Preventing breast cancer and its recurrence means eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, researchers advise. But that doesn’t mean you have to live on celery. Our Health-e-Recipe for Cheesy Eggplant Casserole is a satisfying yet low-calorie version of an Italian favorite.
Eggplants and mushrooms both have a texture that is dense enough to substitute well for meat. In this dish, they are combined with scallions and onions, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes—the healthy ingredients of many delicious Italian dishes.
All of these vegetables contain phytochemicals and the tomatoes contribute vitamin C and antioxidant lycopene. This phytochemical may protect against prostate cancer and is now being studied for possible breast cancer protection as well.
The best part, however, is that the many protective compounds we get from eating a mix of different vegetables reinforce each other’s anti-cancer benefits, according to AICR/WCRF’s report and its updates.
Cheese supplies protein and calcium in this dish. Since the vegetables have so few calories, it’s possible to use moderate amounts of low-fat versions of cottage cheese and mozzarella. Enjoy this hearty, delicious dish as part of a cancer-fighting diet during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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As the days have shortened and the nights have grown crisp, the leaves on the trees outside AICR’s Washington, DC, headquarters have begun to show their true colors. Some of these colors are derived from lycopene, a dietary compound that plays a role in preventing cancer.
Lycopene is one of the more well-studied compounds for cancer prevention. It belongs to a class of compounds known as carotenoids and is one of the compounds responsible for leaves’ brilliant reds, oranges, and yellow hues. These fat-soluble pigments are present in many foods, as well, and are what make tomatoes red, pumpkins orange, and squashes yellow.
AICR’s expert report and its continuous updates have found that lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Along with tomatoes and tomato products, lycopene is also found in other red fruits such as watermelon and red guavas. Interestingly, our bodies can absorb more lycopene from cooked tomato products like spaghetti sauce, ketchup, or salsa because heat changes the configuration of lycopene’s molecules, making it more available.