat for your first meal. Common breakfast foods such as sweetened cereals, muffins, croissants, scones, toast, and bagels all have a high Glycemic Index (GI), meaning they have simple carbohydrates that break down quickly once digested, spiking our blood glucose levels. They provide a burst of energy for us, but our blood glucose levels decline as quickly as they rise. This results in us getting hungry for lunch quicker and feeling sluggish due to the crash of blood glucose levels. Not optimal for people with busy school and work schedules!

Fortunately, studies have shown that eating foods that are Low GI, such as almonds, legumes, pure maple syrup, and steel cut oats, have more complex carbohydrates that are broken down slower than their higher GI counterparts, resulting in a more steady and slow increase in blood sugar levels, meaning we don’t experience the same kind of crash and post-breakfast hunger that we would if we were to eat something that contained more simple sugars. Low GI foods are also known to steady insulin levels, preventing our bodies from developing insulin resistance. 

The Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology conducted a study to see how low GI breakfasts and snacks could affect overall blood glucose profiles. They concluded:

Consumption of a low GI breakfast and afternoon snack was capable of attenuating 24-h blood glucose profiles, minimize glycemic excursions and reduce food intake…This simple dietary intervention may be an acceptable approach in improving overall glycemia and energy balance.”

These Matcha and Adzuki Bean muffins are a delicious on-the-go breakfast, with tons of health benefits. They are gluten and grain free, made with hearty chickpea and almond flours, both low GI foods to keep you feeling full until lunch. Adzuki beans (aside from being super tasty) are a great source of fibre, which helps to keep bowel movements regular; they also are a good source of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, manganese and B Vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. Alongside these health benefits, they’re also- you guessed it- Low GI to help avoid the dreaded post-breakfast crash. 

Matcha green tea powder is revered for its amazing antioxidant properties. A serving contains 34 mg of caffeine, which is perfect for waking up on early mornings, but due to an amino acid found in matcha called L-Theanine, the caffeine is released slowly into the body, meaning you get a longer, more gradual energy increase rather than the caffeine rush and crash that we all know coffee is responsible for.

These muffins are packed with nutrients, healthy fats, are gluten and grain free, refined free, and vegan! They’re almost too good to be true. Make a batch during your meal prep day to have these on hand for your busy weekdays. Enjoy! 

 

Matcha and Adzuki Bean Muffins 

This recipe is adapted from a video on Ryoya Takashima’s Youtube Channel “Peaceful Cuisine”. Original recipe can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDy3ijT3JWg

 

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
3/4 cup adzuki beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp melted coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup +2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp high quality matcha
1 tbsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chickpea flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the adzuki beans and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until beans are softened and there is no liquid left. Remove from heat.  
3. In a large bowl, combine the melted coconut oil and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. If your coconut oil begins to harden, heat the mixture in a double boiler or place your bowl over a pot with simmering water (make sure your bowl is heatproof!).
4. In a separate small bowl, combine your flax seeds and 3 tbsp water. Allow to stand for a few minutes until thickened and gelatinous. This is your flax egg!
5. Add the flax egg to the wet ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined. 
6. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from muffin tins. 

Enjoy!

Written by Rebecca Moutoussidis

 

References: 

Kaur, B. & Ranawa, B. (2015). The impact of a low glycemic index (GI) breakfast and snack on daily blood glucose profiles and food intake in young Chinese adult males. Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology, 2 Issue 3. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.meir-ez.medlcp.tau.ac.il/science/article/pii/S2214623715000563np=y&npKey=a2cf03112f2075313e095c1c1a79f85b8ff5f733fa01b549ad91639940221c3e 

All Breakfast All the Time (n.d.) Glycemic Index. Retrieved from http://www.mrbreakfast.com/glossary_term.asp?glossaryID=158

Sears, A. (n.d.) Glycemic Index. Retrieved from http://alsearsmd.com/glycemic-index/

Satherley, J (2014). Could you swap your morning latte for green tea? Matcha has a caffeine kick but the antioxidants of a superfood. One coffee addict travels to Japan to attempt the challenge.  Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2713411/Would-swap-coffee-Matcha-green-tea.html

 

Organic Facts. (n.d.) Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans. Retrieved from 

    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/adzuki-beans.html

New Year, New Way to Beat the Winter Flu!

2017 has officially begun! And as with the start with every new year, most of us have probably kicked off January with new healthy eating plans and exercise regimes. The months of January and February are full of lifestyle changes, but unfortunately, they’re also synonymous with the cold and flu season. As many of us know, the winter months often bring with them the influenza virus, causing stuffy noses, sore throats, muscle soreness, fatigue, and plenty of other unpleasant symptoms. You can help give your immune system a boost by eating certain foods. Here are 3 common (and cheap!) foods to incorporate into your diet this winter season that’ll fight off those pesky flu symptoms. 

