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

Tomatoes: You say Tom-AH-to, I say Tom-A-to!

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Tomatoes

Well, despite having lived in the U.S. for 26ish years, and having adopted many new words and pronunciations along the way…. I still say tom(ah)to! But no matter how you say it, we can all agree they’re good for you!
Tomatoes contain a high concentration of lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant that is extremely effective in reducing free radicals in the body and has been shown to be effective in fighting several different types of cancer, including breast cancer. Research has shown that lycopene is more powerful than other carotenoids e.g. even beta-carotene in reducing breast cancer risk. Other sources of lycopene are watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit and carrots.
Tomatoes are also a good source of melatonin, a hormone related to our circadian rhythms (our body clock). Melatonin has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties, particularly in breast cancer. Low levels of melatonin, from excessive light exposure, have been associated with an increased breast cancer risk. This is why it’s so important to sleep in a dark room, or wear an eye mask. Cherry tomatoes seem to have the highest level of lycopene, (probably because of their high ratio of skin to flesh) which makes me happy, as they’re so darn cute and easy to eat! Lycopene is actually easier to absorb from cooked tomatoes, tomato sauces and tomato paste. A note of caution when it comes to canned tomatoes. The lining of many cans contain BPA (bisphenol A) a potent estrogen mimicking, hormone disrupting chemical. Please make sure the label on the can says BPA free or better yet, use fresh tomatoes or buy your tomatoes, sauces and pastes in glass jars.

Added Benefits

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and biotin. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and folate. The high levels of vitamin A in tomatoes, helps to improve vision and macular degeneration. Their rich supply of antioxidants are also good for bone health. Regular consumption of tomatoes has been proven to decrease cholesterol and be protective to the heart. Lastly, they’re great for your teeth, hair and skin!

Who doesn’t love a little mystery in their life?

Secret Ingredient Tomato Basil Soup from nutritionist, Marzia at Little Spice Jar www.littlespicejar.com http://www.littlespicejar.com/secret-ingredient-tomato-basil-soup/ 20248851118_d9c58d64e9_b

A particularly tasty version of everyone’s favorite!

Best Ever Roasted Salsa by Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy www.yummyhealthyeasy.com http://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/2015/06/best-ever-roasted-salsa.html Have you canned tomatoes? I’d love to give it a try, but haven’t yet! Share your tips for canning below. email_signoff1

Beans & Legumes: Lofty Legumes

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Beans & Legumes

Dry beans, split peas, lentils and other legumes contain a variety of phytochemicals that scientists are studying for their anti-cancer effects. Several studies have shown their beneficial effect on breast cancer prevention including the Nurses Health Study II (of more than 90,000 women). The women who ate beans and lentils regularly (at least twice per week) were less likely to develop breast cancer than those who only ate them occasionally.
Beans and legumes also contain lignans (which I’ll talk about in more detail soon in another post). Briefly though, lignans help reduce the more aggressive estrogen in the body and therefore, may lower your risk of breast cancer.
Beans and legumes are also a great source of protein and a fabulous source of fiber. Fiber keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer and as it takes much longer to digest, keeps your blood sugar stable. This helps to curb cravings and can aid in weight loss – a good thing, as weight gain is linked to increased breast cancer risk. Beans are also rich in antioxidants, which protect against those darned free radicals that could damage your cells and lead to cancer. So, if you’re not already eating these lofty legumes regularly, then you should consider doing so.

Added benefits

Legumes are a low-fat, high-protein source of vitamins and minerals. They’ve been shown to lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. They make a great alternative to high-fat meat protein, which is one reason they’re so heart friendly. We’ve talked about their fiber content, but it’s worth mentioning again. Research suggests a high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, most likely because it helps to reduce your risk of some of the most common chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer. I LOVE legumes! In fact, I had a lentil, black bean and veggie stew for dinner last night with a hearty side of broccoli! Maybe that’s why I was inspired to write about these today? There are so many simple ways to use beans and lentils, from adding them to stews and salads, soups and veggie burgers. If you already have a favorite stew or soup recipe, just add them to it!

Never cooked beans from scratch? No problem!

Andrea Myers at Making Life Delicious www.makinglifedelicious.com does a wonderful job of explaining how to soak and cook various types of beans and legumes. You may never need a can again :) Dry Beans and Legumes Cooking Chart

I’m a fan of curry, and this soup is mouthwatering!

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro from Kate at Cookie+Kate www.cookieandkate.com (Cookie is her dog ;) curried-red-lentil-soup-with-dried-cherries-and-cilantro Also from the lovely Kate at Cookie+Kate Lentil-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Avocado Green Harissa lentil-chickpea-veggie-burgers-with-avocado-green-harissa-0 Do you aim for at least one meatless day a week? Please share below. email_signoff1

Kale: Cruciferous Crusader

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Kale

Kale had a quick rise to fame in recent years because of the cancer-fighting buzz around it. It suddenly became the fashionable go-to ingredient for juices and smoothies. Kale certainly deserves the attention! It’s health benefits are wide and varied, but it’s cancer-fighting skills are what set it apart. Kale is jam packed with cancer-fighting nutrients like beta-carotene (e.g. Kale contains 10 times the amount of beta-carotene of Broccoli, known to be rich in beta-carotene). Higher levels of beta-carotene = lower risk of breast cancer. Kale also contains indole-3 carbinol (I3C) which very simply explained, shifts the metabolism of estrogen away from a potentially tumor promoting estrogen to a safer, less active form of estrogen. Whew - Love that!!! Kale has been studied in the prevention of several types of cancer, and one of the reasons is that it provides comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. Researchers have identified no less than 45 different flavonoids in kale! These flavonoids provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, protecting the body from oxidative stress.
Kale and its cruciferous friends help support the liver to do its job, protecting the body against toxins. No wonder its all the rage!

Added Benefits

Kale didn’t rise to superfood status for no reason. Kale contains significant levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and minerals and also a note-worthy amount of Omega-3’s and fiber. It also contains calcium and is a fantastic source of vitamin K (double the amount of its cruciferous friends) both essential for bone health. Kale can also provide cardiovascular support, because of it cholesterol-lowering ability. If juicing and smoothies aren’t your thing, try one of the recipes below.  Oh, and a special note here! If you have weak digestion or have undergone chemo treatments recently, raw kale can be difficult to digest, and so you may want to start with lightly steamed or sautéed kale.

Basic Sautéed Kale

From www.kitchendaily.com http://www.kitchendaily.com/recipe/basic-sauteed-kale Once you’ve got the hang of this, you can add whatever you like…a little chopped onion, lemon, ginger. Whatever you fancy!

Chopped Kale Salad

This is an amazing salad, and the process of making it is beautifully photographed, so you can’t go wrong :) Chopped Kale Salad with Chickpeas, Toasted Almonds, Sesame Seeds + a Honey Ginger Dressing from Jodi at What’s Cooking Good Looking www.whatscookinggoodlooking.com chopped-kale-salad-WCGL-01 Is kale one of your go to ingredients? Share how you use it below. email_signoff1