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cancer fighting food

Tasty Tomatoes: Anti-Cancer Attributes & A Healthy Recipe

While people debate the age-old question about whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable, here’s an undisputed fact: Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, and the antioxidant lycopene.

Studies show that lycopene may help prevent prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. The powerful antioxidant can also help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Plus, there’s some evidence that cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix can be reduced with increased lycopene intake.


What Types of Tomato Products Should I Eat?

Lycopene is a lipid-soluble compound, which means that consuming it with fat (oil) increases its bioavailability. So you will obtain more lycopene from the fresh tomatoes in your salad when they are paired with a full fat dressing ins
tead of reduced fat dressing.

Additionally, our bodies extract the most benefit of the lycopene from processed tomato products, such as tomato paste, sauce and ketchup. So keep the tomato-y condiments on hand for a healthy boost!

Need a tomato-heavy recipe suggestion? Try the delicious fish recipe below. Bon appétit!

Sear-Roasted Halibut with Tomato & Capers 

Adapted from Fine Cooking


  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2  tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb thick skinless halibut fillet (or other mild white fish, like cod), cut into 4 even pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes, capers, oregano, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. Season the fish with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and dredge it in the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat the oil in a 12-inch (preferably nonstick) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the fish, evenly spaced, and cook without touching until it browns and releases easily from the pan (check by gently lifting one of the corners), about 3 minutes. Flip the fish, sprinkle the garlic around it, and cook until the garlic just starts to brown on some edges, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the tomato mixture around the fish and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until the fish is just firm to the touch and opaque when you pry open a thicker piece with a paring knife, 3 to 6 minutes.
  5. Let the fish rest for a couple of minutes and then serve with the tomato mixture spooned over it.

Related NFCR Research

NFCR-funded researcher Dr. Helmut Sies, a world-renowned scientist in the field of cancer prevention, discovered that lycopene has the highest antioxidant capacity of carotenoids (colorful pigments in fruits and vegetables).

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7 Cancer-Fighting New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of each new year, almost half of adults in North America resolve to better themselves in some way. From spending more time with family and friends to saving money to losing weight, New Year’s Resolutions are often made with the best of intentions but can be challenging to keep. In fact, studies show that more than 20% of resolutions are broken after the first week, 40% are broken after one month and 60% after six months.[1] YIKES!

In honor of 2017, we’ve put together seven cancer-fighting resolutions that are worth fighting to keep. If you can’t commit to all seven, simply pick one or two and stick with them. Your body will thank you.

1. Give your body the nutrients it needs.  

What you eat – and don’t eat – has a powerful effect on your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your body with certain foods is key. A few simple changes to your diet can make a big difference in how you look and feel – and can also help lower your risk of cancer.

Add superfoods to your diet.
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that contain large doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
* Add dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli and kale to your salads and omelets.
* Snack on a handful of raw almonds or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of a bag of chips.
* Also, check out some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes using superfoods.

Replace one processed item a day with real food.
* Grab an apple or an orange instead of cookies.
* Substitute cucumbers and baby carrots for crackers. Dip them hummus for a tasty treat.
* Replace soda with a glass of water or sparkling water. Water helps your body get rid of toxins that put you at risk for diseases like cancer.

2. Schedule your screenings.

Regular cancer screenings help with early detection and prevention of cancer. Screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical and uterine cancer, body checks for skin cancer and more. Talk to your doctor to see what screenings are appropriate for you given your family history, age and lifestyle choices. For more information on cancer screenings, see NFCR’s Cancer Detection Guidelines.

3. Use sunscreen every day (even during the winter months).  

Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones are at risk as well. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin on cloudy, overcast or winter days where there is no sunshine. Sunscreen also helps prevent premature aging.

4. Get moving every day.  

Studies conclusively show that exercise helps relieve stress, weight gain and reduces cancer-related risks. It can even help cancer survivors live longer. So, get out there and dance, run, bike or walk. Exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes every day has so many benefits.

5. Reduce your alcohol intake.

Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it’s also not risk-free. Excessive use can cause liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer: On average, men should not consume more than 2 drinks per day and women should not consume more than 3 drinks per week.

