Potatoes: Bad Guys or Cancer-Fighters?

Read an article about foods you shouldn’t eat and white potatoes may well be on the list. The starchy staple is linked in some studies to overweight and obesity and we lag far behind in getting enough non-starchy veggies, like leafy greens, summer squash, broccoli and colorful peppers, all shown to lower risk for several kinds of cancer. But are potatoes so nutrition-poor we should never eat them?

Potatoes’ bad nutritional reputation probably stems more from how we are eating them, rather than the spud itself. share-of-potato-sources-for-us-consumersA recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service shows that, depending on where we eat them, one-third to two-thirds of our potatoes are chips or fries. Even at home, we eat potatoes as chips more than any other way.

Consider that a small serving of fries or chips is double the small potato’s calories, 10 times the fat and less than half the vitamin C. We just need to re-think the potato on our plate, not eliminate. Continue reading


3 Staples for Last-Minute Healthy Meals

With summer unofficially ending soon, its back to hectic work and school weeks for many. And sometimes it’s challenging to plan out your meals for the entire week. Or you get home late, tired and realize cereal or ordering pizza is the easiest option. black beans macro

We’ve all been there, and I’ve found the best way to avoid this is by keeping a few healthy foods in my kitchen at all times that I can easily make into a more nutritious, cancer-protective meal. My staples aren’t always the same – what I have usually depends on the time of year or recent recipes I’ve tried. Right now, here are three of my staples:

1. Can of no-salt beans (garbanzo or black beans, usually) – Beans are a good source of protein and fiber and low in fat. They are also inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about them spoiling quickly. Use the beans on a salad or in place of meat in something like tacos.

2. Spinach – This is a good source of fiber and cancer-protective carotenoids. The nice thing about this leafy green is that you can eat it in a variety of ways – for instance, you can sauté it with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon juice or you can use it as your greens in a salad. If you find it starting to wilt, just cook it up! Continue reading


Chill Out with Fruit Soup

fruit-soup croppedFor a refreshing and healthy change, try ourHealth-e-Recipe for Chilled Fruit Soup with Berries.

Six kinds of fruit go into this slightly tropical tasting soup. First, cubed cantaloupe and both fresh and frozen strawberries and blended together with apples into a delicious pink colored liquid with a touch of lemon juice and sugar. Cantaloupe contains beta-carotene and strawberries supply you with vitamin C, while apples are a good source of cancer-fighting compounds like flavonoids.

Then fresh raspberries and blueberries decorate the soup, adding their own protective compounds of ellagic acid and anthocyanins. With only 140 calories per serving, you get 5 grams of fiber and a winning soup or smoothie to sip. If you refrigerate any leftover soup and it separates, just stir it up before serving a second time.

Find more delicious cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.