Special Holiday Foods: Cancer Fighters on Your Plate

At holiday meals we enjoy foods that may not typically be part of our healthy, cancer-preventive plate, like ham. And some holiday foods have religious significance taking a special place on our menu – like eggs or wine.Easter Background, Chocolate Bunny, Spotted Eggs, Daffodils

Both Easter and Passover combine family, religious and cultural traditions full of meaning and comfort, so we savor these special foods and menus. But you can also dress up your plate and menu with seasonal and other holiday foods that add color, nutrition and cancer-fighting substances.

  • Asparagus: This cheerful bearer of spring adds beauty to your table along with vitamins A, C and K, folate and cancer-fighting fiber to your diet.
  • Hot Cross Buns: If these are staples at your Easter morning breakfast, this year try substituting whole wheat flour for half of the white flour in your favorite recipe. Whole grains contain many cancer-fighting substances and as foods high in fiber, they help protect against colorectal cancer.
  • Spring Greens: Look for tender baby greens – spinach, kale, chard – these are packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C. They’re great as salads, or added to egg dishes, like frittatas, omelets or casseroles. Try our Kale Frittata with Tomato and Basil.

    Plate for the Seder

    Plate for the Seder

  • Dark Chocolate: A small amount of this phytochemical rich food can go a long way. Serve a beautiful dessert plate with small chunks of dark chocolate, fresh strawberries and toasted walnuts. Or make chocolate covered matzah for snacks and dessert.
  • Herbs: A part of the Seder plate, these symbols of spring can add flavor and powerful cancer-fighting substances at any meal. Learn more about herbs and try our Pomegranate Salsa for color and a little bite.
  • Matzah Ball Soup: So soothing and comforting, you can add a little more color and nutrition with carrots, parsnips, onions and other delicious veggies. You might even try making the matzah balls with whole wheat matzah for more cancer protection.

For more ideas check out our Matzoh Brie, ways to get active this weekend and more Cancer-Fighting Easter recipes.


Study: Eating Vegetarian (+Fish) Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk

A new study that adds to the evidence on diet and colorectal cancer suggests that vegetarians have a lower risk of this cancer than non-vegetarians, with fish-eaters — pescovegetarians — showing the lowest risk of the non-meat eating groups. Delicious  portion of fresh salmon fillet  with aromatic herbs,

The study was published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine and it will be a part of AICR/WCRF’s ongoing collection of the worldwide research. The latest AICR/WCRF report on colorectal cancer concluded that diets high in red meat increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

The study collected the eating and other lifestyle habits of almost 78,000 Seventh-Day Adventists, a group that traditionally advocates vegetarian and healthy eating. Researchers categorized the group into those who ate meat regularly and four vegetarian patterns: 1) ate fish regularly; 2) ate milk and eggs regularly 3) ate small amounts of meats and fish; and 4) ate no meats, dairy or any animal food (vegans).

Overall, vegetarians had lower BMI, ate less fat, red meat, and processed meat, and ate more fiber.

Slightly more than half the study population was categorized as vegetarians. Over 7 years, there were 490 cases of colorectal cancer. Continue reading


Rising Colorectal Cancer Rates Among the Young; Prevention Key

Over the past three decades there’s been a slight but steady decline in colorectal cancer incidence here in the US, thanks in large part to increased screening. Now a study out this week showing that rates of this cancer are increasing among young people — below the typical screening age — highlights the importance of people of all ages adopting healthy behaviors that can halve the risk of colorectal cancer.Picture 83

The study – published in JAMA Surgery – found that among 20- to 34-year-olds, the data indicates incidence of colon and rectal cancer will increase by 90% and 124%, respectively, by 2030. Among the 35 to 49 year olds, rates are estimated to increase by 28% and 46%, respectively.

This large study confirms previous research on incidence trends, and it points to a growing public health problem, the authors note. Lifestyle and behavioral factors such as obesity may be a possible cause.

AICR estimates that half of all colorectal cancer cases are preventable if people were to eat healthier diets, move more and stay lean.

Continue reading