Research has shown that certain healthy foods can help make a big difference in reducing a person’s lifetime cancer risk.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dietitian Rachel Beller joined “Good Morning America” to share the benefits of certain foods that may help reduce the risk of cancer in general, including breast cancer.
Although no single food can prevent or cure cancer on its own, organizations such as the American Cancer Society have linked certain foods to risk reduction.
Beller explained that antioxidant-rich foods that may have anti-inflammatory effects can be incorporated into a healthy diet and reveal secret foods that are delicious, nutrient-dense, and convenient.
Although it’s not a one-and-done meal, Beller said, eating well consistently over many years has real health benefits.
Beller also shared some small changes people can make to their daily diet with some breakfast and snack recipes, below.
Powerful food for breakfast
Roasted whole hemp seeds are crunchy with a nutty flavor, and they’re high in fiber and protein with 4.5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per two tablespoons.
Flaxseeds are the main source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that has been studied for health benefits, including a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Chia seeds are also beneficial with 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon.
Beller explained that the three seeds are high in “healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties.”
Multi-Seed Power Jam
3 cups frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dates or maple syrup
2 tablespoons ground whole hemp seeds
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the berries, lemon juice and syrup (if using). Once the berries begin to release their juices, allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes until the berries begin to break down.
Stir in the multi-seed power mix (whole hemp, ground flax seeds, chia seeds) and continue to simmer for about 5-10 more minutes until the berry mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
Note: You can use this jam as a topping on oatmeal or mixed into yogurt. But it’s not just for breakfast – spread the jam on crackers or grain-free bread with nut butter to give your snacks an extra boost.
Spices to spice up lunch and dinner
Boost the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of your next lunch or dinner with spices that most people have on hand in their pantry.
Beyond flavor, Beller explained that spices can dramatically boost a meal’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to support overall health.
But it’s not just about one meal, consistency will help the cumulative effects of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spices in meals over time, which Beller says can be important for long-term health.
Creamy Golden Tahini with Cauliflower and Crispy Chickpeas
This flavorful sauce can be used to garnish cooked meals or chilled for a dressing. Both spice blends have a universal taste and are an easy way to boost the nutritional value of a meal.
Ingredients1/2 cup raw tahini, sesame paste (rich in lignans)1/2 cup of water1/4 cup lemon juice1 tbsp vegetable power blend (garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, black pepper, dried parsley)1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend for 10 seconds. Taste and season with salt, as desired. If the mixture seems too thick, slowly add more water and mix again until it reaches your desired consistency.
Crispy Cauliflower and Chickpeas 4 cups cauliflower florets (cruciferous vegetable richest in antioxidants) 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (vegetable protein, rich in protective phytochemicals and fiber)2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon any savory spice blend (paprika, garlic, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and spices and toss well to coat the cauliflower and chickpeas. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Drizzle with Golden Tahini sauce.
Healthier dessert with cocoa and turmeric
Cocoa, Beller said, is packed with two nutrients that contain anti-inflammatory properties: quercetin and polyphenols.
Ingredients3/4 cup almond flour1/3 cup cocoa powder3 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar3/4 teaspoon baking powder1 tablespoon Golden Breakfast spice blend (see Beller’s website to purchase)1/4 cup plant-based milk (any variety)2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (and/or chia seeds, almonds)
Heat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, Golden Blend, sugar, baking powder and plant-based milk until all ingredients are combined.
With clean hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
Flatten each ball and shape cookies into circles. Feel free to garnish with a few dark chocolate chips or slivered almonds.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool and enjoy!
Healthy snack with horseradish
The underrated spicy cruciferous root vegetable is considered a top food, Beller said, explaining that it contains an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance called sinigrin.