Eating high amounts of red meat increase risk of colorectal cancer while fiber-filled food reduces the risk, AICR research shows. Now comes a study that offers one possible explanation for both links, finding that diets high in red meat and a type of non-digestable fiber have opposite effects on a group of genetic molecules.
Study researchers focused on a type of fiber called resistant starch. Our bodies don’t digest resistant starch in the small intestine. Then in the gut, bacteria convert resistant starch into the compound butyrate. In lab studies, this compound protects against colon cancer.
For the study, 23 participants, ages 50 to 75, switched between two types of diets. In one diet each person was given 300 grams — about 10 ounces — of raw lean red meat a day. That’s about the equivalent of a cooked 8 ounce burger. The other diet had the same red-meat content plus a butyrate resistant starch formulation. Each person was on one diet for four weeks then after a four-week washout period, switched to the second diet for four weeks. Continue reading →
Both of these cruciferous family vegetables are well known for their cancer-fighting compounds, especially isothiocyanates and indoles. And broccoli and cauliflower are even more protective in this dish, which also uses bell peppers, onion, garlic and oregano. That’s because each ingredient offers its own set of cancer-preventive phytochemicals, which reinforce the others. Eating a wide variety of vegetables improves the odds of reaping their health benefits.
Quinoa is a whole grain that may rank highest in protein content, providing 8 grams per cup. Along with the vegetables, it also contains cancer-fighting fiber. To add protein but keep it light, serve this dish with some diced chicken breast or baked fish.
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Onions, ginger, garlic, cumin and Indian spice mix (“masala”) give these lentils more of the protective phytochemicals found in al plant foods, plus a spicy fragrance that stimulates the appetite. Lentils also contain protein, and dal is a dish eaten daily in India.
Although red lentils are called for in this recipe, you can opt for green lentils instead. Lentils don’t need soaking and can be cooked either to a liquid consistency of soup or simmered longer until they become thick enough to eat as a dip with whole-wheat pita bread. Creamy, cool yogurt and chopped cucumber balance the spices in the lentils. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare this tasty, nutritious dish.
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