Three Tips to Start Powering Your Diet with Plants

It’s Cancer Prevention Month—time to think about what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.  An estimated one-third of the most common cancer cases can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, and a healthy weight. Your daily food choices can create a cancer-promoting environment, or a cancer-fighting one.

Shanghai Stir Fry with Forbidden Rice, from Sharon's new book, Plant-Powered for Life.

Shanghai Stir Fry with Forbidden Rice, from Sharon’s new book, Plant-Powered for Life.

So, what’s the picture perfect diet for cancer protection? It’s a plant-based diet—a diet rich in whole, minimally processed plant foods, such as legumes (beans, lentils, peas), whole grains, vegetable, fruits, nuts and seeds. You should pile your plate at least two-thirds full of these foods at every meal. That’s because whole plant foods contain a symphony of health-protective nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that can fight oxidative stress and inflammation—roots of cancer and other chronic diseases—and boost your immune function.

If you’re new to plant-based eating, it may seem challenging: there are vegetables to chop, beans to soak, whole grains to cook, and new food ingredients, such as tofu, to discover.  But it doesn’t have to be complicated!

Here are my top three tips to get started: Continue reading


Liven Up Lentil Soup

asian-lentil-soupIf you ever wished for a more interesting lentil soup, our Health-e-Recipe for Asian Lentil Soup helps you create new depths of flavor in cancer-preventive lentils.

First you sautee fresh carrots, celery, red bell pepper, onion and Chinese cabbage (bok choy) in aromatic sesame oil. These veggies are high in cancer-preventing compounds. After mixing with the lentils and vegetable broth, you add the pungent flavors of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes.

Hoisin sauce is made of soybean paste, chilies and salt and tastes sweet, salty, spicy and tangy all at the same time. It’s thick and concentrated, so you only need a little bit for a lot of flavor.

For each serving of this excellent soup, you get 10 grams of protein and plenty of fiber. Try adding about half a cup of cubed firm tofu to get 8 more grams of protein (and 80 calories) while keeping this delicious dish healthy and cancer-preventive.

Find more tasty cancer-fighting recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Super Bowl Forecast: A Red Hot (and Delicious) Line-Up for Cancer Prevention

This year, create your own Super Bowl hype with a party spread full of flavor, heat, color and cancer prevention. These menu ideas will keep your crowd happy and healthy, beginning with the pre-game interviews and all the way through the post-game analysis.

veggie-chiliPre-Game Warm Up: Greet your guests with a mildly spicy Cinnamint Green Tea. Delicious and warming, green tea contains a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that, in lab studies, shows some protective qualities against cancer.

The National Anthem: Okay, so opera singer Renée Fleming isn’t Italian, but with opera I think Italy. These Herbed Italian White Beans are a warm, simple starter. Serve with Pesto Toastini for a classic opening.

Half-Time Performance: The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be heating up the stage. Chile peppers get their kick from capsaicin, a phytochemical well studied for cancer-prevention. So try our Veggie Chili with cancer-fighting, capsaicin-containing hot pepper and warm up your guests with steaming bowls of chili. Continue reading