Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients


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Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables each day?

 

fruits-and-vegetables01

Daily recommendation is of  7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables, this sounds like a lot, but a serving size isn’t that large – one medium sized fruit, half cup of berries, three apricots, half cup cooked or raw vegetables, six asparagus spears and one cup of salad greens all count as one serving. You might be eating two servings when you think you’re eating only one.

If you think you are eating less than the daily recommendation of fruit and vegetable, the key is incorporating fruit and/or vegetables into all meals and snacks. Ensure your breakfast includes one or two fruit servings, add at least two vegetable servings to lunch and dinner, and add whole or dried fruit for midday snacks. When you do eat vegetables, increase your portion size to get you closer to 7 to 10 daily servings.

If you find preparing fresh fruit and vegetables time consuming (e.g. washing, peeling, chopping), take advantage of convenient pre-prepared produce in the grocery store. You will find pre-washed salad greens, grated carrot, broccoli florets, chopped celery, chopped garlic, shredded cabbage, even cubed turnip and squash. For fruit, look for fresh fruit salad, peeled and cored fresh pineapple, canned fruit in its own juice and unsweetened applesauce.

Some tips to help you out:

Breakfast:

  • Toss chopped banana into a bowl of whole grain cereal.
  • Blend fresh or frozen berries with low fat milk or soy milk to make a fruit smoothie. Or make a green smoothie with kale or spinach.
  • Add dried cherries, currants, cranberries and blueberries to muffin mixes
  • Drink a small glass (1/2 cup) of citrus juice – the vitamin C enhances iron absorption from whole grains.
  • Fill half of a cantaloupe with low fat cottage cheese.
  • Add diced tomatoes, red pepper and baby spinach to an egg white omelet.

Half a cantaloupe with cottage cheesegreen-smoothiebanana-with-granola

Lunch:

  • Add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, grated carrot, and spinach leaves to sandwiches and wraps.
  • Toss leftover grilled vegetables in a green salad.
  • Add shredded cabbage mixed with low fat coleslaw dressing to a sandwich.
  • Have a bowl of vegetable soup with your sandwich.
  • Drink low sodium vegetable or tomato juice with your meal.

sandwich-soupplateveg-sandwhich

Dinner:

  • Use dark green lettuces such as Romaine in salads (they’ve got more beta-carotene).
  • Add quick cooking greens such as spinach, kale, rapini or Swiss chard to soups.
  • Fortify pasta sauces and casseroles with grated zucchini and carrot.
  • Bake a sweet potato instead of a white potato – you’ll consume more beta-carotene and fiber.
  • Serve strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar with a sprinkle of sugar for dessert.

romain-saladzucchini-pasta1

Snacks:

  • Carry fruit with you such as an apple, pear, plums or grapes.
  • Pack single-serve cans of unsweetened fruit or applesauce.
  • Prepare snack-size bags of dried apricots and nuts.
  • Have raw vegetables ready for snacking. Try carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper strips, broccoli florets and mushroom caps with hummus dip.
  • Eat slices of banana, apple, or pear with almond/peanut butter

apricots-and-nutsveggie-snacks

 


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Desirable Desserts

No celebration and family gatherings are ever complete without dessert. When planning your next party or get-together, follow this advice for some healthier and still delicious desserts.

Fruit Salad

Serve fresh fruit before the rest of the dessert The healthiest dessert around is a fresh fruit salad. Use an assortment of fruit, chopped into bite-size pieces. Create a more flavorful fruit salad by using in-season fruit and smaller pieces. Pair the fruit salad with some other whole food-based desserts, such as dates, figs, and nuts. Try making pitted dates stuffed with pecans—tastes like pecan pie!

Dates figs and nuts

These foods are all high in nutrients and fiber, so you will likely fill up faster when eating them compared to traditional desserts. After serving, wait 15 minutes before bringing out the rest of your dessert.

Buy fewer and pre-portioned higher-calories desserts If you want to offer a high-calorie dessert, such as brownies, cookies, pies, or cakes, only buy or make enough to give everyone a single (or maybe one-and-a-half) portion. Also, pre-portion the servings, so that everyone gets a piece, but is not tempted to take too large of a piece. Odds are that some people will not have their dessert, so those who really want seconds probably can have them anyway.

