‘Tis the Season: Eat Right and Give Right
With Thanksgiving under our belt (and for this writer, it shows), waiting just around the corner for our attention are major holidays like Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. If you haven’t already, it’s time to plan your next “feast day” meal and start shopping for the perfect gifts.
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is jam-packed with a seemingly endless stream of holiday parties filled with family, friends, and co-workers. And most of of those get-togethers revolve around food. This year, why not bring a dish that’s good for your health situation as well as those of your loved ones. How about a nourishing recipe that’s filled with cancer-fighting foods?
According to Health Magazine, plant-based foods that are rich in antioxidants are great for warding off cancer and keeping a clean bill of health in general. Their top six “super foods” for preventing cancer are broccoli, berries, tomatoes, walnuts, garlic, and beans. Let’s focus on how super food #1 (broccoli) can fight cancer and be turned into a tasty holiday side dish.
How Broccoli Helps Fight Cancer
- Broccoli is the only cruciferous vegetable (green-leaf vegetables) with a notable amount of sulforaphane, a powerful element that bolsters protective enzymes in the body and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals
- Like all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli also releases cancer-killing substances when it is cut or chewed
- Cruciferous vegetables have shown promising results in killing colon and prostate cancer cells; mice that were given the active ingredient in these vegetables either showed decreased tumors or a decrease in colon polyps that often lead to colon cancer
- A University of Michigan study on mice found that sulforaphane targets cancer stem cells, which aid in tumor growth
- Studies suggest that the more broccoli you eat, the better
Oven-Roasted Broccoli Recipe
This 25-minute recipe (on the Food Network, courtesy of Alton Brown) is a simple way to add broccoli to your holiday meal – or any meal. It’s a delicious, healthy meal that will easily replace the more traditional, less healthy green bean casserole. And besides, who isn’t tired of green bean casserole?
- 1 pound broccoli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Cut the florets and stalk of the vegetable into bite-sized pieces, then toss the broccoli with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper
- Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven for two minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the broccoli mixture and place back on the baking sheet (13″ x 9″ inch pan recommended)
- Place baking sheet in the oven to roast for 8-10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender
- Toss with your choice of cheese and serve
Easy Gifts That Make A Difference
Have a particular relative or friend who’s impossible to shop for during the holidays? Perhaps it’s a person in your family who already has it all? Making a donation in another person’s name is a thoughtful gift that can make a real difference in someone’s life. Not to mention, it provides welcome variety in a sea of gift cards and gift baskets.
For many, the holiday season is not just a time for giving and receiving gifts, but also giving back to the community. And what better way to give back a little of the support you may have received throughout your fight with cancer?
Charity Navigator a great place to start researching a worthwhile charity. It ranks charities based on details such as how much of the money they raise actually goes to the cause. It also provides in-depth information about the charitable organization or foundation, from location to years of operation. Here are just a handful of groups that received 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator:
Also, please consider making a donation (anonymously, in your name, or the name of someone you’re gifting) to a local organization, or your state’s chapter of a larger organization. These groups often need more help than the larger organization. And they may impact you and your loved ones more directly. Like Cancer Family Care, Cancer Support Community, Pink Ribbon Girls, or Susan G. Komen of Greater Cincinnati.
More examples can be found on our OHC website here.
As the holiday season marches on, remember to keep your health top-of-mind. Make your holiday’s cancer-fighting wish come true with food and gifts.