Broccoli: King of Cruciferous

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Broccoli

It’s no wonder that broccoli has been crowned king when it comes to cancer-fighting properties.   Hundreds of studies have been done on broccoli and its cruciferous family, and in addition to its many health benefits, cancer prevention is its claim to fame! Broccoli has been associated with reduced risk of several different types of cancer, and the research is strong when it comes to breast cancer specifically. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Broccoli contains indole-3 carbinol (I3C) a phytochemical that simply put converts the “bad” or stronger form of estrogen to a safer, weaker version. Studies have also shown that I3C actually caused cancer cells to self-destruct! LOVE that! So, I3C is invaluable in protecting the body.
It just blows my mind that nature created such an amazing food with such special powers! Oh, but there’s more! The next cancer-fighting superstar in broccoli is sulforaphane, a phytochemical also found in other cruciferous vegetables. It’s thought that this compound might help remove or neutralize carcinogens or affect your body's hormone levels in a positive way to prevent hormone-related cancers. Sulforaphane also increases enzymes in your liver that help destroy cancer-causing chemicals you may consume or be exposed to in your environment. This compound has even been called one of the most powerful anti-carcinogens found in food. If this doesn’t get you eating broccoli, I don’t know what will :)

Added Benefits

Brocolli is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A (as natural carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, the B vitamins and potassium. You might be surprised to hear that broccoli also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which add to its anti-inflammatory properties. Broccoli also provides cholesterol-lowering benefits and has been shown to prevent heart disease. I admit I wasn’t a big fan of broccoli, but now I can’t get enough of it! First of all, I’ve grown to actually love the taste, but also every time I eat it, I can’t help but think of all the amazing things its doing for my body, and that makes me love it even more! You can keep it simple and steam your broccoli, which is always a good option, but if you’d like to spice things up a bit, give these recipes a try.

Broccoli with Asian Garlic Sauce

by Kaitlin from The Garden Grazer www.thegardengrazer.com http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2013/05/broccoli-with-asian-garlic-sauce.html broccoligarlicsauce2

Cleansing Green Soup

by Ella at Deliciously Ella www.deliciouslyella.com http://deliciouslyella.com/cleansing-green-soup/ soupblog-460x630 I’m including a link to a FABULOUS book that I recently acquired. It is all about the mighty and wonderful Brasssica family and how to cook them all! Not only is it packed with delicious, healthy recipes, but it is visually stunning, too. “Brassicas – Cooking the world’s healthiest vegetables” by Laura B. Russell http://www.laurabrussell.com/books/ Are you a broccoli lover… what’s your go to method of cooking? Share below. email_signoff1

Flaxseed: Lovely Lignans

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Flaxseed

Exactly what are lignans and how might they help you prevent Breast Cancer? Lignans are natural plant compounds (phytochemicals) that are locked in the cell matrix of certain seeds, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables. They are similar in shape, structure and function to estrogen. However, the very BIG difference is that lignans are the kinder, gentler version and can actually help the body block the more aggressive estrogens from its estrogen receptor sites. By replacing these more troublesome estrogens with lignans, you may reduce your risk of cell mutations, and consequently of breast cancer.
Everyday we are exposed to hormone disrupting chemicals, through the food we eat, preservatives, our personal care products, our household cleaners, and so on, these “xeno-estrogens” can wreak havoc on your body’s delicate hormonal balance. Flaxseed is your friend and ally in blocking these foreign invaders. Once the “Bad” estrogen has been displaced, it can be properly metabolized and removed from the body as waste.
Flaxseed is without a doubt the richest source of plant lignans. Most plant foods contain some amount of lignans, however, researchers have ranked flaxseed as the #1 source of lignans in our diet. Flaxseed also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid and is a good source of melatonin also known to offer protection against breast cancer. Wow, as if all that wasn’t enough, flaxseeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits making them a logical candidate for cancer prevention. Chronic inflammation (even low level inflammation) and chronic oxidative stress are risk factors for the development of any cancer.

How much should I have?

Lignans usually pass through your system in 24-48 hours, so it’s important to eat them consistently, to gain the benefit. 1-2 tablespoons daily is a good amount. It is important to note that flaxseed is easier to digest and absorb when it’s ground versus the whole seed. You can buy it pre-ground or grind it yourself. Flaxseed can spoil quickly, so must be refrigerated.

Added Benefits

Flaxseed is also a good dietary source of vitamin E, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, folate, copper and zinc. It has cholesterol-reducing properties and its anti-oxidant benefits have long been associated with prevention of cardiovascular disease and more recently to decreased insulin resistance. When you first look at the bag of flaxseed, you might wonder how on earth you’ll incorporate it into your diet? It’s really quite easy. You can add it to smoothies, sprinkle it on cereal, yoghurt and salads. If you’re a baker, you can even add it to muffins or bread.