Brownies

Also, the fresh fruit, dates, and nuts provide other dessert options for those who are still hungry for something sweet.

Out of sight, out of mind We all often tend to eat too much dessert, because it sits on the table and we pick at it for the rest of the evening. Clear the desserts from the table about 30 minutes after serving. This gives guests enough time to get dessert, but not so much time that they go back for seconds that they did not really need.

Leaving fruit and beverages (and even some cut-up vegetables) out after the 30 minutes is a great way to provide some additional snacking options for those who want to stay longer.

Veg snacks

Fruit Mostarda

At a time of year when fresh fruit isn’t plentiful this dish features a medley of frozen peaches and cherries, fresh pears and grapes, and tart pomegranate juice. Sweet and savory with an unexpected flavor, this adds fiber-packed and phytochemical-rich fruit to your cancer preventive diet. Use either fresh or frozen fruits or a mix of both.

Fruit mostarda

Ingredients

  •        1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen sliced peaches
  •        1 cup frozen dark cherries
  •        1 medium Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch pieces
  •        1 cup large seedless red grapes, preferably globe variety
  •        4 (2-inch x 1-inch) strips orange zest
  •        1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  •        1/3 cup dry mustard powder
  •        3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  •        1/4 cup honey
  •        1/4 cup sugar

Directions

In mixing bowl, defrost peaches and cherries. Drain liquid from bowl into measuring cup. Transfer peaches and cherries to stainless steel or other non-reactive medium saucepan. Add pear, grapes and orange zest.

To measuring cup with peach and cherry liquid, add enough pomegranate juice to make 1/2 cup liquid, reserving extra pomegranate juice for another use. Place mustard powder in small mixing bowl. Pour in juice mixture and whisk to combine with mustard. Add mustard mixture to pot with fruits. Add vinegar, honey and sugar.

Over medium-high heat, bring liquid to boil. Using wooden spoon, gently stir to combine fruits with liquid and sweeteners. Boil gently until liquid is foamy, then reduce heat and boil gently until liquid is slightly thickened and fruits are tender but not falling apart, 20 minutes. Off heat, cool mostarda in pot to room temperature.

Using large spoon, transfer mostarda to jar or bowl, preferably glass, including liquid up to level of fruit. It keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days. If desired, use remaining liquid to make red cabbage slaw or salad dressings, adding lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.

Makes 6 servings. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups. Per serving: 165 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 mg sodium.

 


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Dinner is served

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

Cauliflower and chickpea curry

 Combine roasted cauliflower with chickpeas and coconut milk, season with curry powder and you have a delightful way to eat this cancer-preventive crucifer.

Roasting cauliflower causes its natural sugars to caramelize, which brings out a more delicate nutty flavor and keeps it more formed. The combination of roasted cauliflower and tomatoes with sautéed onions and garlic, wilted baby spinach and chickpeas produces a wonderful garden flavor. The chickpeas contribute their own nutty flavor and a crunchy texture while providing health-promoting fiber and plant-based protein.

Curry connotes dishes and sauces made with a mixture of pungent spices, usually turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, garlic and chilies. Common in India and South Asian countries, curry dishes vary from country to country, even within country regions. Curry colors range from yellow, red, green to brown and the amount of spices used, as few as five to more than twenty, also varies. Curry powder is a mixture of spices commonly found in curries and is said to be an invention of the British who wanted to replicate Indian cuisine they enjoyed during the British Raj. Most curry powders include turmeric, which gives curries their yellow color. Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that gives it its golden hue and is showing promise as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammation phytochemical.

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1½ pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups baby spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large mixing bowl, toss cauliflower and tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until florets are browned in spots and tomatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.

In medium pot, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes.

Add chickpeas, coconut milk and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 8 minutes.

Gently stir cauliflower and tomatoes into pot and cook 6 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook 1-2 minutes, until spinach wilts. Serve hot or let cool and refrigerate to serve chilled later.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 224 calories, 9g total fat, (3g saturated fat), 30g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 9g dietary fiber, 67 mg sodium.

Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado

Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado

Combine chicken with lime and a medley of vegetables and herbs to enjoy an unusual soup that is healthy and satisfying. Limes, like lemons, are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C and a good source of the B vitamin folate. Loaded with phytochemicals like limonoids and flavonoids. Avocado also adds beneficial monounsaturated fat and vitamin E.

