Ovarian cancer remains the most deadly form of gynecologic cancer, mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of women are not diagnosed until the disease has become very advanced. Due to its high mortality rate, it certainly makes sense to take preventative measures, especially if you have a family history and diet is a great place to start (click here to learn more ways you can reduce your risk).
Studies have shown that high consumption of plant-based foods that contain flavonoids may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by nearly half. HALF!!
Kaempferol is a natural flavonol, a type of flavonoid that can be found in many fruits and vegetables, including: Brussels sprouts, tea, grapefruit, broccoli, cabbage, kale, endive, onions/leeks, apples, tomato, red grapes, red wine and many berries.
Last fall I caught an episode of The Dr. Oz show featuring Dr. William Li of The Angiogenesis Foundation. Dr. Li and Dr. Oz were discussing ovarian cancer and some of the foods that have shown to be protective against ovarian cancer (click here to read more on droz.com). According to Dr. Li, studies in the Netherlands have shown that women who ate endive (a good source of kaempferol) had a 75% reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer. 75%!!
I found a few studies if you are interested in reading more:
Dr. Li did a TED talk back in 2010 and it’s fascinating. The power of real food never fails to astound me.
That all being said, how does one realistically go about consuming all the powerful cancer-fighting foods, especially when you’re not used to eating dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies? Green Smoothies!
If the idea of adding kale or in this case, endive, to a fruit smoothie sounds questionable to you, don’t fret. The fruit honestly cancels out the “greenness” of the greens. When you’re first starting out, you may require more fruit in your smoothie, but over time you may be surprised to find yourself cutting back on the higher sugar fruits and bumping up the quantity of greens. I’ve been drinking green smoothies daily for a year now and today my favorite smoothie is a combination of berries, apples, greens (and sometimes broccoli or Brussels sprouts), raw nuts or avocado, tart cherry juice and water. On the odd day I miss a green smoothie, I can tell. My day just doesn’t seem to pack the same punch and I tend to snack more on things I shouldn’t be snacking on, like sweets. I definitely credit my daily smoothie for helping me kick my sugar addiction.
And yes, even my kids and husband love green smoothies, my “trick” it to keep them out of the green color zone which is easy to do if you go heavy on the blueberries and blackberries. And a mom bonus? Being able to sneak the notorious kid-adverse green veggies into their diet without them knowing, makes for a much more pleasant dinner hour. Don’t want to eat your broccoli tonight honey? Well…okay!
Milk, does it really do a body good?
While doing research for this post, I discovered something rather interesting: Lactose consumption *may* be associated with increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Learn more about Ovarian Cancer
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