cancer Newsletter


June 28 2011 Cancer Newsletter

Benefits of Blueberries

Hello! I hope you’re having a good week. This newsletter is about nutrition.
You know, when I think about the topic that I am editor of, it really is not a nice word to hear. Every time I look at the name, I don’t like it. But, then again, that’s why I’m here – to pass along information to you so that together we can concentrate on getting healthier. So let’s get started!

Blueberries are in season right now, so visit your local farmers market, or the fresh produce section of your local grocery store. The juice does stain easily, so when handling the berries, be sure to wear an apron, old clothes, and even gloves.

Why do we love this fruit? Let us count the ways. No matter what illness you’ve had or have, or what age you are, after reading these benefits, you’ll want blueberries around all the time.

There are two compounds found in the berry that make it so powerful:

Resveratol: anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and supports the brain.

Catechins: a powerful phytochemical compound that diminishes plaque buildup in the arteries. This compound is also found in green tea, and in the skin of red grapes. Both green tea and red grapes are known for their antioxidant properties.

Blueberries are high in fiber, and contain vitamins A, C, E, as well as the trace minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium, and beta-carotene.
In case you are new to the world of nutrition, you may not be familiar with the word antioxidant. Simply put, when we are not healthy, tissue deep within the body starts to decay and oxidize, or breakdown.

This is typically what causes cancer. The immune system will detect what’s going on and immediately start fighting it like its alien (which it is), that’s when a person starts to feel fatigue coming on, much like when you are fighting the flu. So eating food high in antioxidants is important, to help your body fortify itself against cell breakdown.

oxidation = tissue breakdown
antioxidants = tissue repair

Now that we know the great benefits of this beautiful berry, why don’t we give eating them a whirl?

Below, I’ve listed a few easy recipes that I hope you will enjoy. (Word of caution: if you are taking chemotherapy, or radiation for mouth, throat, stomach or digestive illness, please check with your physician before eating fruit. It may irritate the site and we don’t want that. We want you well.

Stars and Stripes Cake ~ Independence Day USA – July 4th

If you have kids in your home, get them to help you decorate this cake, it’ll be fun!

9 x 13 cake pan
1 box white cake mix (cut sugar by half/use apple sauce in place of oil)
1-2 pints fresh blueberries – rinse and let dry
2-3 pints fresh strawberries – remove stems, rinse and let dry
1-2 pints whipping cream ( or sub. yogurt)

Prepare the cake as on box, bake and cool. Whip the cream using just a little sugar to sweeten (or leave off all sugar if diabetic). Spread whipped cream across entire top of cake. Place blueberries in the upper left hand corner of the sheet cake (like you’re putting stars on the flag) Next, slice strawberries and place left to right in rows (making the stripes on the flag) Voila! Salute, put your hand over your heart, and then dive in!

If you are watching fat intake, just leave off the whipped cream. Just cut the cake as usual, and top with a large dollop of plain vanilla yogurt on top. It’s delicious and oh-so-good-for you!

Cantaloupe-Blueberry Salad

1 (8-ounce) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds (leave off if you have colon, intestinal issues)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 medium cantaloupe, peeled and seeded
2-3 Boston lettuce leaves (or your preference)
2 cups fresh blueberries

Combine first four ingredients, stir well. Cover and chill thoroughly.
Cut cantaloupe lengthwise in thin slices. Arrange four slices per plate on top of a lettuce lined serving plate. Top each serving with 1/4 cup blueberries; spoon yogurt mixture over salads. Serves 8.
Recipe from: The Healthy Heart Cookbook by Southern Living 1992.

Enjoy and have a terrific week!


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Rann Patterson, Cancer Editor

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