Research has shown that certain healthy foods can help make a big difference in reducing cancer risks over a person’s lifetime.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, registered dietitian Rachel Beller joined “Good Morning America” to share the benefits of certain foods that could help reduce the risk of cancer overall, including breast cancer.
While no food alone can prevent or cure cancer, organizations including the American Cancer Society, have linked some foods to risk reduction.
Beller explained that antioxidant rich foods which may have anti-inflammatory effects that can be incorporated into a healthy diet and reveal secret power up foods that are delicious, nutrient-dense and convenient.
While it’s not one meal and done, Beller said, eating well consistently over many years leads to real health benefits.
Beller also shared some small tweaks that people can make in their daily diets with a few breakfast and snack recipes, below.
Breakfast power food
Whole roasted hemp seeds are crunchy with a nutty flavor, plus they are high in both fiber and protein with 4.5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per two tablespoons.
Flaxseeds are the number one highest source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogens with researched health benefits that have included a lowered risk of breast cancer.
Chia seeds are also beneficial with 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon.
Beller explained that all three seeds are rich in “good-for-you omega-3 fats, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.”
Multi seed power jam 3 cups frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons date or maple syrup
2 tablespoons whole milled hemp seeds
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
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, let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes until the berries start to break down.
Stir in the multi-seed power mix (whole hemp, ground flaxseed, chia seeds) and continue to simmer for about 5-10 minutes more until the berry mixture starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and let it cool. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
Note: You can use this jam as a topping on oatmeal or stirred into yogurt. But it’s not just for breakfast — spread the jam on crackers or grain-free bread with nut butter to give an extra power boost to your snacks.
Spices to punch up lunch and dinner
Crank up the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of your next lunch or dinner with spices most people have on hand in their pantries.
Beyond flavor, Beller explained that spices can dramatically boost the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of a meal to help 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 said can be important when it comes to long-term health.
Creamy Golden Tahini with Cauliflower and Crispy Chickpeas
This savory sauce can be used to top cooked meals or chilled for a salad dressing. The two spice blends are universal tasting and an easy way to upgrade the nutrient value of a meal.
1/2 cup raw tahini, sesame paste (high in lignans)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegitude power blend (garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, black pepper, dried parsley)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend for 10 seconds. Taste and season with salt, as desired. If the mixture seems too thick, slowly add more water and blend again until it reaches the desired consistency.
Cauliflower and crispy chickpeas 4 cups cauliflower florets (top antioxidant-rich cruciferous vegetable) 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (plant-based protein, rich in protective phytochemicals and fiber)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon everything savory spice blend (paprika, garlic, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cauliflower and chickpeas on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the oil and spices and combine well to cover the cauliflower and chickpeas. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Drizzle with Golden Tahini Sauce.
Healthier dessert with cocoa and turmeric
Cacao, Beller said, is packed with two nutrients that contain anti-inflammatory properties: quercetin and polyphenols.
3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 1/2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Golden Breakfast Spice Blend (see Beller’s website to purchase)
1/4 cup plant 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, mix the flour, cocoa powder, Golden Blend, sugar, baking powder and plant milk until all the ingredients are combined.
Using clean hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of the batter into balls and place on the baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
Flatten each ball and shape cookies into circles. Feel free to top with some dark chocolate chips or slivered almonds.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy!
Snack healthy with horseradish
The underrated spicy cruciferous root vegetable is considered a top-tier food, Beller said, explaining it contains an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance called sinigrin.