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Dietitians Name Three Cancer-Fighting Recipes for 25th Anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted Nov 13 2009 10:01pm

To observe the 25th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, dietitians with the nonprofit Cancer Project are offering three delicious, low-fat, and easy-to-prepare recipes to help women prevent and survive breast cancer. The recipes include a Green “Goodie” Smoothie; Lentil Artichoke Stew; and Cucumber, Mango, and Spinach Salad.

Each recipe is featured in “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods That Help You Fight Back,” authored by nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D., president of The Cancer Project, and nutritionist Jennifer Reilly, R.D. The guide includes groundbreaking information about nutrition and breast cancer and more than 130 healthful recipes.

“Decades of breast cancer research have shown a strong link between diet and cancer,” says Cancer Project dietitian Krista Haynes, R.D. “The colorful recipes we chose are chock-full of fiber and cancer-fighting chemicals that can help women reduce the hormones, carcinogens, and toxins that contribute to breast cancer.”

At least one-third of annual cancer deaths in the United States are related to dietary factors. Increased fruit and vegetable consumption can reduce cancer risk, but less than one-third of U.S. adults eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS) has shown that breast cancer survivors who cut their fat intake and increase their fruit and vegetable intake reduce their recurrence rate by 24 percent. For survivors with estrogen-receptor-negative tumors, the reduction is 42 percent.

Three powerful cancer-fighting recipes:

Lentil Artichoke Stew
This aromatic, fiber-packed, and tasty Middle Eastern dish is great served alone or over brown rice or pasta. Using fire-roasted tomatoes is not necessary, but gives the stew a delicious smoky flavor

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup dry (uncooked) red lentils (3 cups cooked)
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
2 24-ounce cans chopped tomatoes (preferably fire roasted), undrained, or 6 cups freshly chopped tomatoes plus 1 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups quartered artichoke hearts (1 9-ounce frozen package or 1 15-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Heat broth in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden. Add garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add dried lentils, bay leaf, and water to pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add lemon juice, tomatoes and their liquid, artichokes, and crushed red pepper (if using). Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add salt and black pepper, or to taste.

Source: “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods That Help You Fight Back!” by Neal Barnard, M.D., and Jennifer Reilly, R.D., Page 126.

Cucumber, Mango, and Spinach Salad
This salad boasts beta-carotene from the mango and lutein from the spinach, which are cousins in the carotenoid family and important antioxidants. Aside from cancer prevention and survival, lutein is recognized for its key role in eye health.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 bag (10 ounces) or bunch fresh spinach
1 mango, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Wash and drain spinach, tear into bite-size pieces, if necessary, and put into a large serving bowl. Toss mango, cucumber, green onions, and basil in a medium bowl. Add lime juice and vinegar and stir to mix. Arrange mango mixture on spinach and sprinkle with black pepper. To enjoy the fresh flavors in this salad, eat immediately after tossing.

Source: “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods That Help You Fight Back!” by Neal Barnard, M.D., and Jennifer Reilly, R.D., Page 139.

Green Goodie Smoothie

Spirulina is an antioxidant-rich powder made from blue-green algae. It’s highly nutritious and doesn’t change the taste of this delicious fruit smoothie. It does, however, make it a wonderful green color.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup fortified vanilla soymilk or other nondairy milk
10 frozen peach slices
1 banana
1/4 cup cherries or raspberries
2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
1 tablespoon spirulina
ice, as needed, to chill and thicken

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth, stopping the blender occasionally to move the unblended fruit to the center with a spatula.

Source: “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods That Help You Fight Back!” by Neal Barnard, M.D., and Jennifer Reilly, R.D., Page 101.

The Cancer Project is a collaborative effort of physicians, researchers, and nutritionists who have joined together to educate the public about the benefits of a healthy diet for cancer prevention and survival. Based in Washington, D.C., the Cancer Project is an independent, separately incorporated affiliate of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.



* Cancer Project Website

* Cancer Project: Weekly Recipe

* The Cancer Survivor’s Guide

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