 

Red Bell Peppers

Red peppers contain an astonishing amount of Vitamin C. One cup of chopped peppers contains about 117 mg of Vitamin C, nearly double the amount found in a typical orange. Vitamin C, according to the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University, stimulates the production and function of white blood cells, particularly phagocytes. These white blood cells are critical to immune system function because they are the biggest line of defence if a pathogen enters your body, engulfing and destroying whatever your immune system sees as a foreign threat. Vitamin C helps to produce these very important white blood cells and allows them to function at a higher level, some studies have shown.  Bell peppers are easily found in most grocery stores and are best eaten raw or cooked very gently for a short period of time so that the nutrients are not depleted. 

 

Garlic

Garlic has been used for its healing properties for thousands of years.  This strong-smelling plant has been shown to fight off drug resistant bacteria, including MRSA, a “super bug” that is resistant to several kinds of antibiotics. Studies have shown that this is due to the high concentration of sulphur-containing compounds such as allicin that are present in the plant (it is these compounds which give garlic that distinctive smell!). When the garlic clove is crushed or chopped, it stimulates the enzymatic process that converts alliin, a phytonutrient found in the plant, to allicin, so be sure to wait a few minutes after preparing your garlic cloves before cooking with and eating them.  Garlic is very inexpensive and can be found in nearly any grocery store at any time of year. Be sure to use fresh garlic when cooking, as the powdered stuff doesn’t contain its healing properties. Cooking for long periods of time tends to destroy the allicin, so to ensure you’re getting all of the wonderful antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, eat your garlic raw or very minimally cooked. 

 

Ginger

Ginger root is another ancient medicinal ingredient found in many cuisines across the world. It is well known for relieving gastrointestinal pain due to its high concentration of the compound gingerol. This compound is also what gives ginger its incredible anti-inflammatory properties. This potent root has been shown to boost immunity due to its ability to make you sweat from its heat, and while that may not sound pleasant or particularly helpful, there is a compound found in sweat called dermiciden that helps to fight germs. Ginger is found in most grocery stores, and as with garlic, always try to buy fresh rather than powdered or dried, since the fresh ingredients have more potent active ingredients. Ginger can be found in the fresh produce aisle in most grocery stores and is often relatively inexpensive. Be sure to pick a root that is firm! 

 

Written by Rebecca Moutoussidis

References
Higdon, J. PhD. (2013). Vitamin C. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C

Mercola. (2013). Beat Back Cold and Flus with… Garlic! Retrieved January 16, 2017 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/23/garlic-health-benefits.aspx

World’s Healthiest Foods (n.d.). Bell Peppers. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=50&tname=foodspice

World’s Healthiest Foods (n.d.). Garlic. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60

World’s Healthiest Foods (n.d.) Ginger. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7

Pomegranate Chard Pilaf & 5 Foods for Postate Cancer Prevention

pomegranate, swiss chard, radish, pinenut, quinoa, lemon, pilaf, prostate cancer, Thanskgiving

November is now fondly known as Movember, especially if you have had the joy of a special man in your life deciding to outfit himself with an epic moustache for the month.   All joking aside, this is an important movement that helps raise awareness about men's cancers, from how men can check themselves early for signs of cancer to advocating for affordable treatment.

With so many wonderful vegetables in season during the fall, there are so many options to make delicious and nourishing recipes that can help prevent prostate and testicular cancers. We know it can be challenging sometimes to maintain a healthy diet when the holidays are here, with family dinners and parties that are full of heavy foods, sweet desserts, and festive alcoholic drinks.  But, with the right recipe and ingredients, it's easy to incorporate health promoting, antioxidant rich, and cancer preventing foods in the holiday dinner menus. 

American Thanksgiving is around the corner and then the December holidays will be quickly coming next. Here are 5 ingredients that we recommend focusing on to prevent cancer and are particularly good to incorporate in the diet for prostate and testicular cancers.

 

5 Foods for Prostate Cancer Prevention

Leafy Greens 

Leafy greens are one of the most important vegetables to eat every day.  Not only do they have healthy fiber to keep everything moving and support the removal of toxins from your body, they are full of phytonutrients and vitamins. 

 

Whole Grains

Eating refined grains have been linked with an increased risk in prostate cancer, while whole grains are healthy and provide many nutrients.

Quinoa (which technically is a seed, but used in the same way as grains), brown rice and other types of rice such as red rice, millet, and oats are all great gluten free grains to incorporate into your diet.

 

Omega 3 Rich Oils

Omega-3 fats slow the development of many cancers, including prostate and pancreatic cancer and can help make chemotherapy more effective.  Omega 3's have an anti-inflammatory effect, which keeps the immune system stable as well as prevents cancerous cells from growing.

Try adding flaxseed oil and hemp oil into your diet, as these oils are both rich in omega 3s.

 

Pomegranate

This beautiful and interesting fruit has been studied to specifically see the impact it has on prostate cancer.  Studies have found that pomegranate is linked with reduced Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and prevents prostate cancer cells from replicating.

 

Lemons

Lemons help the liver metabolize toxins as well as provides the body with antioxidants, such as vitamin C. 

We recommend using organic lemons, especially if you are going to use the peel in recipes that call for zest.  Lemons can be used in a variety of ways, from adding zesty flavour to salad dressings to simply making a glass of water more enjoyable.

