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Eight anti-cancer superfoods (and more)


Last week’s online article about Week Seven in the cancer-prevention lifestyle series ended with a reference to the documentary film All in This Tea, and I was going to let readers know more note only about the benefits of tea but also how to buy the organic teas profiled in the film.
The week got away from me due to the latest magazine deadline (pushing out the April/May edition of Solid Waste & Recycling) and Easter added to time limitations to contact the company for more details. I promise to follow that up in a later post, but if you’re keen in the interim the company is named Silk Road Teas and their website is here:
<a href="http://http://www.silkroadteas.com/servlet/the-template/about/Page“>http://www.silkroadteas.com/servlet/the-template/about/Page
The universe often works in strange ways. The week before I’d bought a Vitamix blender, and wrote about that in an earlier post. The machine is working brilliantly at helping me create (so far) very vitamin and mineral rich smoothies. One of the benefits of the machine is that it keeps the pulp in the blend; I usually keep the pulp and fibre in, but one could strain some or all of it out.
Anyway, it had occurred to me that it’d be nice sometimes to just extract the pure juice without the pulp, but I didn’t feel like laying out the cash for a separate juicer, having just bought a fairly expensive Vitamix. Well, wouldn’t you know that I was out walking the dog and discovered a neighbor three doors down had put a box on their front lawn containing items for anyone to take, for free. And what were they? A Juiceman Jr. juicing machine (I am not making this up); an old-fashioned electric machine with a spinning top that squeezes the juice from oranges and grapefruit halves (if you push them down); and, a hefty commercial-grade (but manageably small) gelati (Italian ice cream) machine. All in perfect order! With owner’s manuals, too! (All I had to do was recycled a few coffee cups and pop cans that were in the box.)
I immediately used the Juiceman Jr. to juice some organic veggies that were getting to their expiry point, mostly celery and carrots that were lying around, and enough parsley and other greens to fill a 12 oz glass with delicious fresh juice.
So you see, sometimes if you just adopt good intentions to start juicing and live a healthier life, the universe will deliver little presents to you like this. I believe it’s called Karma.
I want to update you about a few quick items in point form, then share a terrific list of eight “superfoods” I found online:
1. I was amused and pleased over the Easter weekend visiting with relatives to see that my mother and stepfather have taken to drinking brightly colored fruit and/or veggie smoothies. My stepfather is 85 years old and I hope and expect this new habit will give him energy and help maintain his health for years to come. Way to go!
2. I bought a copy of Eat Raw, Eat Well: 400 Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes by Douglas McNish who was interviewed on CBC radio’s Sunday morning. The book seems destined to be one of the stock items in the kitchens of healthy food eaters, and is already being referred to as the Bible of raw cuisine. I tried the recipe for avocado and cucumber salad, which was delicious and easy to make. (Here’s a tip for you, courtesy of my nephew Nathaniel on the weekend, who at age 18 is already an accomplished cook. It’s notoriously difficult to determine, when buying them, whether avocados are ripe or not. If you buy some that need ripening, immerse them in a bag filled with regular baking flour and within a day, voila! the avocados will be ripe!)
3. A friend who knows a great deal about health foods told me about Lucuma, which I ordered from my local health food store.
Here’s a (slightly edited) summary of Lucuma (powder) from the website of Navitas Naturals (http://www.navitasnaturals.com/) from where you can order some, or ask your health food store to do so. And below that, the article on the eight superfoods we should all be consuming.
Lucuma (loo-ku-mah): a sweet and edible fruit of the Lucuma tree (Pouteria obovata, or Lucuma obovata), resembling a persimmon in appearance. The orange and yellow pulp of this exotic, sweet fruit was once hailed the “Gold of the Incas,” where it has been cultivated since ancient times. A native to the highlands of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador, the fruit of the beautiful evergreen lucuma tree has been honored spiritually as well as in cuisine due to its exquisite composition.
