This week a study came out showing the likely benefit of aspirin in prevention of breast cancer recurrence.
While the study says the findings don't mean every woman should run out and start taking regular aspirin, the study does inadvertently support dietary recommendations to help prevent breast cancer and recurrence by showing the mechanism for aspirin's action: inflammation.
Inflammation is natural and beneficial in the body; however, inappropriate or chronic inflammation is unnatural and dangerous to the body. A great resource on the anti-inflammatory diet is Dr Andrew Weil and his book Healthy Aging.
The following provides some ideas for healthy dietary exchanges that can reduce inappropriate inflammation in the body.
1) Exchange your fats:
a) Eat nuts (walnuts are especially rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids) instead of cheese -- whether as a snack or on top of your salad or my omega 3 pesto (Recipes for IBS) -- so you trade a healthier anti-inflammatory fat versus the animal fat in cheese.
b) Make delicious ORGANIC fruits and veggies part of every eating occasion. Incorporate tomato sauce, sweet potatoes, peas, kale and spinach and berries to create colorful eating occasions. When you choose ORGANIC you get a) more antioxidants and b) fewer toxins. The former which helps address the byproduct of inflammation (oxidation) and the latter which can trigger the negative effects of inflammation (i.e. chronic disease).
2) Cut the sugar, still enjoy dessert:
a) Added sugar creates glycation (a stickiness which occurs when sugar meets proteins) and this glycation deforms proteins. Deformed proteins can trigger disease.
b) Use fruit versus sugar: I make "iced tea" using white tea and frozen organic blueberries -- an anti-inflammatory cocktail if you will; or make "apple pie" using baked organic apples with cinnamon, and crumbled walnuts -- yum! Or create your own Omega 3 Chocolate truffles with Nuttzo (or another nut butter), cocoa (100 percent), cinnamon or other spices, and raw honey.
3) Skip the "flavorings, Use your spices:
a) Mother Nature gave us every flavor we need -- whether its uber-anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric or spices like cinnamon, basil, and cardamom which help regulate digestion and metabolism.
b) Modern food processing has given us artificial flavorings which the body doesn't recognize, irritates our systems, and increase risk of inflammation.