May in Monmouth County, NJ has created a special breast cancer awareness initiative called Paint the Town Pink. Storefronts feature pink displays. Street medians are painted pink instead of yellow. Pink bows hang from trees. And each town adapts a cute little pink name. For the next month, I will be a resident of Pinktune City, NJ (see you in June, Neptune!). Which got me thinking how more pink foods can be incorporated into your home this month to help raise awareness towards the role of nutrition in cancer prevention. So it’s time to Paint Your Plate Pink!
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with over 252,00 estimated new cases to be diagnosed in 2017. Women have a 1 in 8 chance throughout their lifetime of developing breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection is key to survival, which is why annual physicals and gynecological exams are so crucial. Mammograms are recommended starting at age 40. While there are many factors that can cause cancer, diet and exercise have been shown to be preventative measures against cancer. Here are 10 pink foods that will not only add some color and flair to your meal, but also have cancer-preventing benefits as well. To provide some added pink-spiration to your plate, my dietitian colleagues have provided their take on preparing these pink foods.
Grapefruits are high in vitamin C for immunity and rich source of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene. Graprefruits also have tumor-blocking nutrients called limonoids- one particular type, glucarates, may help prevent breast cancer. The soluble fiber found in the flesh of grapefruits can help lower cholesterol and even help prevent hardening of the arteries. Plus, that fiber helps keep us feeling fuller longer. Enjoy grapefruit by itself, on top of salads, or as a salsa. You can even turn it into a dressing to enjoy with veggies.
- Avocado and Citrus Salad, The Nutritionist Reviews
- Broiled Grapefruit, Healthy Ideas Place
- Cajun Chicken + Grapefruit Lettuce Cups, The Every Kitchen
- Citrus Beet Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, RDelicious Kitchen
- Grapefruit Salmon Salad, The Nutrition Adventure
- Grapefruit Smoothie with Berries & Mint, Marisa Moore Nutrition
- Pomegranate Citrus Salad, Your Choice Nutrition
- Springtime Sweet & Tangy Salad, Nutrition Nuptials
- Strawberry Watermelon Caprese Salad, Healthy Ideas Place
Not only a refreshing summertime treat, watermelon also contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients including lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and triterpenoid. Watermelons are high in an amino acid known as citrulline, which can help improve blood flow and heart function AND acts as a fat blocker to prevent the deposit of fatty tissue. While watermelon is perfect on its own or in fruit salad, it also makes a great base for cold soups, salad with mint and feta, skewer snacks, or a refreshing drink.
- Fiesta Watermelon Salad, Lori Zanini Nutrition
- Mediterranean-Style Watermelon Pistachio-Mint Couscous, Simple Cravings. Real Food.
- Sparkling Watermelon Lime Slush, Marisa Moore Nutrition
- Watermelon Basil Granita, Lively Table
- Watermelon, Feta & Mint Pizza, Edwina Clark
- Watermelon Ginger Smoothie Bowl, Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian
- Watermelon Lemon Italian Ice, Smart Nutrition
- Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks, Nutritioulicious
In addition to grapefruit and watermelon, guava is one of the highest sources of the antioxidant lycopene. Vitamins A & C are also abundant, helping to keep our eyes and bodies healthy. Guava is another high fiber food that keeps us feeling full, helps lower cholesterol, and can regulate our intestinal tract. Guava makes great jellies, glazes, and syrups, filling for empanadas, or a topping for desserts.
The rich red color of the red variety comes from anthocyanin, polyphenols high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect, prevent, and treat many diseases. Cabbage also has an added super-nutrient of glucoraphanin, that plays a role in the prevention of breast cancer (along with bladder, colon, and prostate cancers). Cabbage juice can help protect stomach and intestinal lining, while the fibers in the leaves help reduce cholesterol levels. Red cabbage can be added to salads and slaws, sautéed or braised with vinegar for a side dish, base for soup, or as a taco topper.
- Charred Cabbage with Lentils and Green Tahini, Dishing Out Health
- Tri-Color Spring Salad, Nutrition A La Natalie
These root vegetables contain the phytonutrient betalains for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and detox benefits. Noticing a trend with these pink foods yet??? Many studies are being conducted now about the reduced risk for cancer among those who eat beets! Just be careful when cooking beets- heat can destroy these benefits. Steam for ≤ 15 minutes, or roast under 1 hour. Make beets the star of a salad, turn into pasta using a spiralizer, create a traditional Borscht, or juice it.
