If you’ve spent much time on our blog, you know that these veggie-loving identical twin sister registered dietitian nutritionists are passionate about many things—yes, you know we have a thing for sweets (helloooo chocolate!), we love to be active, and we go Chiquita bananas when it comes to our excitement for sharing our easy hacks to help you and our clients live a healthier and happier life. And with it now being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what better time to share some steps you can take to protect your body from cancer?
We’ve got some empowering news… while our genes do influence our risk of cancer, the great news is that if you avoid tobacco products, maintain a healthy weight, stay active and eat a healthy diet, you can greatly minimize your risk of developing or dying from cancer. And today, we’ve got four easy and specific ways to help protect yourself by using your most powerful weapons, your fork—and your fingers—since you use them at times for your utensils.
We’re teaming up with Chiquita to share these easy tips for fighting cancer and we couldn’t be more excited! Our favorite food as a baby was Chiquita mash—our mom would smash Chiquita bananas in a bowl and it was our first true love. And now, our earliest lover 😉 is an especially exceptional partner for us as they have partnered with not only yours truly—but with the American Cancer Society too. Fighting breast cancer has a special place in our hearts as our aunt passed away from the disease at a young age, and now, our early love is working hard to fight the disease…
Our yellow love is going pink during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Yes, Chiquita bananas will be sporting pink ribbons instead of their iconic blue stickers to increase awareness for the cause and will continue its support of the American Cancer Society® (ACS) with a $150,000 contribution. Plus, they’re partnering with ACS to feature simple and healthy recipes that align with the ACS nutrition guidelines for the first time ever. These recipes are easy to incorporate into your lives to help reduce the risk of cancer.
Without further ado, welcome our 4 easy hacks to fight cancer with food!
#1. Enjoy frozen banana chips whenever you get a sweet craving! (These little nips are a staple in our freezers).
Why it helps to prevent cancer:
The ACS recommends a diet that emphasizes fruits (as well as veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and limiting red and processed meats) to lower cancer risk. By turning to these frozen little guys instead of desserts, you’ll get more fruit while limiting sugar. You’ll also slash extra calories from sugary foods since sugar tends to be found in foods that are low in nutrients and high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.
Bananas sport nutrients like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene as well as melatonin, and dopamine, which have anti-cancer properties. And components of bananas have been shown to inhibit proliferation of leukemia and liver cancer cells in labs.1
How cool is this? In one 2009 study, banana consumption was linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in Chinese women2 and in another 2016 US study, teens who ate a lot of bananas had lower risks of breast cancer when they were adults.3Banana fun fact: A very ripe banana with dark patches on the yellow skin can help fight cancer! According to Japanese Scientific Research4 , those brown spots produce a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells.
Here’s how to make frozen banana chips: (Prep time: 1 minute, Freeze 1-2 hours)
1. Simply slice an overripe banana into coin-shaped pieces about 1/4-1/2 -inch thick (*browning bananas are ideal! It makes the banana taste even sweeter!)
2. Place banana coins next to each other in a Ziploc freezer bag or in freezer safe Tupperware.
3. Put in the freezer and allow time to freeze—about 1-2 hours and enjoy!
#2) Turn to this healthy start to your day, Banana Coconut Breakfast Pudding when you’re in a hurry:
Why it helps to prevent cancer:
THIS HACK HAS A DOUBLY EFFECTIVE CANCER FIGHTING BENEFIT:
1) You’ll fight cancer by getting cancer-fighting nutrients and eating in a way that ACS recommends and you’ll also get all of the anti-cancer benefits in hack #1, plus an added bonus;
2) you’ll be supporting ACS partners like Chiquita who play an important role in helping to fund crucial research that helps to fight cancer.
Banana Coconut Breakfast Pudding
This recipe aligns with the American Cancer Society’s nutrition guidelines. For a lower calorie/fat option, use non-fat or low-fat yogurt.
Eat this with a hard-boiled egg to boost the protein and keep you satisfied even longer!
1 ripe Chiquita banana
• 4 Tbsp coconut flour
• 4 Tbsp coconut Greek style yogurt
• 1 Chiquita Banana, chopped
• 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
• 1 Tbsp coconut flakes
1. For the pudding layer, mash the banana until smooth and mix with the coconut flour to form a soft dough. Push half of this dough into a jar or glass.
2. Top with two tablespoons of coconut yogurt and half a chopped banana, and repeat the process with the pudding layer and banana layer in a second jar or glass.
3.Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and coconut flakes and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 280 kcal Calories, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrate, 19 g sugar, 10 g fiber, 8 g protein
#3) Keep a bag of frozen broccoli in your freezer to toss in any meal daily.
You’ll have this pre-washed and chopped cancer-fighter on hand, and it won’t have spoiled like it may have if it was fresh. Think eggs, pastas, stir-fries, on top of pizzas and meals that you order take out, etc. Simply add some of the broccoli in with the sauce of your meal. Chinese Chicken and rice? Microwave some frozen broccoli and mix it in.
Why it helps to prevent cancer:
2 Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijc.24358
This blog post is sponsored by Chiquita Bananas, but all opinions are our own.
- 1 ripe Chiquita banana
- • 4 Tbsp coconut flour
- • 4 Tbsp coconut Greek style yoghurt
- • 1 Chiquita Banana, chopped
- • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
- • 1 Tbsp coconut flakes
- For the pudding layer, mash the banana until smooth and mix with the coconut flour to form a soft dough. Push half of this dough into a jar or glass.
- Top with two tablespoons of coconut yogurt and half a chopped banana, and repeat the process with the pudding layer and banana layer in a second jar or glass.
- Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and coconut flakes and serve.