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Cooking research helps limit cancer

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American Institute of Cancer Research

The American Institute of Cancer Research is doing some wonderful cooking research in order to blend flavors and nutrition in a way that feed the desire for good taste while at the same time increasingly starving the cancer cells within the body.

Enjoy this dietitian-endorsed recipe…

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

* 2 cans (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 2 large whole garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 can (14 1/4 oz.) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
* 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cups water
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
* 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish (optional)
* 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
* 2 1/2 Tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Place chickpeas and garlic in large saucepan. Pour broth and 2 cups cold water into pot. Add liquid to pot and over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are very soft, 20 minutes. Let the soup sit 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender.

Add chickpeas, garlic, liquid, tomato paste and rosemary. Purée until smooth. This may need to be done in 2 batches. Make soup smooth or leave some texture, as you prefer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each either by drizzling 1/2-teaspoon of olive oil over the soup, or by mixing in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 6 servings or 6 cups.

Per serving: 142 calories, 3 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 21 g. carbohydrate,
8 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 372 mg. sodium.

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Rats lesson: junk food is a drug

I am encouraged when I see powerful confirmations of what I’ve insisted for years.  This report regarding the narcotic, addictive effects of sugar and fat doesn’t surprise me at all.  I hope it prompts you to cut back on junk food, even if it means conceding that it took lessons from rats to change your view  –  Lori

By Jeff Ostrowski
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

In a study that compares cupcakes and cookies to cocaine, scientists at Scripps Florida say rats fed a diet of junk food grew so addicted to unhealthy food that they starved rather than eat healthy fare.

Scripps Florida scientists Paul Kenny and Paul Johnson say junk food changed the rats’ brain chemistry in the same way that chronic cocaine use alters an addict’s brain function. Their study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience, bolsters the increasingly popular theory that Americans’ bulging waistlines can be blamed in part on the addictive attributes of unhealthy food.

As part of three years of experiments, Kenny, an associate professor, and Johnson, a graduate student, served one group of rats healthy, nutritionally balanced fare. Another group got unlimited access to the worst stuff Johnson could find at Publix, including bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, Ding Dongs and frosting. [Read more...]

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Healthy recipes for happy tummies

I have two delicious reciptes to share with you, one a simple solution for a quick, healthy breakfast and the other, a mouth-watering dish for which the effort is far outstripped by scrumptuous outcome.

Having Sweet Potato Pudding for breakfast is a great way to load up on cancer-fighting beta-carotene. It takes just minutes to make if you keep cooked sweet potatoes or yams on hand.

Makes three 1/2-cup servings

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup fortified soy or rice milk
1 cup cooked sweet potato or yam
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Nutrition information per 1/2-cup serving:

Calories: 119
Fat: 1.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
Calories from Fat: 10.1%
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 3.7 g
Carbohydrates: 23.9 g
Sugar: 8.6 g
Fiber: 2.9 g
Sodium: 40 mg
Calcium: 77 mg
Iron: 1.4 mg
Vitamin C: 7.7 mg
Beta-Carotene: 5541 micrograms (5.5 mg)
Vitamin E: 1.2 mg

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

Making a lovely dinner for a nice occasion doesn’t require a lot of rich and fatty ingredients. A light white fish dish takes around 15 minutes to bake and it contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids — the compounds that have been associated with lower risk for colon and prostate cancers.

Whitefish Papillote

Whitefish Papillote

(Recipe care of American Institute of Cancer Research –

White Fish en Papillote
Parchment cooking paper
Non-stick cooking spray
4, 3-oz. white fish fillets (such as Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, striped bass)
4 Tbsp. commercial tapenade, or see recipe below
Juice of 2 medium lemons (about 4 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup white wine (not too sweet, such as Pinot Grigio),
or may substitute with an equal amount of chicken broth or white grape juice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare four 8” x 10” pieces of parchment paper by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Place one fish fillet in the middle of each piece of parchment paper. Spread 1 tbsp. of tapenade on each fillet. Top each with 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1 tbsp. white wine (or non-alcoholic substitute).

Form a packet around each fillet by folding over sides of parchment paper, forming a tight seal.

Place packets on baking sheet in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes for thinner fish, a little longer for thicker fillets. You can test doneness by opening one packet. When fillet has turned opaque, it is done.

Homemade Tapenade
2 cups black olives, preferably oil cured, pitted
3 anchovies, rinsed and patted dry (optional)
3 Tbsp. drained capers
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is still coarse, but has a uniform consistency. Makes about 2 3/4 cups of tapenade.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (with homemade tapenade): 135 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 3 g carbohydrate, 16 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 290 mg sodium.