- 7-Ingredient Beet and Feta Salad, Krolls Korner
- Apple, Cheddar, and Pickled Beet Tarts, Mostly Balanced
- Balsamic Chicken, Strawberry and Beet Kabobs with Creamy Basil Sauce, My Menu Pal
- Beet Falafel Sliders with Dill Tahini Sauce, Shaws Simple Swaps
- Beet Hummus, Lively Table
- Beetroot Poriyal (Stir-fry Salad with Cumin), Desi~Licious RD
- Crispy White Fish + Sweet Potato & Beet Curly Fries, The Gourmet RD
- Fruit-Filled Breakfast Tacos with Pistachios, Amy Gorin Nutrition
- Pickled Beet Flatbread with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, The Gourmet RD
- Plant Based Protein Patties, Kash In On Health
- Pretty in Pink Beet Smoothie, The Spicy RD
- Purple Potato Salad with Beets and Arugula, Potato Goodness
- Roasted Beet Dip, My Cape Cod Kitchen
- Roasted Beets and Oranges with Baked Tilapia, The Nutritionist Reviews
- Roasted Balsamic Beet Soup, The Gourmet RD
- Roasted Beet Pesto and Greens Pasta Toss, One Hungry Bunny
- Roasted Beet Toast, Shaws Simple Swaps
- Roasted Beet and White Bean Power Bowls with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, 80 Twenty Nutrition
- Roasted Beet and Wine Penne, Euphoria Nutrition
- Roasted Root Vegetable Power Bowl, RDelicious Kitchen
- Ruby Red Rosemary Soup, Kash In On Health
- Russian Vegetable Salad, Potato Goodness
- Strawberry Ginger Beet Sorbet, Lively Table
Fresh figs are typically only available during the summer months, so keep your eye out in the produce aisle as the weather warms up. Atreano figs have a green skin and pink flesh. These potassium-rich fruits can help lower blood pressure, while the high fiber can assist with weight loss. For women, the high fiber in figs can also help fight against postmenopausal breast cancer. Figs can also help protect the eyes from from macular degeneration- all the better to see you with, my dear! Figs and cheese make a delicious combo, so stuff with goat cheese or serve along with a sharp cheese. Change up your usual jam. They even make a sweet topping for crostini or pizza! Poach figs in red wine or juice for a healthy dessert alternative served along with yogurt, while searing will create a caramelized texture.
- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Grapes & Figs, Abbey’s Kitchen
- Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs, Abbey’s Kitchen
- Fig Ricotta and Almond Pizza, Nutrition Starring You
- Maple + Mustard Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Figs & Grapes, Katie Cavuto
- Sumac Shrimp and Crispy Chickpea Salad with Figs, Beets, and Feta, Abbey’s Kitchen
- Warm Figs with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze, 80 Twenty Nutrition
As a kid the only thing I liked about radishes was that they made pretty decorative roses. But these colorful root veggies have cancer-fighting antioxidants from vitamin C and anthocyanins, along with folate. The detoxifying properties of radishes not only help protect against cancer, but can also help keep the kidneys functioning and protect against urinary disorders due to diuretic effects. Radishes and their high fiber content can help with weight loss, maintain GI function, and control blood sugar. While radishes are typically found on salads, turn them into a side dish, a slaw, or even the star of its own meal. The peppery flavor can naturally spice up any dish!
- Broiled Radishes with Citrus and Greens, Katie Cavuto
- Radish Jicama Salad with Lemon Cumin Vinaigrette, Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian
- Roasted Radish Greens + Grains Bowl, To Live & Diet in L.A.
- Roasted Radish Rosemary Hummus, Nutrition to Fit
- Simple Roasted Vegetables, Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
- Smoky Roasted Radishes and Chard, Erica Julson
- Spring Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette, Nutrition A La Natalie
- Spring Roasted Radish, Mozzarella and Basil Salad, My Cape Cod Kitchen
Kidney beans are high in fiber which can not only assist with weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller longer, but may also lower cholesterol and control blood sugar. This complete plant-based protein also provides a great source of iron, so vegetarians and vegans should make sure kidney beans become a dietary staple! And yes, beans are in fact good for your heart- the fiber, folate, and magnesium found in kidney beans can help lower homocysteine, an amino acid found to be a factor in heart attacks, stroke, and vascualar disease. As an added benefit, the thiamin found in kidney beans may help fight against Alzheimers. Invite these beans to your next Meatless Monday meal- enjoy kidney beans as part of a 3-bean salad, make a bean dip or spread, add to chili, or season with spices and swap out meat for kidney beans on your next taco night. Kidney beans can even make an appearance in your desserts as brownies or ice cream! Up the fiber and lower the sodium content by using dried beans and making a large batch- you’ll find a little can go a long way!
