Wednesday, February 25, 2015

20 Foods that Reduce Cancer Risk and Improve General Health

"As I am approaching my forties, health has begun to be a concern. My energy levels aren't what they used to be and different illnesses have introduced themselves in family and friends. In this new year, something I am working on is preventative health via diet and lifestyle. I am thinking on subtle changes that are realistic."

With this in mind, here are 20 foods that reduce cancer risk and improve general health for women. If we can begin with a few additions and/or replacements of these foods in our daily diet, we will be blessing our bodies (our temples). Remember, our goal is not to be a stick figure but to be healthy and strong, women of God!

I have gleaned this list from Shonda Parker in her book, Naturally Healthy Woman {though the ideas and thoughts in parentheses are my own}:

1. carrot juice

2. daikon radishes

3. milk {I am personally an advocate of whole, raw milk, preferably goat's milk. Also, when it comes to animal by-products, grass-fed animal products are optimal for health. Grain-fed animals are in a completely different category, are un-natural and not beneficial!}

4. tomato juice

5. broccosprouts {Honestly, I have no clue what these are but I am assuming that broccoli and brussel-sprouts would qualify as excellent too.}

6. grape juice

7. salmon, tuna, anchovies {wild is preferred}

8. cherries

9. orange juice {raw, fresh squeezed is best}

10. whole grains {start cutting out the white flour, white rice and white pasta, ideas shared here, basically, avoid processed foods}

11. butter is better {avoid margarine and fake spreads or consider unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil, also butter made from grass fed animals is best such as the Kerrygold brand}

12. green tea {this is my afternoon pick me up instead of coffee, very easy to implement, try it!}

13. olive oil {extra virgin, cold-pressed is best}

14. garlic {here is a homemaking tip to make meal making with garlic easier!}

15. spinach

16. flaxseed {add this into your smoothies and/or sprinkle into your granola}

17. nuts and seeds: contains essential fatty acids that help lower breast cancer rates {this power bar recipe containing nuts and seeds is easy to make, tastes like a dessert and can be even eaten for breakfast with a glass of cold milk or for a satisfying snack}.

18. vitamin D {your clothesline will also give this to you or a daily walk for 15 minutes in the sun}

19. pure water {drinking a tall glass of water first thing in the morning is also beneficial, yes, before that cup of coffee ladies...}

20. Lastly, Shonda suggests that veggie burgers should replace "much of the red meat in a healthy woman's diet. Red meat*, particularly when well done, forms compounds that increase cancer rates among big meat-eaters." She suggests beef only "in moderation". {I will add that many veggie products contain soy which has its own set of health concerns, visit this article for information. Replacing some of your beef with high quality chicken and bean based foods would be a better alternative to soy products. Here is our favorite black bean burger recipe and our favorite meals to make with pinto beans.}

*Also, please note that I am not necessarily advocating a vegetarian diet, just a balanced, moderate one when it comes to red meat. Visit this article from Weston A. Price Foundation on Diet for Prevention of Women's Diseases which shares further information and reasons to keep grass-fed by-products and meats in your diet. When it comes to animal products, grass-fed animal products are optimal for health. Grain-fed animals are in a completely different category, are un-natural and are not beneficial to anyone.

My goal is to implement more of these foods in our diet this year. What foods have you been trying to incorporate into your daily menus and why? You may also like to visit our first post in this series, Five Steps to a Healthier Life {and a Pep Talk}.

"Health is not contained in a drug, a pill, an herbal medicine or a hormonal cream. Health is total, involving body, mind and spirit. A healthy woman wakes up in the morning looking forward to another day of serving God, praying to gird herself for the day's work, and listening to God's voice in His Word. She is a good steward of her body, taking care to eat nutritious foods and recommended supplements. She laughs at her children's delightful escapades, shares her thoughts with a friend, snuggles next to her husband while reading at night... Health is much more in the heart than in the broken toe..."
~Shonda Parker, Naturally Healthy Woman


  1. Jes,
    Thanks so much for your visits and kind words!! Especially about my gray hair!! LOL!! It will definitely be cheaper because it costed me $125 every 3 months to have it colored. I am trying to cut back on expenses as we prepare for me to go part time by November. I am the major bread winner so it will be an adjustment......


