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Mediterranean Diet Packed with Anti-Cancer Foods

Mediterranean Diet - Anti-Cancer

Before getting cancer, I’ll be honest with you that I never thought about eating foods considered “anti-cancer.”

While I’ve been in the health field for thirty years, my degree is in Health Science with additional emphasis in exercise physiology and certification as a nutritionist; it wasn’t until cancer knocked on my door that I gave anti-cancer foods much thought.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer on September 1st of, 2020, I started paying special attention to what was going on in my body.

Cancer affects millions of people yearly. According to Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy, author of The Cancer Revolution, one in two men will experience cancer in their lifetime, and 41% of women.

So after my experience and doing my research and talking to podcast guests, I have learned that consuming a Mediterranean diet supports lowering cancer risk. But what is in a Mediterranean diet, you ask?

Let’s Dive Into It!

Leafy greens: such as Swiss chard, rich green lettuce, and arugula are rich in antioxidants known to be helpful in the fight against cancer. These nutrients include vitamin C and beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A.

Cruciferous vegetables: Have you ever heard of cruciferous veggies? Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. These nutrient-dense foods are a substantial source of phytonutrients or phytochemicals (plant foods contain thousands of natural anti-inflammatory chemicals.

These are called phytonutrients,” Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant. Phytonutrients are potent tools to prevent or fight cancer). For example, I always have a bag of organic broccoli in my refrigerator. I sauté broccoli in a little bit of ghee, and I have a side dish in less than five minutes.

Berries: These guys have some of the most potent antioxidant content of all produce! I always have a bag of frozen blueberries in my freezer. I throw a handful into my blender while making a smoothie.

Mushrooms: They have been used for years to improve immune function and fight tumor growth. Not to mention the benefits it has on your microbiome!

Nuts and seeds provide a healthy dose of fat and are very nutrient-dense, full of antioxidants and minerals. I sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads and my Greek yogurt for an added nutrient and protein boost.

Bright orange-colored fruits and veggies: Think sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and citrus, containing carotenoids. One of the most well-known is beta-carotene, an essential nutrient for optimal immune function.

I love baked sweet potatoes for dinner; clean a sweet potato, prick with a fork and bake at 425 for 45-50 minutes until fork-tender.…add a little bit of grass-fed butter, some chopped rotisserie chicken, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Herbs and spices: Turmeric, ginger, garlic, basil, and oregano. Herbs and spices are nutritional powerhouses and pack a flavor punch and a nutritional punch. For example, I like to chop fresh parsley into my salad greens; I add fresh basil to pasta and chopped dill on top of my avocado.

After seeing this list, I realized how I could make simple switches in my consumption to benefit my health in the long run!

If you are interested in learning more about cancer prevention, or simply living a happy + healthy life, let’s connect! Check out my social media links below, and be sure to say hi when you pop on over.

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