You can prepare this easy-to-make soup with leftover chicken. And, the soup itself makes a great leftover. Simply refrigerate it or freeze for a super cold day with little time to cook. Whether enjoyed freshly made or reheated later, Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado is part of a cancer prevention home menu because of its powerful combination of lime, vegetables, herbs and spices.

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3 medium limes, 2 cut in half, 1 cut into 6 wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

In soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery, jalapeño and garlic for 6 minutes or until tender. Add whole chicken breast, corn, tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, oregano and cumin to pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Over high heat bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 55 minutes.

Remove chicken breast to large platter and shred using two folks. Return chicken to soup. Squeeze juice of 2 limes into soup. Add cilantro and gently stir. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado, garnish with lime wedge and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 258 calories, 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrate, 24 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 589 mg sodium.


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Snacking

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters with Field Greens

chickpea-fritters

Butternut squash and chickpeas are the perfect combination for this vegetarian entrée.  Legumes like chickpeas pack protein and the B vitamin folate, and winter squash is rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals. Both are also rich in fiber, which has been shown to support growth of health-promoting bacteria in the gut and reduce risk for colorectal cancer. Plus these healthy fritters are lightly sautéed instead of deep-fat fried, cutting down on calories and fat.

  • 2 cups (10 oz.) cubed butternut squash
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 cups field greens (5 oz. pkg.)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted skinless hazelnuts 

Yogurt Dill/mint Sauce

Yoghurt with Dill sauce

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill or mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground white or black pepper 

Salad Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For Yogurt Dill Sauce, in small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into small serving bowl and set aside.

For Salad Dressing, in small bowl, combine lemon juice and oil, season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

For Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters, in large saucepan with a steamer basket, steam squash until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer squash to food processor. Add chickpeas, flour, egg, scallions, garlic, sage, cumin and pepper flakes. Pulse until blended yet slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Gently drop six scant 1/4-cup portions of mixture into pan and gently press into round patties with back of measuring cup or spatula. Don’t over crowd skillet. Sauté fritters until golden brown on bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Heat may need to be adjusted for optimal browning. Carefully turn over each fritter and sauté until other side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer fritters to plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Use remaining oil to sauté remaining six fritters. There should be 12 fritters in total.

In large bowl, add salad greens. Stir salad dressing and pour over greens. Add hazelnuts and gently toss together.

Arrange greens on large serving platter or four individual dinner plates. Arrange all fritters on top of greens if serving on platter or 3 fritters on each individual plate. Serve with Yogurt Dill Dressing on the side or drizzle on fritters and serve. 

Makes 4 (three fritters each) servings. 

Per serving: 400 calories, 18 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrate, 17 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber, 392 mg sodium.

Cranberry Apple Salsa

 cranberry-salsa

This classic raw relish combines fresh cranberries, Fuji apple, lime juice and spicy jalapeño. Its sweetness means remarkably little sugar is needed to offset the tartness of the cranberries. Serve with whole grain crackers before the big meal or alongside some other favorite dish.

Cranberries are good sources of vitamin C and dietary fiber. In cell studies, cranberry extract and their anthocyanins decrease free radical damage to DNA that can lead to cancer.

Cranberries grow in northern bogs on low-lying vines, just above water. These bright red gems are native to North America and at one time whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their ships to prevent scurvy. Today you’ve probably heard claims that cranberry juice helps prevent urinary tract infections; though it appears to help some women, it is not a treatment.

We do know that with their healthful nutrients and phytochemicals along with the rich color and flavor, cranberries make a great addition to any meal, not just at Thanksgiving.

  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries, or frozen, unsweetened
  • 1/2 medium Fuji apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 strips (1-inch x 1/2-inch) lime zest, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, without seeds, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. turbinado/raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • Salt

In food processor, pulse cranberries just until coarsely chopped. Add apple, onion, lime zest, jalapeño, sugar and lime juice. Pulse (quick pulses) until salsa is still slightly chunky, about 15-20 times.

Add cilantro and pulse until it is chopped but not mushy, about 10 times, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed. Season with a bit of salt, just to lift flavors.

Let salsa sit 20 minutes for flavors to marry. Serve same day.

 Makes 8 (1/4 cup) servings.

