The Color of Fighting Breast Cancer through Nutrition

Fall in Vermont is all about color.  As we get ready for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, beginning October 1, we are moving our thoughts and celebration of color to the plate.   Eating by color can be a fun thing to think about.  Something of an artist paint pallet for those epicurean minded folks.  But beyond creating an eye catching plate, eating by color can be an asset to your health.  Evidence shows that the colorful phytonutrients found in many vegetables and fruits showgreat health promoting benefits including cancer fighting properties.   You can think of these as your breast cancer super foods.  Superfoods are rich in nutrients particularly vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and phytochemicals.  You want to work to add these diverse colorful superfoods into your diet at every meal.  That means eating ALL the shades of the rainbow as each unique color harvests an equally distinctive array of benefits.  Here is a little overview of what each color has to offer to the state of your plate and thus the state of your health:

Shades of Red…the deeper the better

These amazing fruits and vegetables are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that gives them their red pigment. Lycopene is a carotenoid that is known to have an inhibiting effect on breast cancer cells.

Shades of Orange: Carrots, Apricot, Sweet Potatoes, and Pumpkin

Beta-Carotene is highly abundant in these nourishing foods such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes.  Good news just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving!  Studies show these Fall favorites have a protective effect against lobular breast cancer.

Shades of Yellow:

Welcome the earthy spice Turmeric to boosts your body’s wellbeing with the power of three--acting as a known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antitumoral.

Shades of Green:

Green cruciferous greens have loads of potassium, folic acid, and Vitamin E. They also have one thing in common, benzyl isothiocyanate; a known suppressor of breast cancer cells.

Shades of Blue:

These foods, rich in anthocyanin, are known repressors of mammary tumorigenesis and high in vitamin C and fiber.  This includes the obvious blueberries but also things like forbidden rice and blueberries.

Using the colors of foods to bolster health and keep breast cancer at bay is not only fun but deliciously powerful.  Help keep the whole family healthy using one of our superfoods for breast cancer recipes at your next family dinner.  Here is one of my favorites for color and yum.

Pomegranate and Chia Yogurt Parfait

  •        2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
  •        ½cup Pomegranate Juice
  •        2 cups Greek yogurt
  •        2 tablespoons Orange Blossom Honey
  •        4 each Mint leaves

1.In a small bowl combine the chia seed and the pomegranate juice. Mix well to combine and let sit at room temperature for several hours, until the chia seeds have become gelatinous and have thickened the liquid. Alternatively you can gently heat the chia and juice until the chia seeds become gelatinous and begin to thicken the juice; at which point you would remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to fully cool.

2.While the juice is thickening combine the yogurt and honey in a large mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until the yogurt is smooth and the honey is fully incorporated.  Place the mixture in the refrigerator to fully cool.

3.Once both parfait elements are ready begin to layer parfait glasses with a layer of pomegranate juice,

then yogurt, then pomegranate juice and then yogurt. End all layers with a swirled presentation of both mixtures. Top with fresh mint and drizzle of fresh honey (optional) and serve.

To learn more about the relationship between breast cancer and superfoods be sure to get a copy of Breast Cancer Superfoods.

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