Healthy Living Blog

Cancer Control Month

Tina Miller, MS RDN, Food and Nutrition Expert, Integrative Health Professional. EMU Eagle Nutrition Services 160 Rackham Hall Ypsilanti, MI 48197, offering nutrition guidance, DEXA scans and BIA assessments.  Contact us for more information: 734.487.6572 chhs_nutrition@emich.edu.

 

April is National Cancer Control Month, an annual campaign to promote cancer prevention, screening, resources for survivors, investment into research and progress toward effective cancer control.  Lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, can significantly reduce your risk for cancer.

American Cancer Society: Recommendations for Individual Choices

Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods

Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight:

Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.

  • Nitrates and Nitrates found in processed and cured meats have been associated with increased risk for cancer. Limit your intake and choose “uncured” or “nitrate / nitrate free” versions (these are made using healthier plant based nitrates, such as from celery).
  • Limit red meats to 3-5 (3 ounce) servings per week.

Eat at least 2½ to 5 cups of vegetables and fruits each day.

  • Cruciferous vegetables provide unique sulfur containing antioxidants (glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol) that significantly reduce cancer risk, especially for breast, colon and lung cancer. Eat at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables 4 times or more each week. Choose a variety of these super-healthy veggies: Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard and Mustard Greens, Kale, Napa Cabbage, Radish, Turnip, Watercress

Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.

  • Eat fewer sugary foods and refined white flour products
  • Read food label ingredient lists: First ingredient should be a whole grain (i.e., whole wheat)

If you drink alcohol, limit your intake:  Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.

Be physically active

Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.

Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.

Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.

Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.

Maintain a healthy weight

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life. Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.

Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.

Get regular physical activity and limit intake of high-calorie foods and drinks as keys to help maintain a healthy weight.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” Recipe

Servings:  4

Ingredients:

 

1 head of cauliflower

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper (to taste)

 

Directions:

  1. Separate the cauliflower into florets and chop the core finely.
  2. Bring about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Drain and discard all of the water (pat dry with paper toweling — the drier the cauliflower is, the better) and add the milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash with a masher until it looks like “mashed potatoes.”
  4. Enjoy!