Let's get cooking!

This is a pretty fabulous recipe from Sonali at The Foodie Physician www.thefoodiephysician.com Sonali is an ER doctor and culinary school graduate who loves to combine her medical and culinary backgrounds to create healthy recipes.

Blueberry Banana Flaxseed Smoothie 

http://www.thefoodiephysician.com/2012/06/ingredient-911-flaxseed-superfood.html You can read even more about the virtues of flaxseed on her recipe post!

Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins

In keeping with the season, I’m treating you to a scrumptious and healthy recipe for Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Amanda at Running with Spoons www.runningwithspoons.com http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2014/09/08/flourless-pumpkin-pie-muffins/ Flourless-Pumpkin-Pie-Muffins Have you already embrace Flaxseed. How do you include it in your day? Share below. email_signoff1

Coconuts: On Island Time

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Coconuts

This true superfood has made a big comeback in recent years. Once avoided for its high saturated fat content, it is now being embraced. New research has shown that the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) found in the saturated fat of coconut oil, is in fact good for you! Good quality fat sources, such as coconuts, avocados and olives are essential to our health. Our cells, blood, liver, immune system and brain need fat to function.
Coconut milk and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid, a powerful antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities of coconuts are a strong ally in fighting many disease-causing germs and may play a role in fighting cancer as well.
Cultured coconut milk (similar to dairy yoghurt) contains probiotic organisms, found in laboratory studies to enhance the body’s immune response against breast cancer. A 2014 study revealed that women being treated for breast cancer had fewer symptoms and reported a better quality of life when using a virgin coconut oil supplement daily. Better quality of life is always a good thing!

Added Benefits

Coconut oil has been shown to have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. It can also increase your energy and aid in weight loss. You know I love any natural beauty solution, and coconut oil is a star when it comes to caring for your skin and hair. Not to mention it smells soooo good! Coconut milk is a great “alternative milk” to add to your routine. I like to vary the milks I use, and coconut milk is in the rotation with almond milk and cashew milk. If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil, you’re missing out. Coconut oil is very resistant to high heat, so is a great and safe option when cooking this way. It also adds a lovely flavor to your food!

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

This scrumptious soup will give you the chance to use coconut oil AND milk! Coconut Curry Lentil Soup by Angela from Vegangela www.vegangela.com http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/ IMG_7237

Quinoa Pudding with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup

This is a sweet treat that’s healthy and packed with protein and fiber. Quinoa Pudding with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup by Samantha from Five Heart Home www.fivehearthome.com http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/01/11/quinoa-pudding-with-coconut-milk-maple-syrup/ Do you have a favorite way to use coconut oil? Share below. email_signoff1

Swiss Chard: Eat the Rainbow

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Swiss Chard

They say variety is the spice of life, and Swiss chard is a beautiful and tasty way to add variety to your diet. If you haven’t embraced this leafy lovely, then it’s time to give it a try.
Swiss chard belongs to the same family as spinach and beets, and actually tastes quite similar to spinach with just a hint of beet.
There are a number of Swiss chard varieties, some have white, yellow, or orange stalks while others have red, pink, or purple stalks, and all are equally nutritious. My heart skips a beat when I see the rainbow packed version at the store. They are stunning! But there’s more to them than just good looks. All that color in their leaves, veins and stems is provided by antioxidant phytonutrients. At the moment over three dozen phytonutrients have been discovered in chard! THREE DOZEN! These phytonutrients promote health and fight disease. Chard is being studied for its cancer preventing properties and it’s thought that its rich source of carotenoids may help kill cancer-causing free radicals. Betalain, a pigment in Swiss chard, is also being studied for potential anticancer properties. When you eat Swiss chard, you get a wealth of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. So, eat your greens…and reds and oranges and purples and….

Added Benefits

Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. With its good supply of calcium and its excellent supply of magnesium and vitamin K, chard offers outstanding support for bone health. Swiss chard also helps to regulate blood sugar and provides benefit to those with diabetes. It’s also very low in calories, and can aid in weight loss. It’s easy to add Swiss chard to your routine. Anytime you might use spinach or another green, you can use Swiss chard instead. It makes a tasty addition to salads, smoothies and soups. Its also great added to omelets or scrambled eggs.

Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas

You must try this delicious and easy recipe is from Heidi at Foodie Crush! www.foodiecrush.com http://www.foodiecrush.com/2013/04/garlicky-swiss-chard-and-chickpeas/

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Swiss Chard & Onion Frittata

This delicious breakfast makes it easy to add more greens to your diet! Swiss Chard & Onion Frittata from Williams Sonoma http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/swiss-chard-onion-frittata/ WS_GFY_Frittata_8466-652x977 Do you have a favorite color of Swiss chard? Share below. email_signoff1

Raspberries: So Berry Good

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Raspberries

Raspberries are SO berry good for you! Sorry, couldn’t resist :) but seriously berries are a major player when it comes to cancer-fighting foods. Clinical studies suggest that consuming raspberries daily can help prevent breast cancer. This is due to their high concentration of ellagic acid, found mostly in the tiny seeds. Ellagic acid can be found in others foods, but raspberries are one of the highest sources of this superstar substance. Ellagic acid is a proven anti-carcinogen, and inhibitor of breast cancer. Studies in the lab have shown ellagic acid can reduce the effect of estrogen in promoting growth of breast cancer cells.
Raspberries are also a source of quercetin, gallic acid, kaempferol and salicylic acid, all of which have chemopreventive properties (essentially, they protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs).
More good news, the ellagic acid found in raspberries retains its potency even if the berries are frozen or cooked, so anyway you eat them, you’ll reap their breast cancer fighting benefits.

Added Benefits

The beautiful dark red color of raspberries comes from flavonoids. These compounds work with fiber to promote health and prevent disease. Their high fiber content and antioxidants also support heart health. Raspberries are bursting with flavor and nutrients, yet they are very low in calories. 1 cup has just 52 calories, 44% of your DV of vitamin C and 7g of fiber. Studies show that you get significantly more antioxidant support from raspberries that are fully ripe, so eat them at their peak!

This is a nutritious and simple breakfast idea!

If you haven’t tried an overnight soak breakfast, you’re missing out. Plus, what could be easier? Not a morning person? It's ready to grab and go! Try this recipe for Raspberry Almond Overnight Oats from Tastes of Lizzy T’s www.tastesoflizzyt.com - recipe developed by Erin of Delightful E Made www.delightfulemade.com http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/2015/04/02/raspberry-almond-overnight-oats-recipe/ 

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This recipe for Raspberry Vinaigrette...

Is not only healthy but so pretty! Thank Sara, The Organic Dietician :) www.theorganicdietitian.com http://www.theorganicdietitian.com/raspberry-vinaigrette-to-honor-breast-cancer-awareness-month/ What I also love about this is that Sara does a great job of explaining why even some of the supposedly “healthy” store bought salad dressings still contain unhealthy ingredients. It is always best to make your own! Do you have a favorite healthy, salad dressing recipe you’d like to share? email_signoff1

Garlic: Gallant & Glorious

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Garlic

How can something as small as a clove of garlic have such gigantic health benefits! No longer is garlic just for warding off evil spirits and vampires, but it’s also keeping many illnesses and diseases at bay, including several different types of cancer.
Epidemiological studies have shown an association between increased consumption of garlic, and other members of the allium family such as onions, shallots and leeks, with a decreased risk for many different types of cancer, including breast cancer.
So where is all this power coming from? When garlic is crushed or chopped, it produces a substance called Allicin. It is this substance that gives garlic its pungent aroma (that’s me being kind). In order to get the full anti-cancer effects, let the crushed or chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes before eating or cooking, this allows the allicin to form, so you get the maximum benefit. We know that allicin can strengthen the immune system, which is a priority for cancer prevention, but it also seems to inhibit free radicals and enhance DNA repair. Given its amazing powers, garlic belongs in your diet on a regular basis. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults get 2g-5g of fresh garlic (approx. 1 clove) each day for the promotion of good health. If you just can’t manage fresh everyday, you can still reap benefits from garlic powder and dried flakes. Easy and convenient!

Added Benefits

Garlic is perhaps best known for its stellar antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also your friend during the winter months, helping to strengthen your immune system and fight coughs, colds and the flu. Studies have shown that garlic has significant benefits in reducing cholesterol and improved heart health. It can also help to regulate your blood sugar. X-RATED: Did you know garlic has certain aphrodisiac qualities? Apparently it works for men and women. You’re welcome! Garlic is easy to add to your diet. You can pop it in soups and stews. Add it to a salad dressing, or anytime you’re roasting vegetables. There are countless ways to use it everyday!

Don’t say I never let you have anything fun…

You have to try these Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Chips from Frugal Living Mom www.frugallivingmom.com http://www.frugallivingmom.com/parmesan-garlic-zucchini-chips/

Hopefully you won’t need this soup...but just in case!

Flu-Fighting Garlic & Onion Soup by Amanda Rose, Ph.D. on Fresh Bites Daily www.freshbitesdaily.com http://www.freshbitesdaily.com/garlic-soup/ I haven’t embraced this new genre of vampire movies and TV shows, am I missing out? I would love to know, what’s your favorite way to use the glorious garlic clove? Share below. email_signoff1