  2. Excellent post, JES. We're eating more fruits and vegetables than ever before. I actually crave broccoli at times. o.O I think for some folks that's a natural part of the aging process - less meat and more of the colorful foods, not to mention that meat at some of the groceries is just plain gross. We usually buy our beef from a local farmer, and the difference is astounding. We raised our own a few times, but the cost is about the same with buying hay for winter, etc. so buying is best for us and virtually hassle-free.
    Have a great Wednesday!

    1. Thanks for sharing Toni! We do raise our own (and butcher our own) beef since we are hay-growers. That makes it very convenient :) But because of all the hard work, we certainly don't overdo it on eating red meats. It is still a treat...

  3. Great list, JES. As a cancer survivor, I'm always looking for ways to improve our diet. I believe there is a direct, often overlooked, connection between what we eat and our health. Thanks for sharing this with us at Coffee and Conversation. :)

  4. Good article and some excellent suggestions. What we eat can make a miraculous change in our health. I especially like the one about avoiding processed white flours and pasta. I believe all processed foods should be avoided. The green tea is also has great benefit to many people and we should all be eating more local or organic fruits and vegetables. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays. Twitted.

  5. Thanks for this list of healthy foods that are vital in reducing one's risk for cancer. We have been enjoying the benefits and amazing taste of freshly squeezed orange juice, since my aunt has a little orchard in her backyard, and my husband's siblings send us bags and bags full of oranges throughout the winter months from their many fruit trees. We try to eat vegetables every day, whether in salads or dishes. Trying to cut down on red meat, but have noticed that my iron levels also take a dive, which causes dizziness, weakness and hair loss. I know there are other ways to get iron, but my doctor has told me to concentrate on red meat. Trying also to walk for at least 45 minutes, 4 times a week, and started exercise classes a month ago, hoping to lose weight and get back to healthier averages.


  6. The truth of it is an everyday awareness of what has real value of whole foods! I did take notice of a few that I can try! I think roasted veggies for a meal is what I have been doing. I also like the tomato juice for an afternoon filler. Thanks for doing the research for us!
    Also, eating wild game as our red meat source
    Blessings, Roxy

  7. I was glad to see that my diet includes many of the things mentioned - especially love my cup of hot green tea in the afternoons as well! I also put flaxseeds and chia seeds in our daily smoothies, along with fresh or frozen fruit. Generally we eat red meat once or twice a week, and the rest is chicken or fish. Thank you for sharing this list, and your personal opinions as well, all of which I agreed with! Blessings to you today :)

  8. This was awesome for me to read. I am high risk cancer Braca 2 positive. I have been pondering how to eat healthier this year.

  9. You mentioned you did not know what broccoli sprouts were, these are the seeds, sprouted (think bean sprouts) and eaten. In other words, the roots.Thanks for all the great info!

  10. This is a wonderful list! We are juicing a few days before leaving to visit my brother and SIL who is dying from cancer of the liver...I wish she would eat like this :( Hugs and love to you!

  11. This is wonderful except the part about reducing meat consumption. I had horrible health until I found that I have low iron levels, despite eating many iron rich vegetables. I've found many women have this problem, especially those who have had several children or have high estrogen levels. However, even then, I have heard red meat is linked to cancer so maybe this is a situation of trading one problem for another!

  12. Great information! I am pinning this to refer to. I already do several of these things, but there are a few I can try. Lovely pictures and scripture! Have a blessed evening.

  13. Thanks for sharing these! Just a few concerns for everyone to check out for themselves, since I'm no expert- I've heard that too much wheat, even whole grain, is not good for us, because wheat as we know it today is not the wheat our ancestors ate, as it was genetically modified in the 1960s for increased crop yield. Grape juice can contain unnaturally high levels of fluoride. Also I've heard that brown rice can be harmful as well, as it isn't easily digested, unless it is soaked first. Here's to our health, and more fresh orange juice! You just inspired me to make some, we bought a juicer. :D

  14. Thanks for sharing this great list!
    Any idea why juices (carrot, grape, orange, and tomato) are on the list, but the actual fruits/veggies aren't? Is there something different about the juices? I know some of the beneficial compounds in tomatoes are more easily accessed when they are this true of the others?

    1. According to Shonda, the herbalist who wrote the list, "the cell walls mush be broken down in order to release the nutrients which means chewing on carrot sticks until you drop." She also mentioned that the pureed carrots (sold in baby food) also makes the beta-carotene super absorbable. As far as the grape and orange juices, I would only assume that you wouldn't have to eat a gallon of the fruit in order to get a lot of the nutrients. I am sure they would be just as beneficial eaten as a fruit.


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