The month of October is flying by! Cannot believe it is almost half over already and we are only 15 days from Halloween, 37 days from Thanksgiving, and 70 days from Christmas! As I continue to reflect during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it may be helpful to share some of my favorite anti-cancer foods as well as some of my favorite reading resources related to this topic. Many of you know family and friends battling some type of cancer and much of this information may be valuable to you and your loved ones.
Here’s a BRIEF synopsis of some of my favorite anti-angiogenic foods (anti-angiogenic means “inhibit the growth of new blood vessels” – so these are foods that may help inhibit the spread of cancer by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels). Some of my favorite anti-cancer veggies include: onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, scallions, spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli, maitake mushrooms, watercress, swiss chard, pumpkin, and butternut squash.
A few of my favorite anti-angiogenic spices and herbs include: turmeric, curry, chives, rosemary, ginger, basil, and nutmeg.
There are also delicious fruits and nuts that exhibit anti-cancer properties: black raspberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, tart cherries, grapefruit, pomegranates, walnuts, almonds and pecans.
My favorites are only a PARTIAL listing of the many foods that have been shown to have benefits in fighting different types of cancers. There are some great reading resources out there for those of you who would like to learn more. “The AntiCancer: A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber, MD is this physician’s 15 year journey through brain cancer. (Ultimately, he battled brain cancer for 20 years!) He describes what makes cancer cells thrive and what inhibits their growth; how to structure our diets around nutrient dense cancer fighting foods; the role of Vitamin D in fighting cancer; and much more. Learn more about Dr. Servan-Schreiber and his book here.
“The Cancer Fighting Kitchen” by Rebecca Katz is a wonderful collection of nourishing, big-flavor recipes for people going through cancer treatment and recovery. She teaches patients and caregivers how to prepare powerhouse meals, using key ingredients, to build a cancer fighting culinary toolkit. Rebecca is a nutritional educator at one of our country’s leading cancer wellness centers and she has spent many years helping physicians and patients come together to eat well to maximize cancer treatments, minimize side effects and improve outcomes.
Two grads from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), where I recently graduated from, just released a book called “Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.” Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott are both cancer survivors so they know exactly what it is like to deal with the “Big C.” Their book is a collection of their experiences and emotions surrounding their individual cancer journeys. It is also a collection of cancer fighting recipes to soothe and nourish during and after treatment.
The recipes contained in all the books mentioned here are wonderful for those of you NOT fighting cancer as well!
Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to mention a farm in SE WI that is dedicated to growing powerful anti-angiogenic foods. NuGenesis Farm is a fabulous place to visit, for adults and children, to have some fun creating healthy pizzas, learning about anti-cancer foods, and discovering how to prepare these foods in your kitchen. Founded in 2010 by three-time cancer survivor Kathy Bero, NuGenesis helps you prevent disease, support your body through a chronic illness and prevent recurrence through the food you choose to eat. Take a moment to check out the NuGenesis Farm website and learn all about what they are offering our community. As it happens, October is also National Pizza Month – the perfect time to make a trip to the farm and make spectacular pizzas in their amazing outdoor pizza oven.
In two short weeks, the world of pink will fade away – the NFL will lose it’s pink shoes, towels, gloves and hats; KOHL’s department store will return to it’s maroon colored lettering; make-up and nailpolish lines will move into the true fall/winter colors; my local grocery store will lose it’s large rack of pink attire at the front door; and my 3″ lashes and pink hair (for a recent fashion show to benefit BC) will be long gone. But for those who continue to battle breast cancer – the pink remains.
If you know someone who is battling breast cancer, or any other type of cancer for that matter, I encourage you to check out a couple of the resources outlined here and share the knowledge! There is so much that can be done to beat cancer with your fork.