- Corn Masa Sopes with Bean, Corn, and Onions, The Junk Food Nutritionist
- Healthy Turkey Chili Loaded with Vegetables, 80 Twenty Nutrition
- Mexican Pizza, Nutrition a la Natalie
- Red Kidney Bean Muffins, Taste & See
- Stovetop & Crockpot Gluten-Free Minestrone, Hungry Hobby
You’re probably already aware that salmon has heart-healthy omega-3s. Those fats can also help improve mood, mental function, and keep the joints and eyes healthy. In addition to helping fight breast cancer, omega-3s and selenium found in salmon can also protect against cancer in the colon, prostate, and blood. The high protein content of salmon may help protect against inflammation of the joints and organs. Smoked salmon (such as lox) can actually reduce the health benefits and therefore is recommended to be consumed in small amounts. Wild Alaskan salmon (including sockeye, coho, and chinook) and certified organic farmed fish are found to have the lowest risk for contamination. Up to 12 oz of salmon per week is safe for consumption for pregnant women. Broil, poach, or grill over indirect heat- just don’t overcook or it can become dry quickly! Salmon tartare makes a tasty appetizer, while swapping salmon for bacon at breakfast can add lean protein to start your day. Keep an eye out for my cedar-plank salmon recipe to be posted in a future post!
- Baked Garlic Dill Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter, Hungry Hobby
- Blackberry Glazed Salmon, Lively Table
- Citrus Roasted Salmon with Dukkah, Katie Cavuto
- Easy Salmon Tacos, Hungry Hobby
- Honey Grilled Salmon, Euphoria Nutrition
- How To Make Cedar Plan Salmon & Veggies in the Oven, Hungry Hobby
- Maple Glazed Arctic Char with Braised Cabbage and Apples, Abbey’s Kitchen
- Salmon & Bok Choy Sheet Pan Dinner with Wasabi Skyr, Triad to Wellness
- Sheet Pan Jamaican Jerk Salmon and Zucchini, Hungry Hobby
- Smoked Salmon and Dill Sheet Pan Frittata, RDelicious Kitchen
- Smoked Salmon Salad Bites, The Every Kitchen
- Strawberry Salmon Salad, Nutrition to Fit
Ahi tuna is high in the antioxidant selenium. Recently, it was found that selenium binds to the mercury found in tuna and can actually lower our risk of mercury intoxication. Like salmon, ahi tuna contains many of the same health benefits from their high source of omega-3s, including cancer prevention. Pregnant woman are still encouraged to limit their intake of tuna to no more than 12oz per week. Enjoy ahi tuna as part of a Salad Nicoise, seared with a sesame crust, or impress your dinner guests with this simple carpaccio appetizer.
- Ahi Poke Bowl, Avocado A Day Nutrition
Berries (Raspberries & Strawberries)
Berries contain high amounts of ellagic acid, which helps to inhibit growth and production of tumors and cancerous cell. Berries also contain high amounts of vitamin C and the antioxidant anthycyanin that helps protect cells from damage (and provide that red color). Enjoy these sweet treats as a snack, dessert, beverage, or even as part of a savory dish. Oh, and did I mention these guys are packed with fiber???
- 5 Minute Healthy Tiramisu with Raspberries, 80 Twenty Nutrition
- Berry Fruit Tart with Grape Balsamic Drizzle, Nutrition Starring You
- Berry Sorghum Breakfast Porridge, Triad to Wellness
- Berry Chia Seed Jams from Snacking in Sneakers, Krolls Korner, RDelicious Kitchen, and The Foodie Dietitian
- Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Pistachio Topping, Amy Gorin Nutrition
- Cranberry Raspberry Infused Water, 80 Twenty Nutrition
- Healthy Strawberry Milkshake, C it Nutritionally
- No Bake Almond Bars with Berry Chia Jam, One Hungry Bunny
- Pretty in Pink: Coconut Flour Strawberry Muffins, MacroBalanced
- Raspberry Greek Yogurt Oatmeal, Erica Julson
- Red Raspberry Crumble Bars, Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian
- Rhubarb Raspberry Oat Squares, Katie Cavuto
- Strawberry Arugula Salad with Fennel, Toasted Almonds, and Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette, Nutritioulicious
- Strawberry Basil Tarts, Live Best
- Strawberry Basil & Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Tart, The Gourmet RD
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad, Live Best
- Strawberry Kefir Smoothie, Nutritioulicious
- Strawberry Kiwi Cauliflower Smoothie, Nutrition to Fit
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Mimosa, Nutritioulicious
- Strawberry Toast 4 Ways, Make Healthy Easy
- Strawberry & Tomato Bruschetta with Goat Cheese, Mostly Balanced
- Sugar-Free Strawberry Fizz, Create Kids Club
- Sweetheart Fruit Salad, My Cape Cod Kitchen
- Whipped Cottage Cheese with Berries Crostini, Food Pleasure and Health
Help @HMHNewJersey fight against breast cancer by painting your plate pink with these 100 pink recipes
How will you add more pink to your plate?
Have any favorite ways you like to enjoy these foods?
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