Today, lucuma continues to enjoy enormous popularity in its native lands, and in some countries is actually favored over classics like chocolate and vanilla as an ice cream flavor. Navitas Naturals offers lucuma in a whole fruit powder form that makes incorporating it into delicious recipes a dream.
Lucuma is considered a healthy alternative sweetener as it lends a sweet taste to recipes, but is very low in sugars. With naturally occurring beta-carotene, niacin, and iron, lucuma powder is a welcome antidote to notorious “empty calorie” sweeteners.
Here’s the article by Allison Young from Women’s Health that was reproduced online in the “fitbie” section of MSN. You can read the original and view photos here:
<a href="http://http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/new-superfoods-you-should-be-eating“>http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/new-superfoods-you-should-be-eating
And here’s the text:
Kefir
It has more protein and less sugar than yogurt, but with the same creamy texture, tangy taste, and probiotics. These healthy bacteria are a known immune enhancer, and may protect against colon cancer, says Tamara Freuman, R.D.
Try It Instead of yogurt in salad dressings or smoothies. Plain kefir is in the dairy aisle, but Lifeway makes a dessert-ready frozen variety too.
Jicama
This slightly sweet and crunchy root veggie stars inulin, a belly-flattening fiber that acts as a prebiotic to promote helpful bacteria in the gut. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, which may boost collagen and fight wrinkles.
Try It Cooked or raw in slaws, stir-fries, tacos, and salads, or tossed in lime juice and sprinkled with chili powder. Find it at farmers’ markets or Mexican groceries.
Chia
One tablespoon of these nutty-tasting edible seeds has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, plus bone-building calcium and heart-healthy omega-3s. Chia is also a good source of iron, which many women don’t get enough of, notes Freuman.
Try It On cereal, salads, and soups, or use it to thicken puddings and stir-fries. (The seeds absorb liquid and acquire a gel-like texture.) Available at natural grocery stores.
Sprouts
Three-day-old broccoli plants may contain up to 50 times more of the anticancer agent sulforaphane than mature stalks, but without the pungent taste, says Kate Geagan, R.D., author of Go Green Get Lean.
Try Them On sandwiches, wraps, pizza, baked potatoes, stews, stir-fries, tacos, and just about anything else you can think of. Pick some up at your grocery store or local farmers’ market.
Black Garlic
Fermentation gives this garlic its sweet, clove-and-caramel flavor and concentrates its natural antioxidants to nearly double that of a raw bulb. These compounds help lower cholesterol and can help decrease cancer risk, says Janet Helm, R.D., of NutritionUnplugged.com. And the black stuff comes with no nasty breath!
Try It In fondue, sauces, pizza, and, believe it or not, cookies, brownies, and cakes. Order some at blackgarlic.com
Kelp
A possible anti-breast-cancer crusader, kelp is loaded with vitamin K, calcium, and other essential nutrients. And its natural alginate fiber may help block fat, says nutritionist Christine Avanti.
Try It In powdered form, mixed into meatballs and soups; use sheets (kombu) as uber-low-cal wrappers. Some specialty stores carry Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles (kelpnoodles.com), which have just six calories per serving!
Nutritional Yeast
A single serving of these cheese-like flakes has an incredible nine grams of satiating protein and provides more than your RDA of B vitamins to help boost energy, squash stress, and decrease your risk for chronic diseases.
Try It As a dairy-free sub for Parmesan on popcorn, potatoes, pasta, or scrambled eggs. You can find this yeast in specialty markets or health-food stores.
Barley
This sweet, nutty supergrain is rich in niacin (for healthy hair and skin) and cancer-fighting lignans. Plus, “the soluble fiber keeps your cholesterol levels healthy, cutting your risk for heart disease,” says Geagan.
Try It In place of pasta, rice, or oatmeal. Or swap Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Barley Flour (bobsredmill.com) for up to a third of the flour in baked goods. Both are available at regular grocery stores.


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