No matter where you are in your breast cancer journey – prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or remission – every physician will tell you how important it is to eat healthy. There’s a strong correlation between breast cancer and diet, because eating right helps maintain a healthy weight and gives your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
One of the most important dietary changes you can make is eating more vegetables, particularly organic. Leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables contain multiple types of vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients, reducing inflammation and protecting your body against different diseases and cancers. Even with all these benefits, not everyone loves eating vegetables and adding them to your diet can be a chore. However, it doesn’t have to be! Here are a couple creative ways you can up your vegetable intake and reduce your risk of breast cancer or recurrence:
Kale Smoothies – if you’re new to the kale smoothie fad, it may seem a little off putting. But kale smoothies can be great if you know what to mix them with! A simple but tasty option is mixing a cup of chopped fresh kale with one cup unsweetened almond milk, half cup pineapple, half cup pineapple juice, and a banana. Throw it all in a blender, and you have a delicious, healthy drink.
Salads – often getting a reputation of not being filling or tasting bland, salads make great lunches when you have the right ingredients. Start with your favorite base – whether it’s spinach, lettuce, kale, or arugula – then add in your favorites toppings. Some classics are apples, egg, cucumber, broccoli, berries, or nuts. No matter what you decide to add, be sure to limit the dressing to oil or vinegar rather than other fatty dressings.
Kabobs – who says kabobs have to have meat? When the weather gets warm, you can skewer some zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, broccoli, mushrooms, or your other favorite vegetables, marinate them in vegetable oil, and throw them on the grill. These kabobs are so good you can eat them as a side dish or the main course.
Vegetable Stir Fry – one of the best vegetable-based dinners is vegetable stir fry. While ingredients can vary based on your preference, bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, onion, zucchini, squash, and broccoli are staples. Throw them all in a pan with vegetable oil for a few minutes, marinate with low-sodium soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, and garlic, and bon appetit!
Adding vegetables into your diet doesn’t have to be a chore. These dishes are just scratching the surface of the creative ways you can eat more vegetables. There are thousands of different ways to substitute more healthy foods into your life. To learn more about the correlation of breast cancer and diet and how to live a healthy life after a breast cancer diagnosis, please download our free Breast Cancer Wellness Plan.