Think Pink! Take Action!! by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

Give Yourself a Fighting Chance

It’s national breast cancer awareness month. Think pink, then take action. Do something to reduce your risk of breast cancer today and everyday.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
It is estimated that nearly 200,000 women and 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Dietary factors account for about 30 percent of all cancers in Western Countries, and ethnic groups that adopt a Western diet, which is heavy in meat and refined sugars, find a relative increase in cancer risk.

Although certain dietary aspects may increase cancer risk, please also pay attention to contributing factors such as exercise, weight, smoking and alcohol.
Everything happens for a reason. Attitude may play a role in cancer prevention and recovery. See the glass as half full, and you may accept why cancers occur. It can be the ultimate motivator for those who have been thinking about making lifestyle changes. Perhaps you needed to alter your diet, exercise more and change the way you handle stress.
Christina Applegate, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, said that as a celebrity she has a voice and now she has a purpose—to educate women about prevention and screening.
Most people know what they should limit in their lives, so as an optimist, I am going to teach you what foods to increase and then provide you with a recipe to help you get started.
1) Be on the lookout for beta-carotene rich vegetables, found in those bright yellow and orange veggies and also in deep leafy greens where the color is disguised by chlorophyll. The body absorbs beta-carotene better when food is cooked, but fine chopping and adequate chewing will also aid absorption.
2) Crunch on cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, which help to lower levels of a possible breast cancer-promoting estrogen.
3) Line up the lycopene-rich tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon and guava for the protection they provide.
4) Dress for success. Olive oil is best when not heated so use it to dress your vegetables and facilitate nutrient absorption. Mediterranean women who enjoy the olive have lower rates of breast cancer.
5) Garlic can do more than ward off vampires. It may also help slow the rate at which breast cancer cells multiply. For maximum benefits, allow garlic to rest for ten minutes after chopping in order to activate cancer-fighting compounds.
6) Fight cancer with phytoestrogens, which are weak estrogen-like compounds found in foods such as flaxseeds, fennel and whole soy products (tofu, tempeh, miso & soy milk.) These estrogens may help to block your body’s own estrogen from stimulating estrogen- sensitive cancer cells.
7) Opt for Organic, grass-fed dairy and beef which contain the antioxidant Conjugated Linoelic Acid (CLA), a fat known to suppress breast tumors in animals. Choose low fat but not fat free versions of these foods since CLA is a fat, you need to eat some fat to get it in your diet.
8) Fatty fish are the richest sources of the essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Eggs can also be a good source so look for the Omega-3 designation on your egg carton, and be sure to eat the yolks.
9) Essential oils found in the peel and white membranes of citrus fruit have been shown to inhibit breast cancer cell growth in test tube studies. Freeze the peels after juicing and use at a later date to add protection and zest to recipes.
10) Whey protein prevented breast cancer in laboratory rats, and it makes a quick and tasty meal replacement (see my Protein shake found on My Video link)
11) Anthocyanins, which give all of the exotic berries and home grown wild blueberries their brilliant blues, are among the most powerful antioxidants in the world. Get yours close to home—fresh or frozen.
12) Ahh, sipping tea, celebrating me—a stress reliever and another antioxidant powerhouse rich in EGCG which may inhibit breast cancer cells. Drink green tea to de-stress then make tea ice cubes, use tea to steam sauté, poach or boil anything. The flavor and protective properties will infuse each morsel.
Please review the weekend edition for the past six months to find recipes to help you attain each of these twelve goals. Here’s one to get you started.
Oh My Gosh! Orange Salad
2 oranges and 1 pink grapefruit
, zested, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick triangles
4 large carrots, peeled and finely shredded
2 Tablespoons warm green tea
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Minced candied ginger pieces (Really add zing & pull all flavors together!)

Brew tea. Shred carrots into a large bowl. Zest, peel and cut orange and grapefruit sections then add to carrots. Combine tea, honey and cinnamon and mix with carrots and citrus. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy while sipping tea.