THE BLOG

Forks Up to Fight Breast Cancer

11/01/2013 05:22 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Helping others has proven to be one of the key ways to relieve stress and create happiness. Canada's top chefs are poised to make that easier for you. Be one of the top 50 fundraisers and you can have the chance to cook with the likes of Lynn Crawford, Chuck Hughes, Mark McEwan, Vikram Vij and Corbin Tomaszeski during the KitchenAid Culinary Showdown. Even raising $1000 gets you in and enjoying the showdown along with a three course meal. Everybody wins!

You can do so much to prevent cancer by nourishing your body with good food, honest exercise and stress free thoughts. While nothing has yet proven to be a magic bullet, there are studies pointing in the direction of cancer prevention. Add these foods and avoid liquid calories, the nutrition free "whites" and deep fried foods to give your body a fighting chance.

Turmeric: This bright yellow spice common in Indian food and curry powders has been shown to both inhibit the growth of cancer cells and encourage the death of them. That's a lot of power for a delicious food. There are capsules available for turmeric, or more specifically, the active ingredient within called curcumin, to be taken as a supplement but adding the flavour itself is much tastier. It blends well into any tomato sauce, any spice cake or cookie and a multitude of curries.

Microgreens: The studies on broccoli as a super food are pretty convincing. Microgreens are the infant growth of the full plant and they are said to contain four to five times more nutrients than when fully grown. These sprouts are easy to grown and more and more simple to find at farmers markets. Toss them into salads, sandwiches or as a garnish, a little goes a long way.

Pomegranates: Ellagic acid appears to be the active ingredient in the jewelled fruit which has been shown to prevent estrogen responsive breast cancers. Peeling them may cause headaches, though. Here's a tip: Cut fruit in half and submerge in a bowl of clean, cool water. Pull away white pith and skin and discard. The seeds will sink to the bottom whole and here is a recipe for chicken using them. Toss into everything!

Lentils: Lentils have been found to contain several bioactive compounds that help prevent cancer and it couldn't be easier to work them in. Red lentils make a delicious soup much like pea soup and canned lentils are a simple side dish when warmed in olive oil and garlic and tossed with a handful of parmesan cheese.

Blueberries: These delicious berries decreased breast cancer cell proliferation in one study and increased cell death. Don't let a day go by without adding these babies to a smoothie or to a salad with walnuts and blue cheese.

Nothing in a single forkful will cure cancer but if we put all our forks together, keep digging for answers and keep the good foods up, we have a fighting chance. Tweet me here using the #culinaryshowdownfood and be entered to win a KitchenAid stand mixer to whip up more excitement. Random draw will take place on December 2, 2013