As we continue to explore all things pertaining to Breast Cancer Awareness this month, today we will discuss another modifiable risk, aka one that you can change and control; your diet.
There is no “magic pill” when it comes to your diet, but you do want to consider the overall nutrient density of your diet as it pertains to disease prevention. Certain foods — high in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients — may help protect against some cancers when consumed frequently. These foods include a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but today I want to spotlight cruciferous and dark, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards and kale, as these are high in compounds- phytonutrients- that are health promoting and may protect against disease when consumed regularly.
You may have heard the concept of “eating with color” and this is because you will consume an array of different phytonutrients when consuming different colored fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least 2 colors at mealtimes. Cruciferous vegetables are in season in fall and winter months, so this is a perfect time to focus on their intake. Whether preparing broccoli as a side to accompany your protein at dinner, trying cauliflower rice, adding slaw on your tacos, ordering a vinegar based coleslaw, making kale chips in your toaster over, snacking on cauliflower and hummus, or adding dark leafy greens to your pasta, smoothies, or soup recipes, the possibilities of incorporating them are endless.
Sometimes a reminder of their benefits makes it easier to be mindful of your intake or more appealing to chose them over a less healthy alternative, so thank you for reading along today.
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– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, LDN, CHWC
Health Advisor, Registered Dietitian | Email Keeley