Pack in the Omega 3’s

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Sardines are one of the hot food trends for 2010 according to J. Walter Thompson, a global advertising agency. Affordability, healthy fats and a good environmental score make these little fish attractive for 2010.

grilled sardines
Sardines are high in omega 3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat that seems to offer protection against both heart disease and cancer.  Since most Americans don’t get enough omega 3’s, these relatively inexpensive and easy to find canned wonders could be a nutrition gold mine.

In addition to the healthy fats and protein, sardines are a good source of calcium, iron, zinc and selenium.  Calories are just slightly higher than salmon.

Read more about sardines from AICR Nutrition Consultant Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN.

Do you like sardines?  Let us know if you have a favorite sardine recipe.


    Milk Thistle May Help Children in Cancer Treatment

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    Milk thistle is an herbal supplement that has a long history of use for liver problems, including disorders that come from anti-cancer drugs. (The active compound appears to be in the seeds, a flavonoid called silymarin.) For children with the most common type of leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chemotherapy treatments are frequently interrupted to prevent serious liver injury.

    The flowerhead of milk thistle.
    The flowerhead of milk thistle.

    For these children, milk thistle may help, a new study suggests.

    The study was published in this month’s journal Cancer; you can read the abstract here.

    Funded by AICR, the pilot study started with 50 children with ALL who were in the maintenance phase of their chemotherapy treatment. For 28 days, half of the children consumed a capsule of milk thistle and the other half consumed a placebo capsule. Neither the children nor researchers knew who was taking what. Researchers measured the children’s liver toxins at the start of the study, day 28, and day 56.

    When comparing the groups of children, the researchers found that milk thistle did not appear to interfere with chemotherapy. For example, there were no differences in side effects or infections between the two groups. But the children who consumed milk thistle did experience significantly fewer signs of liver damage.

    This evidence is only preliminary, note the authors, and more studies are needed.

    For cancer patients undergoing treatment, look here for AICR’s nutrition suggestions that may help with your side effects.


      Beneficial Fish

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      Crab fish wine 3The health-boosting Mediterranean Diet is full of fish. Like the Diet’s olive oil and herbs, fish is one of the main health-boosting foods it contains, studies report.

      But these days fish is fraught with forewarnings — about pollution from mercury and PCBs, and about some species being overfished.

      That’s why today’s Health-e-Recipe from AICR — Morrocan Cod with Chickpeas — suggests using U.S. Pacific cod.

      If you can’t find it, substitute another white-fleshed fish to substitute. One reliable source suggests U.S. or South American farmed tilapia, Alaska Pollock or U.S. Pacific flounder.

      The unusual chick-pea and tomato combination, generously herbed, adds even more cancer-fighting ingredients. Click here to receive a delicious, tested Health-e-Recipe by email each week.