 

Pomegranate Chard Pilaf

Not only is this recipe rich in nutrients that are good to prevent cancer, but it's vegan, gluten free, and appropriate for most people with dietary sensitivities.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 small bunch swiss chard, chopped
3 radishes, sliced in thin circles
1 clove garlic, chopped
spoonful of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Dressing:
2 Tbsp flax oil or hemp oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

Topping:
handful of toasted pinenuts or pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. Cook the quinoa with 1 cup of water in a pot for 15 minutes.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer on low heat.
2. Meanwhile, chop the chard and garlic.
3. Saute the chard with the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes, to wilt.
4. Slice the radishes in thin discs and take the pomegrante seeds out.
5. Toss all of the vegetables together with the cooked quinoa.
6. Add sea salt to taste.
7. Add the flax oil or hemp oil, along with the fresh lemon juice.
8. Add a handful of pinenuts or pumpkin seeds.

 

Sources:

Beliveau, Richard and Denis Gingras. Foods That Fight Cancer. McClelland & Stewart, 2005.

Dietary intakes of carbohydrates in relation to prostate cancer risk: a prospective study in the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohortAm J Clin Nutr 2012 96: 6 1409-1418; First published online November 7, 2012.

Syed, Deeba N. et al. “Pomegranate Extracts and Cancer Prevention: Molecular and Cellular Activities.” Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry13.8 (2013): 1149–1161. Print.

Update on Uses and Properties of Citrus Flavonoids: New Findings in Anticancer, Cardiovascular, and Anti-inflammatory Activity. O. Benavente-García and J. Castillo. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2008 56 (15), 6185-6205

The Top 5 Nutrition Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

turmeric latte, cancer prevention, vegan

As October is breast cancer awareness month, it’s an important time to think about this disease that affects so many people in our country and around the world. I have recently experienced the loss of a dear family friend from breast cancer, and many of you will have also, as it is the most common cause of cancer death in women. 

Breast cancer is strongly affected by dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors, and therefore taking preventative measures may help reduce the risk of developing the disease. Diet appears to be one of the most critical components of breast cancer prevention. In particular, maintaining a normal weight and adhering to a traditional Mediterranean diet have a protective effect on breast cancer.

The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fiber, fruit, fish and unsaturated fats (particularly omega 3), and a low intake of refined carbohydrates and processed meat. Let’s take a look at the most important factors to find out how they make a difference in breast health.

 

Increase Vegetable and Fruit Intake

Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants that are potent stimulators of detoxifying enzymes in the body. In particular, they can increase the conversion of estrogen from cancer producing forms to non-toxic breakdown products. Broccoli sprouts have particularly high levels of these antioxidant compounds.

Vitamin C is found in many vegetables and fruit and acts as a powerful anti-cancer agent. Vegetables and fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C are: bell peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts (vegetables) and papaya, strawberries and pineapple (fruits).

 

Increase Fiber Intake

The typical Western diet is high in refined carbohydrates and therefore low in adequate amounts of fiber that is needed to keep toxic wastes from being absorbed into the bloodstream. The bowels must move daily for healing! Great sources of fiber include many whole foods such as legumes, vegetables and fruit, whole grains and nuts and seeds. 

 

Consume Omega 3 Fats

Flaxseed is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic-acid), which is capable of interfering with the cancer-promoting effects of estrogen. Flaxseed can be ground and added to smoothies or applesauce, or consumed as flax oil on salad or drizzled on vegetables. Make sure to keep your flax oil in a dark, glass bottle in the fridge and consume within 8 weeks!

 

Reduce Consumption of Red and Processed Meat

Recent studies suggest that high intake of red and/or processed meat is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. In particular, by-products produced during high temperature cooking and hormone residues are recognized as possible sources of the positive association. Therefore, if you do choose to eat red meats, ensure you select organic, hormone free products and cook them with care.

 

Utilize Turmeric in Foods and Beverages

Turmeric not only tastes great, but also has a wide range of benefits including decreased cancer risk. Curcumin (the active constituent in turmeric) has a role in the phase of detoxification where our cells bind to potential toxins and are excreted from the body.  

Wondering how to incorporate turmeric in your diet?  Try out this recipe below...

 

Turmeric Latte

1 cup dairy free milk of your choice (or filtered water)
1 Tbsp hempseeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 dates

Directions:
1. Blend together the milk, hempseeds and dates in a blender until smooth and creamy.
2. Pour into a small pot and heat.
3. Add in the turmeric and whisk until combined.
4. Heat gently (don't boil).

 

Bonnie Flemington is a passionate nutrition consultant and educator, and student at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. Bonnie coaches clients on nutritional strategies for disease prevention and weight loss, and has motivated numerous others through corporate and educational workshops. She is committed to empowering people with knowledge to help them take control of their health.
Facebook: Bonnie Flemington
Instagram: bonnieflemington

 

References
Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Penguin Group, New York, 2010.
Guo Jingyu, et al. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, “Red and Processed Meat Intake and Breast Cancer: A Meta Analysis of Prospective Studies”, May 2015, Vol 151, Issue 1, p. 191-198.
Murray, Michael T. et al.  The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Atria Books, New York, 2012.
The World’s Healthiest Foods www.whfoods.com Articles on Vitamin C, Fiber, and Turmeric.