 Per serving: 36 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 1.5 g dietary fiber, 2 mg sodium


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Lunch Time Nutrition

Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger

            Carrot Orange Ginger

Wild carrots have been around for millennia, but the cultivated variety is believed to have originated in Afghanistan around the 9th century. By the 1100s carrots had spread to Spain through the Middle East and North Africa. Today they are available year round in grocery stores. When buying, look for plump, firm carrots without cracks.

Try to use fresh ginger because it has a mellow, full-bodied taste, whereas ground ginger is spicier. Buy ginger tubers that are smooth, heavy and firm with a spicy fragrance. Also, while you can use store bought orange juice, the soup is tastier if you prepare fresh orange juice for the recipe. And a bit of fresh lemon juice balances the sweetness of the carrots and orange. Beta-carotene from carrots, vitamin C from orange juice and orange zest and gingerol from ginger – all provide beneficial antioxidant properties. Sprinkle soup with roasted pumpkin seeds or add crunch with a few whole-grain croutons.

  •        1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  •        4 cups chopped carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  •        1 cup chopped yellow onions
  •        2 cloves garlic, minced
  •        3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable stock or broth may be substituted)
  •        4 large strips orange zest
  •        1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  •        ½ cup orange juice
  •        1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, optional
  •        Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  •        ¼ cup chopped chives (dill may be substituted)

In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add carrots and onions. Sauté about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté additional 2 minutes.

Add broth and orange zest strips. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, uncover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Let mixture cool for several minutes. Discard orange zest strips.

Working in batches, in food processor or blender purée mixture until velvety smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in ginger and orange and lemon juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Over low heat, let soup simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to mingle. Garnish with chives and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 140 mg sodium.

carrot-ginger-soup

Sweet Roasted Root Veggies roasted-root-veg

This warm one-pot meal is full of hearty root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and beets that pack fiber and cancer-fighting carotenoids. Roasting gives them a slightly sweeter flavor that pairs nicely with a tangy dressing.

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

  • 1 small sweet potato, about 8-oz, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (peeled parsnip may be substituted)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 medium celery stalks, 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium beet, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl toss potatoes, carrot, onion, celery and beet with 1/2 tablespoon oil, coating well. Arrange vegetables in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring several times, until tender and beginning to brown, about 50 minutes.

In mixing bowl, whisk vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon with remaining oil and stir in parsley, cilantro and walnuts. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and gently toss. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Makes 4 servings.

Per 3/4 cup serving: 156 calories, 9 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrate, 3 protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 134 mg sodium.


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A New Rainbow of Color

There’s a world of healthy cancer-preventive foods out there. Use these international favorites as an introduction to new spices, fruits, vegetables and more. It’s a great way to add variety to daily meals and learn to enjoy new foods.

Smørrebrød- Denmark

Smørrebrød is a traditional open-faced sandwich. It’s often made with dark whole-grain rye bread and topped with nutrient-rich beets (or other veggies), herring and a poached egg. Use a high-fiber rye bread, which plays a role in reducing cancer risk. Top with a few oven roasted root veggies and herring – rich in omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of vitamin D.

Smørrebrød

Cortado – Spain, Portugal, Latin America

From the Spanish word cortar, meaning cut, a cortado is espresso cut with milk. It’s a small (3-4 ounce) drink usually made of a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of milk added to espresso. The caramel sweetness of the espresso paired with the steamed milk means you may not even need to add sugar.

Cortado

Paella – Spain

This savory one-pan rice dish is as varied as the chefs that make them. Paella (pronounced pah-ey-yuh) essentials are rice flavored with saffron and garlic, mixed with veggies and protein and cooked in a shallow pan. Traditional paella uses chicken or rabbit, white beans, and snails. Other variations include shrimp, mussels, and clams.

Paella

Mercimek Köftesi- Red Lentil Kofte (Turkey)

Köfte refers to ground meat (lamb or beef) or vegetable balls seasoned with plenty of herbs and spices. The vegetarian version is made with red lentils and fine bulgur, sprinkled with parsley and green onions. Red lentil legumes provide protein and bulgur is a whole grain packed with fiber, which is linked to decreased risk of colorectal cancer, or add some cooked lentils and your favorite spices.

