A fresh ap­proach to fight­ing breast can­cer

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal

A new study pub­lished in the “In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Can­cer” found that women who eat a diet high in fruits and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day might have re­duced risk of de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer. The study, pub­lished on­line in July, looked at diet ques­tion­naires sub­mit­ted an­nu­ally by par­tic­i­pants in the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II be­gin­ning in 1980.

Results showed that breast can­cer risk among women who con­sumed more than 5.5 serv­ings of fruit and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day was 11 per­cent lower than it was among women who con­sumed 2.5 serv­ings or fewer.

Im­prov­ing your over­all health

This study isn’t alone in show­ing that con­sum­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles re­duces breast can­cer risk. Su­san G. Komen cites re­search show­ing that women who eat more veg­eta­bles could have a lower risk of es­tro­gen re­cep­torneg­a­tive breast can­cer, and the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Can­cer Re­search states that high-fiber di­ets — veg­eta­bles are great sources of fiber — are par­tic­u­larly help­ful in pre­vent­ing a va­ri­ety of can­cers and, in par­tic­u­lar, col­orec­tal can­cer.

While fur­ther re­search is needed to clar­ify the ben­e­fits of eat­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles, specif­i­cally how they re­late to breast can­cer risk, we should all be eat­ing more. Fruits and veg­eta­bles ben­e­fit ev­ery sys­tem and or­gan in the body, from your brain to your bones.

Easy ways to eat more veg­gies

If you want to in­cor­po­rate more plants into your diet but you’re get­ting bored of sal­ads and roasted veg­eta­bles, how do you keep up healthy habits and still en­joy what you eat? Try th­ese out-of-the-box strate­gies:

• Scoop more salsa. Sales of salsa have out­paced ketchup as far back as the 1990s, and for good rea­son. This veg­gie heavy dip tastes as good on chips as it does on grilled zuc­chini rounds, raw car­rots or as a dress­ing atop chicken.

• Swap noo­dles for zoo­dles. Pick up a spi­ral­izer next time you’re at the store and turn zuc­chini, car­rots, sweet po­ta­toes or pretty much any other long veg­etable into a nu­tri­tious sub­sti­tute for stan­dard wheat spaghetti. Not into spi­ral­iz­ing? Spaghetti squash, a stringy win­ter squash, is an­other tasty stand-in.

• Rice your veg­eta­bles. You can use a food pro­ces­sor to “rice” cauliflower, broc­coli, car­rots, beets, but­ter­nut squash or other firm veg­eta­bles. They taste great in home­made sushi, fried rice, stuffed pep­pers and even faux-risotto.

• Use them as crusts. Whether you pre­fer to use cauliflower pizza crusts or shred­ded sweet po­tato or chopped spinach un­der your next quiche, veg­etable-based crust recipes are both easy to find on­line and delicious.

• Make lasagna. Use eg­g­plant or zuc­chini slices in place of noo­dles for your next lasagna. Adding spinach or sliced zuc­chini to the ri­cotta layer is an­other way to green up a lasagna, even when you stick to us­ing wheat noo­dles.

Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal of­fers mam­mo­gram screen­ings for women. A doc­tor’s or­der is not needed, just call the SSRH Ra­di­ol­ogy Depart­ment at 479-215-3420 to set up an ap­point­ment. Early de­tec­tion af­fords the best op­por­tu­nity for a cure.

About Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal

Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal is a 73 li­censed bed fa­cil­ity with 42 pri­vate pa­tient rooms. Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal is lo­cated at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit North­west­Health.com.

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