Phytochemicals are Cancer Fighters!
a reminder, phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant chemicals that
provide plants with color, smell and flavor. Once we eat those
phytochemicals, research shows they can influence the chemical
processes inside our bodies in many different beneficial ways.
I have talked about phytochemicals many times in previous posts including:
Soy Foods and Phytoestrogens
Beans and Legumes
More Plant Foods – Spices!
Phytochemicals are what makes a plant based diet so healthy. The more
phytochemicals you can get in a day, the better! You get these
chemicals ONLY from minimally processed plant foods.
Spices are a great way to boost your phytochemical intake. The great thing about spices is that they can also add flavor to your food and help you cut back on the amount of salt, sugar and fat.
I heard on the radio yesterday that the average American eats just over 100 POUNDS of sugar every year. Yikes! That ends up as 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Anything that helps cut down on that is good!
Here are some ideas on how you can swap out the unhealthy, cancer promoting flavorings for more healthy, cancer preventing spices.
- sprinkle 1/4 teasopoon of oregano leaves instead of 1/4 teaspoon of salt (this will save you 575mg of sodium and add as many antioxidants as 1.5 cups of spinach).
- use 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in place of 1 tablespoon brown sugar (this will save 12g of sugar, 45 calories and add antioxidans comparable to 1/4 cup of raspberries).
- beat 1/8 teaspoon of thyme into 2 eggs before scrambling
- add oregano and tomato to a grilled cheese sandwich (broil it open-face to save 100 calories by not pan frying it in butter)
- shake thyme, rosemary and oregano on baked chicken or roased vegetables.
This month, I will continue to focus on spices. I think they are very underutilized, they’re great sources of flavor and one of the easiest ways to add phytochemicals to your day!
If you want more information on the swaps, check out www.spicesforhealth.com. It’s a website by McCormick (maker of spices) with lots of great swap ideas and information on antioxidants in spices.
Check it out!