October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to eat healthy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn how to reduce your risk by eating right and engaging in physical activity. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing it and boost your odds of full recovery.

All women are vulnerable to developing breast cancer but certain women are at a higher risk. Although some risk factors can’t be controlled, such as family history, gene mutations, onset of menstruation and menopause, other risk factors can be reduced by focusing on nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Weight is closely connected with breast cancer risk. Engaging in regular physical activity is one way to help protect yourself by promoting a healthy weight. For optimal health, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

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Certain foods — high in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients — may help protect against some cancers. These foods include:

• Cruciferous and dark, leafy green vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards and kale

• Fruits: Citrus, berries, pomegranate and cherries

• Whole grains: Oats, barley, bulgur, rye and whole-grain breads and cereals

• Legumes: Dried beans and peas, lentils and soybeans

Alcohol intake also is linked with breast cancer risk. If you drink, limit your intake to no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

To learn more about eating healthier to reduce your risk of breast cancer and other diseases, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist. Source: Eatright

Here are two of my favorite salad recipes. They are chocked full of antioxidants, vibrant colors, great nutrients and delicious taste!

Fruity Spinach Salad

1 big bag raw spinach and kale mix

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 sweet onion, sliced thin   ½ cup light mayonnaise   2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or

1 /4 cup non-fat milk

1/2 cup fresh blueberries (optional)

OR bottled dressing of your choice (optional)

2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)

1/3 cup granulated artificial sweetener


1. In large salad bowl, combine spinach, kale, strawberries and onion.

2. In jar with tight lid, mix the remaining ingredients. Shake well and pour over salad. Toss to coat evenly.

6 Servings

Calories: 102 Carbohydrate: 13 grams Fat: 6 grams, Protein: 2 grams

Sodium: 137 milligrams, Fiber: 2 grams,   Cholesterol: 7 milligrams

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 fat

Points to Note:

1. If spinach and kale mix is not available, you can use more Romaine lettuce or use another lettuce as you prefer.

2. The poppy seeds are optional, but they will give texture and flavor to the salad if they are used.

3. Another addition to the salad would be either sliced almonds or other nuts. This would add some fat and calories, but the fats would be heart healthy. Nuts are a good addition to a salad instead of cheese.

4. You could also substitute some blueberries for part of the strawberries to add some interesting color and flavor.

5. To produce a slightly thicker dressing, you can substitute plain non-fat yogurt for the non-fat milk.

6. If you cannot digest raw onion well, heat it for a about 30 seconds to a minute with 1-2 tablespoons of water in the microwave. Watch carefully so you do not overheat. Drain before adding to the salad.

Florida Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded

1 red onion, thinly chopped

3 tablespoons green onions, chopped

1 tomato, sliced thin     2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

pepper to taste


Chop and slice vegetables and combine in bowl. Drizzle with raspberry vinegar and olive oil. Add pepper to taste.

4 servings

Calories: 98 Carbohydrate: 8 grams Fat: 7 grams     Protein: 2 grams

Sodium: 11 milligrams Fiber: 2 grams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Exchanges: 1 non-starchy vegetable 1 fat