6 Tips to Spring into Beautiful, Practical Asparagus

5-26 asparagus blog 9407278_m copySpring asparagus is here and cooking up elegant spears of bright green asparagus takes only minutes and supplies cancer-preventing compounds in any meal. All asparagus is a good source of the B vitamin folate and vitamins C and A, as well as antioxidant compounds like glutathione and rutin.

Here’s a few tips to cook and enjoy this versatile vegetable.

1. Refrigerate raw asparagus like a bouquet, upright with the bottoms of the stalks in a jar or container of water and the tops covered with a plastic bag up to four days.

2. Try not to waterlog and overcook asparagus by boiling it too much. Instead, preserve its color freshness and crunch by microwaving it or steaming over water for just a few minutes.

3. After washing the asparagus, break or cut at an inch or two off the tougher bottom ends of the stalks. Then cut it into smaller pieces or leave the stalks intact. Continue reading


Mediterranean Marinade, Easy Steps for Healthy Grilling

If you’re planning on firing up the grill over Memorial Day Weekend, plan to marinate your food before cooking. Marinating is a centuries-long practice that tenderizes, flavors and preserves vegetables and meat. Some evidence even shows it may reduce formation of cancer-causing substances that are produced when meat is grilled.

Marinating also lets you be creativeMarinating Chicken with Lemon. Usually, marinades use acidic liquids like lemon juice and vinegar, with herbs, spices, garlic and other condiments such as mustard. But marinades contain a culture’s style – rice wine vinegar and ginger in Asia, mango or lime in Central and Southern America, chiles and yogurt in India and lemon and cinnamon in the Middle East.

Marinade ingredients like these are healthy, fat-free and rich in taste. When you marinate meat, poultry and fish, be sure to discard the marinade in which the meat soaked. If you want, before you add it to the meat, set some aside to use for basting the meat during cooking.

Try our Healthy Recipe for Cypriot Chicken Kebabs, featuring a delicious Continue reading


Keep that Fitbit On: Exercise Helps Prevent Cancer

If you’ve seen the recent headlines warning that physical activity won’t help you lose weight, you may be wondering if your evening walk or daily workout is worth the time.

The answer is a resounding YES – do take that evening walk, keep your pedometer on and get your exercise in whether you want to lose weight or not.

In the last few weeks, there’s been one article after another with experts arguing about what’s most important for weight loss – diet or exercise. But getting lost in all this discussion is the overwhelming evidence that physical activity provides many health benefits independent of weight loss, including lowering risk for at least three cancers – endometrial, colorectal and postmenopausal breast.being-physically-active-decreases-risk-of-these-cancers

There’s no argument that getting to and staying a healthy weight is also important for cancer. But this debate misses the mark when it comes to shaping your health. It is true that you “can’t outrun a bad diet,” as the author of a Washington Post article “Take off that Fitbit” says. It’s also true that for better health you need to do more than just cut calories.

For example, in that Post article, the author cites a study showing that diet only led to more weight loss than a diet and exercise group. What he didn’t point out is that while the diet only group lost slightly more weight, they also lost more muscle and bone mass than the diet and exercise group. This is especially critical because the study’s participants were 65 and older. Exercise helps you keep your muscle and strong bones at any age.

Apps, tracking devices and pedometers have also been singled out as not being the answer to weight loss. But losing weight takes a lot of work – it is hard to eat less – and you need all the support you can get to succeed. So while these devices aren’t the answer, studies do show that tracking your food and exercise is one key component to successful weight loss. You can also use a notebook, calendar or checklist, what matters is keeping track of your progress.

For more tips on eating smarter, learn about AICR’s New American Plate way of eating to lower cancer risk and lose weight healthfully.