Trail Mix is a healthy and energizing snack that can pack in valuable nutrients with minimal effort. With endless possible combinations, trail mix also provides variety to your daily meals. This lightweight and versatile snack is an excellent option for those constantly on the go or lacking energy and time, as cancer patients and their families sometimes are.
Did you know August 31st is National Trail Mix Day? The fight between sweet and savory buried the hatchet when America’s favorite treat graced the supermarket shelves. To celebrate this delectable date, join the National Foundation for Cancer Research team in building your own cancer-fighting trail mix. Just follow the formula below to get started.
- Think a little nutty
Every trail mix worth its weight has a type of nut in it. More than just a tasty treat, many nuts contain cancer-fighting properties. Brazil nuts contain the richest source of natural selenium. This nutrient may play a critical role in reducing the risk of certain cancers. Similarly, walnuts have a substance called pedunculagin, a tannin that the body metabolizes into urolithins. Urolithins are compounds that bind to estrogen receptors and may play a role in preventing breast cancer.
- Mix in a bit of fiber
Dietary fiber can help ensure a healthier digestive system and reduce the risk of bowel cancer – plus, it is a tasty addition to any trail mix. Add a boost of fiber by including some whole grains, such as wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye, barley, and millet. Sound familiar? Most cereals (aside from the sugary imposters) include a healthy amount of fiber. Toss in some Chex cereal, granola, bran, or o-shaped cereal to the mix.
There are some rumors that dried fruit is not as healthy as fresh fruit. While dried fruits contain a higher sugar concentration, they are still high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Dried fruits, like raisins and craisins, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chocolate can be healthy too!
While all chocolates contain antioxidants called flavonoids, dark chocolate and its main ingredient, cocoa, provide more health benefits than milk chocolate or white chocolate.
The stronger and darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids it contains and the more health benefits it provides. Add some dark chocolate or cacao nibs (crushed, raw cacao beans) to your trail mix and dig in!
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