Today I’d like to talk about preventing cancer with healthy lifestyle habits, including exercise and, of course diet. Lots of good research over many years has helped us narrow down some really important recommendations for living cancer-free and these are summarized in a report that was published a few years ago by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Scientists at these two organizations examined the research on cancer prevention and came up with a top ten list of recommendations.
And here they are:
- Be as lean as possible but maintain a healthy body weight.
- Be as physically active as you can and make physical activity part of your everyday life.
- Cut back on eating foods that contain a lot of calories, especially those foods that are high in fat and sugar.
- Reduce your intake of red meat and avoid eating processed meats.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol.
- Reduce your intake of salt and avoid eating moldy breads and grains.
- Get your nutrients from nutritious foods first, and use nutritional supplements only when needed and with some professional guidance.
- Breast-feed your babies.
- If you are a cancer survivor, follow the same guidelines for cancer prevention.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
As you can see, there really are a lot of things we can do each day to protect ourselves and our families from cancer, including eating delicious meals that include a lot of healthy plant-based foods!
There are plenty of healthy plant foods out there, but a few really stand out as powerful allies against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, bok choy, mustard greens, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, radishes, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips and arugula contain a really big bunch of anti-cancer nutrients, including antioxidants and an important phytochemical called sulforophane.
Of all those cruciferous veggies, broccoli has probably been studied the most for its effects against cancer, especially breast cancer. In fact, studies show that sulforophane from broccoli is quickly absorbed from the digestive tract and much of that protective chemical travels to breast tissue, where is has been shown to block the growth of breast cancer cells.
Even though broccoli is a nutritional super food, its nutrients are a bit fragile. Boiling or microwaving broccoli will reduce the nutrients available to you by quite a bit. Too much time spent in shipping and storage will also destroy those important cancer-fighting nutrients. So look for broccoli in the store that is really green and sturdy and avoid any that is yellowed or wilted. Better yet, buy broccoli when it is super-fresh at the Prescott Farmers Market or grow your own! Just make sure to eat it within a few days of buying or picking it to get the most nutrients.
Broccoli is one of those super-foods that’s just packed with antioxidants and those protective phytochemicals like sulforophane. But, believe it or not, there is something out there that is even better…broccoli sprouts!
Sprouted seeds and grains of any type are typically packed with nutrients. But broccoli sprouts are amazing – one cup of broccoli sprouts contains the amount of sulforphane you would find in 27 cups of broccoli and they cost about 25 cents per cup when you grow your own. Watch the video for the Broccoli with Basil and Broccoli Sprout demo or click on the link below for complete recipes.
As you can see, DIY – do it yourself – broccoli sprouts are probably the most economical way to feed you and your family one of the most nutritious foods on the planet! For more information on growing your own broccoli sprouts, check out the link at www.sproutpeople.com. They have some great information, seeds, and sprouting equipment that can get you growing your own sprouts in no time.
Until next time, sprout something! We’ll see you soon!