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Keep your produce safe

With fruits and vegetables playing such a big role in healthful eating, it is important to practice proper buying, storing and preparation techniques to ensure the safety of your food. Most health risks that are linked to produce can be eliminated with proper food preparation like thorough cleaning.

Below are more tips from the American Dietetic Association on safely shopping for, storing and preparing your fresh produce.


* If you go to a farmers’ market, go early to avoid produce that has been sitting out all day long.
* Buy most produce in season when possible.
* If you are not satisfied with the store’s selection, ask the produce manager if there is more available.
* Buy loose produce rather than packaged. You have more control over what you select.
* Don’t purchase produce with mold, bruises or cuts.
* Buy only the amount of produce that you will use within a week.
* Buy only pasteurized juices.

[Read more...]

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Food tip of the week

Pack for a Pigskin Picnic

One of the highlights of fall and winter weekends is the football tailgate party. Whether for high school, college or the pros, tailgating is as much of a tradition as foam fingers and face paint.

Tailgate food tends to mean snacks and desserts. Try these ideas for a tailgate that’s easy on the waistline:

* Start with fruit skewers and yogurt dip along with vegetables and hummus.
* For the meal, serve deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread loaded with sliced veggies and low-fat cheese.
* Another option is a pot of vegetarian chili and whole wheat bread.
* If you like to grill, choose leaner cuts of meat or poultry.
* For dessert, serve angel food cake chunks mixed with fruit and yogurt, chocolate brownies or even fruit skewers with melted chocolate.

May the best team, and meal, win!

source:  American Dietetic Association

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Sour news about too much sugar

For research documentation, click here

DALLAS (Associated Press)– A spoonful of sugar? Americans are swallowing 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, and it’s time to cut way back, the American Heart Association says.

Most of that added sugar comes from soft drinks and candy — a whopping 355 calories and the equivalent of guzzling two cans of soda and eating a chocolate bar.

By comparison, most women should be getting no more than 6 teaspoons a day, or 100 calories, of added sugar — the sweeteners and syrups that are added to foods during processing, preparation or at the table. For most men, the recommended limit is 9 teaspoons, or 150 calories, the heart group says.
[Read more...]

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Protect health with natural cleansers

Many of us have loved ones and/or friends fighting cancer. And I see cancer patients nearly every day as part of my clinical nutrition career. Since some cancer is linked to topical or inhalation exposure, learning from the following summary of Christina Strutt’s A Guide To Green Housekeepingis a good start toward less toxic cleanliness in your home. — Lori Drummond, R.D.

Sure, it’s great to find that one magical product that solves a very specific household problem. But the truth is, you need little more than the following six ingredients—baking soda, borax, lemon juice, salt, olive oil and white vinegar—to clean just about anything in your home (pet hair excluded).
guide to green housekeeping

Here are just a few of the many uses for these, well, magical multi-taskers:
1. Baking soda: Acts as a scrub to remove hard water stains; polishes metal; deodorizes pretty much anything it touches (try stashing some in the fridge).
2. Borax: Mixed with three parts water, it makes a paste for cleaning carpet stains; mixed with ¼ part lemon juice, it cleans stainless steel and porcelain. (Note: although borax is a natural substance, you still shouldn’t eat it—and neither should your kids or pets.)
3. Lemon: Deodorizes and cuts grease on counter tops; rubbed on cutting boards, it bleaches stains and disinfects; combined with baking soda, it removes stains from plastic food storage containers.
[Read more...]

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Buy more organic, enjoy better health

organic carrot harvesting

Numerous research report summaries harvested by the Organic Trade Association have yielded a clear conclusion: the added cost of organic products is often compensated by dramatic increases in nutritional value and flavor.

Growing crops in healthy soils results in food products that offer healthy nutrients. There is mounting evidence that organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains may offer more of some nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues than their counterparts grown using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Below are five report summaries that point to the importance of organic food:

♥  Researchers studying cultivation practices for high-bush blueberries in New Jersey found that blueberry fruit grown organically yielded significantly higher fructose and glucose levels, malic acid, total phenolics, total anthocyanins and antioxidant activity than fruit grown using conventional methods.  Scientists carrying out the study are based at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, and at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  (Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 56, pages 5,788-5794 (2008), published online on July 1, 2008.)

♥  A report jointly produced by The Organic Center and professors from the University of Florida Department of Horticulture and Washington State University provides evidence that organic foods contain, on average, 25 percent higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts. The report was based on estimated differences in nutrient levels across 236 comparisons of organically and conventionally grown foods.  (Source: “New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods,”

[Read more...]

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