6. Quit smoking. 

Smoking harms nearly every organ and organ system in the body. It can also cause 14 different types of cancer. If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung can be up to 25 times higher than someone who never smoked. Quitting reduces your risk, even if you’ve smoked for years.

7. Travel the world with Fly to Find a Cure.

Fly to Find A Cure
 is an NFCR program aimed at raising funds to accelerate vital cancer research projects with travel incentives. For every dollar donated, you earn airline mileage from your choice of popular airlines programs: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®, American Airlines AAdvantage®, United MileagePlus® or Delta SkyMiles®. A major portion of your gift is also tax deductible. So make a resolution to travel to a new city or exotic location this year and fight cancer at the same time. To learn more, visit

From all of us at NFCR, we wish you a happy, healthy, safe 2017!



* The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years.

* Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

* It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year, depending on who he/she was.

* December 31, 1907 marks the very first ball lowering in Times Square.

Source: MSN


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Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Kale

kaleKale is a nutritional superstar as it provides one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition we have.  Per calorie, kale provides more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. It’s packed with at least 45 antioxidant flavonoids and contains 10 times the daily value of the important, yet often overlooked, vitamin K.

Early research shows that a diet containing the powerful antioxidant vitamin K may reduce the overall risk of cancer. Try this nutritious, delicious cancer-fighting recipe that’s perfect this time of year.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Toasted Almonds

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2012)


  • 8 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups butternut squash, cubed into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into ½ inch wide ribbons (5 cups)
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (for shaving)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. To make dressing: Whisk 5 Tbsp oil, vinegar, shallot and mustard in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  3. Combine squash with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roast for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until squash is tender and lightly golden.   Let cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile heat remaining oil in large skillet over high heat. Add kale and cook, tossing frequently, until bright green and slightly wilted, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add 3-4 Tbsp of dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Combine squash, kale and toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan over vegetables.  Drizzle more dressing if needed.
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Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Curcumin

Curcumin has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Southeast Asia as both a cooking spice and a medicine to treat arthritis and gastrointestinal upset. Some studies have shown that curcumin may be helpful in treating or preventing certain cancers including triple negative breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.

** Please note: if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, consult with your medical team prior to making new additions to your diet or lifestyle changes.

So how can we add curcumin to our diets? Cook with the spice TUMERIC- it’s active ingredient is curcumin.

The recipe below has even more healthy benefits as salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that provide well-documented benefits for the heart and brain.

Sweet Lemon-Pepper Turmeric Salmon 

(Recipe adapted from Perchance To Cook)

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

¼ cup lemon juice
a large pinch of ground black pepper
¼ tsp + ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric, divided
½ tsp honey or agave nectar
½ pound of salmon (about 8 ounces- use wild salmon if possible)
extra slices of lemon
an extra drizzle of honey


  1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, a large pinch of ground black pepper, ¼ tsp of ground turmeric, and ½ tsp of honey together.
  2. Place your salmon into a large ziplock bag, pour the lemon mixture into the bag, and put everything into the fridge to marinate for about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a cookie sheet. Cover the salmon fillets in two spoonfuls of the mixture from the bag, and then place the salmon skin side up.
  5. Cook for 6 minutes, and then flip the salmon so that it is flesh side up. Then, sprinkle ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric on top of the salmon and sprinkle some more pepper on top. Cover each filet with a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
  6. Cook for 6 more minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily.

Other ways to add tumeric to your diet: 

Try tossing turmeric with roasted vegetables. Cauliflower is especially delicious served this way. You can even sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or soups, or blend it into a smoothie.

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Green Goddess: Healthy Anti-Cancer Smoothie Recipe



Eating a colorful diet is a good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent cancers. This recipe mixes a few colors from the rainbow and ends up with the “G” in ROY G BIV.

The green goddess smoothie adds a variety of superfoods to your day; you’ll get vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and antioxidants in this delicious drink.

Serves approximately 4 cups

  • 2 cups of purified water
  • 5 cups of spinach leaves
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 ripe pear
  • (Optional) berries and/or a splash of your favorite juice or cider


  1. In a high speed blender, add all ingredients
  2. Pulse for 2-3 minutes or until items are liquefied


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