Delight your family and friends with an autumn brunch that features Pumpkin Jack O’Lantern Pancakes, our current Health-e-Recipe.
Cancer-fighting canned pumpkin can be used in so many more ways than just pumpkin pie. It’s a user-friendly, inexpensive source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in orange colored vegetables. Beta-carotene turns into vitamin A in our bodies and appears to protect cells from damage, inhibit cancer cell growth and improve immune response. Only one-quarter cup of unsweetened canned pumpkin puree contains more the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Pumpkin also provides calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
In addition to pumpkin soup and pumpkin baked goods, pumpkin pancakes are a yummy way to enjoy this healthy vegetable from the winter squash family. Our recipe uses whole-wheat flour, adding even more fiber for colon cancer prevention, good digestion and feeling fuller for weight control. Garnishing your pancakes with plenty of fruits will be fun for kids. Top it off with a delicious combo of maple-cider syrup, also part of this recipe.
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The sweet and sour taste of kiwi fruit livens up skinless chicken breast in our Health-e-Recipe for Sautéed Chicken and Kiwi over Wild Rice. Lime basil and lemon peel make this recipe even more tantalizing.
Kiwi may look odd with its fuzzy, green skin, but the bright green fruit inside is loaded with vitamins C and K, along with lutein and chlorophyll (responsible for its green color and also found in spinach) plus beta-carotene. Kiwis are also a good source of fiber and potassium. A crunchy contrast comes from the celery and carrots, also high in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Lime basil (or regular fresh basil) and a little grated lemon zest – the outer bright yellow layer of the peel – round out the flavor that soaks into the whole-grain wild rice and the chicken. By emphasizing good taste, this dish satisfies you while keeping portions of animal protein reasonable for good health and cancer prevention.
Visit the AICR Test Kitchen for other excellent cancer-preventive recipes. Click here to subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.
Eating meals at home, compared to restaurants and fast food establishments, means more fiber in our diets, according to a recent report from the USDA based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Per 1000 calories, we get about 1.5 grams more fiber from home meals than from restaurant meals.
Americans consume on average 15 grams of fiber per day, less than the recommended 25-30 grams per day. If Americans would eat more fiber, there would be fewer cases of colorectal cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fiber rich foods include vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes.
Eating meals at home only gets us to about 16 grams and eating fast food gets Americans only to 12 grams, so there’s room for improvement overall. Here are three strategies you can use to increase fiber while eating out and you can also them in your kitchen.
- Think vegetables and fruit first. When you look at the menu, look for the appetizers, entrees and sides that will include a substantial serving of vegetables and/or fruit. Salads and soups can be one way to add veggies or if sandwiches come with fries or chips, ask for a side salad, fruit or other vegetable instead.
- Go for the whole grain. Always ask for the whole wheat bread or wrap (not just “wheat”), corn tortilla or brown rice. Oatmeal is the hot new item for breakfast – that is a perfect way to add a few grams of fiber early in the day.
- Choose Beans – small but mighty in fiber. Look for bean or lentil soups, salads with beans, bean burritos or sides like baked beans or black-eyed peas. You can ask for them to be added to veggie soups or to salads. Again – sub them for fries or chips as sides.
Any one of those strategies can mean a difference of 2-3 grams of fiber for your meal. If you can do that at each of your meals – whether home or away – that 6-9 extra grams of fiber per day may just get you to the recommended amount!
Read more on how to get more fiber in your diet.
How do you try to get more fiber in your restaurant meals?