Sweet Anti-cancer Compounds: They Just Keep Coming

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News reports today highlight a study that gives one an added reason to savor the joys of plant-based foods. In this case: maple syrup, the only commercial product people eat from a plant’s sap. The researchers reportedly found 20 compounds in Canadian maple syrup that are linked to human health, and 13 of these compounds are newly discovered in maple syrup.

The compounds, part of the phenolics family of phytochemicals, have antioxidant properties and show anti-cancer benefits in lab studies. You can read the release about the story here.

Clearly, not a good idea to guzzle maple syrup but this study does highlight how scientists are continuously learning about the compounds in plant foods. The list of health-promoting phytochemicals keeps on growing and scientists are still uncovering how each works and how they work together in the foods.

If you want to enjoy maple syrup on something aside from pancakes, here’s a healthy idea from AICR: baked apples and maple syrup.

It’s also maple syrup harvesting season: watch a video to see how it’s done.

“A Sea-Change in How the US Approaches Disease Prevention”

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Great short piece on America Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report on a story that hasn’t gotten the attention it should:  How the new healthcare legislation broadens our national approach to diseases like cancer by placing an unprecedented amount of focus on prevention. Take a listen.

Understand: More and better prevention efforts are sorely needed and long overdue.  But if there’s one thing our policy report made clear, it’s that government can’t do it alone.  All levels of society – industry, schools, health professionals, the media, individuals – helped get us to where we are now, and must play a role in the kind of sweeping societal changes needed to make it easier for everyone to make healthy, cancer protective choices.

How are our policy report’s 49 recommendations addressed in the new legislation?  What, exactly, remains to be done?  It’ll take some time to tease out those answers.

In the meantime, count on the American Institute for Cancer Research for practical everyday advice that’s based on research your generosity makes possible — research that reveals how you can help protect yourself from cancer.

Matzah can be more than a holiday food

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Traditional matzah, the thin flatbread, is made simply from flour and water. It is a symbolic food at Passover dinners: according to biblical history, there was no time to wait for the bread to rise during the Israelites’ hurried exodus from Egypt. These days you can find whole-wheat, egg and onion, reduced-sodium and organic matzahs.

Outside of Passover, matzahs can be tasty low-fat snacks when topped with a slice of low-fat cheese, bean dip, peanut butter or salsa; whole wheat and reduced sodium versions are healthy choices. One matzah square has about the same number of calories as a slice of bread.

Today’s Health-e-Recipe for Matzah Brie is similar to French toast and is delicious with a bit of all-fruit preserves or maple syrup. This recipe is only one of many ways to make Matzah Brie – but AICR’s Test Kitchen found it to be excellent. Click here to subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipe.