Cancer-Fighting Salads

Try these three salads to get more cancer-fighting foods into your diet.

Although the risk factors for cancer are complex and no single food can cure or prevent cancer, numerous studies have shown a link between diet and cancer risk.

One of the most promising areas of research involves examining antioxidants. According to the American Cancer Society, “The body appears to use certain nutrients in vegetables and fruits to protect against damage to tissues that occurs constantly as a result of normal metabolism (oxidation). Because such damage is linked with increased cancer risk, the so-called antioxidant nutrients are thought to protect against cancer. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and many other phytochemicals (chemicals from plants). Studies suggest that people who eat more vegetables and fruits, which are rich sources of antioxidants, may have a lower risk for some types of cancer.”

Here are three salads to help you get more cancer-fighting foods into your diet this summer.

Power packed pomegranate salad
Pomegranates are known for their antioxidant punch, which has fueled pomegranate juice sales in North America and around the world. But the seeds may have benefits the juice doesn’t. A Technion-Israel Institute of Technology research team presented a study in June 2001 which indicated that pomegranate seed oil triggers apoptosis — a self-destruct mechanism in breast cancer cells.

This salad combines pomegranate seeds with spinach, a leafy green also rich in antioxidants.

1 pound cleaned spinach leaves, tough stems removed
3/4 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Seeds from 1 pomegranate (approx. 1 cup)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, or President’s Choice brand Honey Pear Vinaigrette.

Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle on the red onion, parsley, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Just before serving, dress the salad with either shakes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or the PC Honey Pear Vinaigrette, to taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Serves 4

NEXT: RECIPE FOR BLUEBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

blueberriesBlueberry chicken salad
Blueberries have become a part of the anti-cancer arsenal due to the fact that they are the berries richest in anthocyanosides, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the prevention of cancer cell growth. This lunch type salad is a great way to add blueberries into your diet, as well as increasing your consumption of
leafy greens and lower-fat meat. Feta cheese and pecans add a decadent feel to the dish.

4 cups sliced Belgian endive (about 2 large heads)
1 cup gourmet salad greens
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp chopped pecans, toasted

Dressing:
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine first four ingredients in large bowl. Combine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper; stir with whisk. Add dressing to endive mixture; toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese and pecans.

Yield: 4 servings

NEXT: RECIPE FOR BLACK BEAN AND TOMATO SALAD

black-beansBlack bean and tomato salad
Beans contain a number of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells – and may particularly aid in preventing prostate cancer. In addition, the high fiber content of beans has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which
has been shown to be especially potent in combating prostate cancer.

2 cups corn kernels (about four ears of grilled corn, or use frozen or canned)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, chopped finely

Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine corn, black beans, and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper together. Drizzle over salad and toss until coated.

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