From the Field: Working with Survivors for Stronger Bones

dreamstime_xs_12022463Yesterday at our research conference, one popular session focused on bone health for cancer survivors. More than 40 million adults in the US have or are at high risk for osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.

Often due to some cancer therapies, survivors are at higher risk for bone loss and osteoporosis than the general population.

Breast and prostate cancer treatments may cause low estrogen or androgen levels, two hormones important for strong bones.

Between sessions, I talked with several oncology dietitians about how they work with survivors on bone health in their centers and clinics. While not unanimous, most RDs said their patients are very aware of their increased risk for bone loss and receive DEXA screening — a test for bone mineral density — and treatment, including diet and lifestyle prescriptions as well as appropriate medications. Continue reading


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.

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


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.