Cancer-Fighting Thanksgiving Veggies: Good for Your Wallet and Your Waist

Two holiday food cost reports from USDA and the Farm Bureau have great news for your health and your wallet. With all the seasonal vegetables to choose from, your Thanksgiving feast can be delicious, nutritious, cancer-preventive and affordable.

In one report, USDA calculated the cost for a one cup prepared portion of the most popular Thanksgiving vegetables, including carrots, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts and green beans. You can serve one cup of most of these veggies for less than 75 cents each. Among the most economical are fresh carrots (29 cents), sweet potatoes (50 cents), white potatoes (18 cents), and frozen green beans (38 cents).

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Another study linking coffee to possible heath benefits

CoffeeStacked_dreamstime_1762791A large study on coffee making news today is good news for coffee lovers savoring your morning cup. The study finds that drinking up to five cups of coffee a day links to living longer, and lower risk of dying from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, when compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The benefit held true for drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

Published in Cardiology, this latest analysis adds to the evidence in recent years suggesting that moderate amounts of coffee can bring health benefits. Coffee contains several phytochemicals and nutrients that lab studies have linked to lower risk of inflammation and keeping insulin at healthy levels, both of which play a role in type 2 diabetes, as well as cancer risk.

This study did not find a link between coffee consumption and cancer deaths. But AICR and World Cancer Research Fund’s analysis of the research finds there is strong evidence that coffee drinkers have lower risk of developing both endometrial and liver cancers. Having type 2 diabetes also increases the risk of many cancers.

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DIY Plant Science: Grow Your Own Purple Carrots in 10 Steps

Last month we wrote about how plant scientists are developing these colorful new varieties of vegetables that contain different cancer-preventing phytochemicals.10520568_s

For the article, I spoke with Philip Simon, PhD from the University of Wisconsin who first introduced the anthocyanin-packed purple carrot in 1992. One of the best things I learned from my talk with Dr. Simon is that with a little bit of time and patience we can recreate the process at home! This can be a great activity for kids and adults alike.

The first step in the plant breeding process is to get the vegetables to flower. For most vegetables such as peppers or squash, flowers are the norm (think, stuffed squash blossoms). For carrots and other root vegetables, flowering is a bit more involved. They only flower after being exposed to cold. So, here’s what you do:

Step 1: Buy a bunch of carrots with the green tops on; chose both purple and orange.

Step 2: Cut off the tops of the greens leaving about an inch of green stem Continue reading