Mercimek Köftesi

Pho – Vietnam

Go to any home or market in Vietnam and you’ll likely find some variation of this noodle dish. Pho consists of a flavorful clear broth, small amounts of thinly cut meat such as beef or chicken, and the namesake linguini-shaped rice noodles – garnished with herbs, green onions, and bean sprouts piled high on top.

Pho

Cherimoya – Central and South America

You can now find this sweet and creamy fruit at many US markets. Tasting like a cross between a banana and pineapple, cherimoya is known as the ice cream fruit. A cherimoya will give you plenty of fiber, vitamins C, vitamin B6, riboflavin and potassium. Eat it fresh, add to fruit salads or chill it and eat it with a spoon. You can remove the seeds, freeze for 4 to 5 hours then blend to make a creamy cherimoya sorbet.

Cherimoya

Mojo Sauce– Cuba

Mojo refers to any sauce made from garlic, olive oil, spices and citrus such as orange juice. It adds flavor to everything from seafood, pork and of course, Cuban sandwiches. Create your own mojo marinade with an assortment of herbs and spices–cilantro, oregano, cumin and garlic.

Mojo Sauce

 


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Hot and Healthy Winter Drinks

Instead of sugary flavored coffee drinks with whipped cream or hot toddies with alcohol, that is linked to increased risk for several types of cancer, turn to a steaming cup of healthy tea, cider or chai that makes the most of cancer-preventing ingredients.

 cinnamon mint tea

 Cinnamon-Mint Tea A dash of apple juice sweetens this tea naturally. Tea contains phytochemical compounds called flavonoids that may protect against cancer. Warming hints of spicy ginger and refreshing mint are going to be your favorites.

  • 1 small bunch mint, about 15 sprigs, preferably spearmint
  • 4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 6 cups cold water and
  • 4 bags green tea, regular or decaffeinated
  • 6 Tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate, or to taste

Place mint, cinnamon sticks and ginger, in large saucepan. Add water, cover pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, mint, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Sweeten hot tea to taste with apple juice concentrate.  Pour into mugs and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 29 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 4 mg sodium

ChocolateChai.jpg

Chocolate Chai

Instead of wine and champagne, you can serve a nonalcoholic dessert drink. Chocolate is always a favorite, but this recipe combines cinnamon, ginger and cloves with rich cocoa for a warm spiced end to a delicious meal.

Research shows that the antioxidants in tea and chocolate may improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure. Remember though, that chocolate is a high calorie food, so moderate consumption is important for overall health. 

  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 (4-inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. anise seed
  • 2 – 4 (1/4-inch) slices fresh ginger, peeled (see note*)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond or soymilk
  • 3 Tbsp. agave syrup, honey to taste

Place cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise seed and ginger in medium saucepan, add 2 cups water, and place over medium-high heat. When water simmers, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags, cover, and steep for 4 minutes. Remove tea bags, cover, and steep brewed tea with spices for 20 minutes. Strain to remove spices, and return spiced tea to saucepan.

In small bowl whisk cocoa with 1/4 cup of hot tea until dissolved then add to tea. Mix in vanilla, and almond or soymilk, heat chai over medium-high heat until steaming. Sweeten to taste then pour into mugs, or divide chai among 4 mugs and sweeten it to taste individually.

*Note: Ginger root varies in thickness. If you have a fat piece, 2 slices may be enough.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 120 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 65 mg sodium.

Ginger Tumeric Cider.jpg

Ginger and Turmeric Hot Cider

Warm apple cider is the perfect winter comfort drink. This special version combines two potent spices, ginger and turmeric for a unique flavor and nutrition profile. Fresh ginger, contains a pungent substance called gingerol while turmeric gets it characteristic yellow hue from the class of cancer-fighting compounds, curcuminoids. Both are being studied for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Turmeric is known to stain fingers and clothes so be sure to peel the fresh root over a paper towel then wash your hands after grating it

  1. 1 cup fresh sweet apple cider
  2. 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  3. 1 tsp. grated fresh turmeric
  4. 1½-inch by 1/2-inch strip lemon peel, white part included

In small saucepan, combine cider, ginger, turmeric and lemon peel. Over medium-high heat, heat until ring of bubbles appears around edge of pan, 3 minutes. Cover pan and set aside for 5 minutes. Pour hot-spiced cider through fine tea strainer into mug. Serve immediately

Makes 1 Serving Per serving: 120 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 8 mg sodium.