If I had breast cancer, I would eat…

 

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, and as I listen to the statistics of women diagnosed, I ponder the reality that it could happen to me. I can’t help but wonder, what would I do? What power foods would I eat to strengthen my immune system?

What I do know is that we have incredible power over our health. Even if there are genetic factors involved, our lifestyle can have an effect on whether or not those genes are expressed. That being said, cancer is a stinker and can appear in even the healthiest of us. It is important to eat and live in a way that supports our immune system, to arm our body and reduce our risk.

Cancer thrives in an acidic, inflammatory environment, so the first thing I would do is to remove things like sugar, refined carbohydrates, acidic foods and load my body with alkaline, anti oxidant, anti-inflammatory, live plant-based foods.

The great thing is that there are so many delicious “superstar” foods that have a little extra punch when it comes to fighting cancer. These foods include berries, cruciferous vegetables, carotenoid-rich vegetables, beans/lentils and spices like turmeric.

Turmeric is a yellow spice that is a big part of curries and other Indian dishes. The magic lies with curcumin, a component of turmeric that has been shown to help prevent several types of cancer, like colorectal, esophageal, mouth, intestinal, breast, stomach, and skin.

Adding turmeric to warm lemon water is a winning combination: the lemon creates a basic environment, the turmeric has an anti-cancer effect and the ginger is an anti-inflammatory.

 

When I learned the anti-cancer benefits of turmeric, I started adding it to my morning cup of warm Lemon Water.

Turmeric Lemon Elixir
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • Cayenne
  • Honey

Directions
In a mug, stir together all ingredients (cayenne and honey to taste) until combined.

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You’ve got to try my Spicy North-African Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas! This soup is a winner on so many levels.

I always get rave reviews whenever I serve this soup, for its slightly-spicy, unique flavor. It makes me smile inside because I know that it is loaded with 6 of the power foods for breast health. Whoo Hoo!

Let’s take a look at those power ingredients in the soup –

  • Chickpeas – Legumes are uniquely high in several nutrients important for breast cancer protection, including fiber, folic acid and phytoestrogens called lignans. According to Harvard’s Nurses’ Study, those who consumed beans or lentils at least twice a week were 24% less likely to get breast cancer then those who consumed them less than once a week.
  • Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Kale – They get their anti-cancer punch from plant pigments called carotenoids. These carotenoids offer broad-spectrum, natural chemo-prevention. Light cooking actually increases the bioavailability of carotenoids, so enjoy this group of veggies cooked for optimal results.
  • Cauliflower – This cruciferous vegetable contains phytochemicals, namely sulforaphane and indoles, which are among the most potent naturally occurring anti-breast cancer agents ever identified.

 

This soup has so many anti–inflammatory superstars: turmeric, greens, onions and garlic!

Spicy North-African Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 2 32oz cartons of organic low salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 cup onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups kale, coarsely chopped (can use frozen)
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Directions

1. Bring the chicken broth, chickpeas and cinnamon stick to boil in a 6-quart stockpot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cinnamon stick uncurls.

2. While the chickpeas simmer, heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili flakes, onions, and carrots, and sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.

3. When the cinnamon stick uncurls, transfer the sautéed vegetables to the stockpot along with the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and turmeric. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and cauliflowers are tender.

4. Add the kale and continue to simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green. Stir in the basil and salt. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.

5. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Notes from Denise:

If you are short of time, you can get use frozen cauliflower, onions, kale and garlic. Your soup will be ready in no time!

Download recipes now!

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So whether you have breast cancer or not, eating more plant-based power foods is the best medicine. Try some of my recipes and discover the healing power of good, fresh, real food.

All this month, we will be featuring power foods for Breast Health, so stay tuned and please share this post with someone you love or  know who would benefit from this information.

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Cookbook in the works! I am putting together a cookbook and would love to know your favs. If you try a recipe, please leave a comment (good or bad). I always value your feedback! 

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