HealthTalk: Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

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Q: Does flaxseed protect against breast cancer or increase the risk?

A: Flaxseed most often raises questions regarding breast cancer because of its compounds called lignans. These compounds, sometimes called phytoestrogens, have a chemical structure similar to estrogen. At first glance, it might seem that would increase risk of estrogen-sensitive (ER-positive) breast cancer, which is spurred by excess estrogen.

However, research suggests these tiny brown seeds do not increase cancer risk and could even be protective.

In animal studies of human breast cancer, flaxseed and lignans isolated from it reduce breast cancer development, slow growth of existing breast tumors and lower levels of several growth factors that promote breast cancer. Human studies are limited but suggest that if anything, including one to four tablespoons of flaxseed per day might reduce breast cancer risk, especially in post-menopausal women. Read more… “HealthTalk: Flaxseed and Breast Cancer”

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    Best of 2011: Treats and Sweet Eats

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    What are the top viewed AICR recipes of 2011? The polls are in, and it looks like everyone wants to get their sweet tooth fix. Here’s the good news: we have lots of delicious, sweet recipes that you can make over the holidays to replace the traditional, not-so-healthy versions.

    AICR’s top-5 ranked treats:

    1. Pumpkin Pie – Our pumpkin pie is less than 200 calories per slice, but just as moist and rich as the kind you’re used to. Pumpkin also provides plenty of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamin C.

    2. Chocolate Dipped Fruit – This is a great way to get a variety of fruit, and it’s fun to make with friends or family.

    3. Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread with Flaxseed – This sweet bread contains fruit (cranberries and apple sauce), vegetable (pumpkin), protein (eggs), whole grains (whole wheat flour), and healthy fat (flax). Flax has protective omega-3 fatty acids, and is high in fiber and other nutrients like magnesium and thiamin. All you need is a cold glass of non-fat milk on the side and this dish is all-in-one! Read more… “Best of 2011: Treats and Sweet Eats”

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      Crunchy (Yet Healthy) Chicken

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      You may have hundreds of recipes for chicken — but we bet you haven’t got this week’s Health-e-Recipe for Chicken Crusted with Almond and Flax. The object here is to make chicken with a crunchy texture that comes from cancer-fighting ingredients.

      In addition to fiber, crushed almonds provide vitamin E. Flaxseed is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in plant foods such as flaxseed and walnuts are slightly different from the omega-3s found in cold-water fish. But both are being studied for potential cancer-preventive action.

      Serve this entree with plenty of delicious vegetables, like Tri-Colored Peppers with Herbs and Stir-fried Kale with Slivered Carrots from our brochure Veggies in the New American Plate series. Add a yummy whole grain, like quinoa, barley or brown rice and you’ll have a delicious, cancer-fighting meal.

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