Little Seeds with Big Taste

PumpkinSeedsSeeds are a healthy plant food. Our Health-e-Recipe for Sweet-Hot Pumpkin Seeds with Autumn Spices turns them into a delicious snack.

Like nuts, seeds contain fiber and healthy fats. They can be used for a garnish, as a crunchy coating for fish and poultry or in baked goods like muffins. Each type of seed has fiber and phytochemicals that provide health protection. For example, flaxseed is being studied for possible breast cancer prevention because of its omega-3 fats.

In this recipe, pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat that provide minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. During harvest season, some folks like to take them right from the pumpkin, clean them and toast them in their shells. But you can find the tasty kernels already packaged (sometimes labeled “pepitas”).

This recipe mixes pumpkin seeds with anti-inflammatory spices ginger and paprika, along with cinnamon, cloves and a little brown sugar. The spices make a small amount satisfying, so you can eat this healthy snack without going overboard with calories. You could even pre-package individual servings in resealable plastic snack bags.

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Salmon Serves Up Omega-3s

seafood plateSweet, spicy and savory flavors team up in this week’s Health-e-Recipe for Sesame Salmon.

Salmon ranks high among fish with the most omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats found to be heart healthy. Omega-3s are also being studied for their potential to prevent breast cancer, making this recipe timely for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Albacore tuna, sardines and trout also have plenty of omega-3s, as do walnuts and leafy greens.

Wild-caught Pacific salmon is a good choice and rated on seafood watch lists to be among the least likely to contain toxins from pollutants. In this recipe, we add fresh ginger and garlic – both rich in anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Sesame seeds, too, contain healthy monounsaturated fats.

Good pairings for this delicious entrée are carrots sliced into match-stick pieces and steamed snow peas or spinach.

Find more delicious cancer-preventive recipes by visiting the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Study: Eating Lots of Plant Foods Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

The research is pretty clear that staying a healthy weight lowers postmenopausal women’s risk of breast cancer. Now a new study suggests that regularly eating a diet high in the foods that help you stay at that healthy weight – fruits, vegetables and other plant foods – may by itself lower risk of breast cancer.canstockphoto4649115

The link to lower risk was most pronounced for tumors that are not fueled by hormones. These breast cancers are less common, but more challenging to treat.

The study was published yesterday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Going into the study, researchers looked to get away from individual foods and nutrients and focus on dietary pattern, which looks at the overall types of foods we regularly eat. Almost 100,000 women answered questionnaires about what they ate, along with genetic and other risk factors. Five dietary patterns emerged:

1)    plant based: lots of fruits and vegetables
2)    high-protein, high-fat: lots of meat, eggs, butter and fried foods
3)    high carbohydrate: lots of pasta, bread and convenience foods
4)    ethnic: lots of legumes, soy-based foods, rice and dark green leafy vegetables
5)    salad and wine: high in lettuce with low-fat dressing, fish, wine, coffee and tea Continue reading