Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening & Wellness Q&A (1 of 4)

by Columbia Surgery on December 7, 2012

This year’s Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening and Wellness event covered topics such as disparities in health care, alternative medicines, survivorship studies, genetics and other concerns for breast cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

At the end of the day, audience members were asked submit their questions to expert speakers. Below are some of the more popular questions submitted to Eileen Fuentes, Director of the Women’s Wellness Series and blogger for The Speach.

Question: What is the best way to incorporate seaweed into meals? Where can seaweed be purchased?

Answer: Sea vegetables, or what I like to call “treasures from the sea,” are among the healthiest foods available. Incorporating seaweed is easy, and most importantly, it won’t alter the flavors and textures of your favorite foods. You can find it at your local health food supermarket such as Fairway or Whole Foods, in the macrobiotic aisle. Surprisingly, they are not expensive. You can also order them online from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables in bulk or individually. I like using the Sea Seasonings – Triple Blend Flakes Shaker over EVERYTHING!

Below is a short guide to incorporating sea vegetables into your meals as well as their related health benefits:

  • Kombu is referred to as the “king of the sea” and is great at eliminating toxins from the body, plus it’s loaded with iodine, vitamins, minerals, calcium, and potassium. It can be added to most soups, stocks, broths and stews. When added to beans, it simultaneously shortens cooking times while aiding healthy digestion… and enhances its flavor.
  • Nori is now widely available as snacks and is what is used to make sushi. Because of its mild flavor, it can be added to salads, soups and as condiments. You can also add to your breakfast omelet with other veggies. [Note: When wet, its flavor is enhanced, giving a more “ocean-y” taste.]
  • Agar has NO flavor whatsoever. It also has no calories, but is rich in minerals and vitamins. This vegetable becomes like gelatin, making it good as a thickener and a great addition to desserts such as pudding.
  • Dulse is rich in iron, which is great as a blood strengthener. It also contains some protein, potassium and magnesium. Due to its robust flavor, it is a great addition to stews, casseroles or in oatmeal.
  • Arame has a mild, sweet flavor. It is high in calcium, iodine, vitamins and minerals and is used to reduce blood pressure. It also helps to build bones and teeth and has been shown to reduce muscle cramps. When using arame, I soak for 5 minutes, then toss over pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and olive oil.
  • Wakame is great for women’s health. It’s loaded with calcium and magnesium and acts as a diuretic (which helps with bloating). It’s most popularly used in miso soup but can easily be incorporated into other soups, broths, and raw salads due to its mild flavor.
  • Hijiki (hiziki) is referred to as the “queen of the sea.” This vegetable has a strong fishy flavor. It is high in calcium and minerals. It is an effective decongestant, strengthens the thyroid and aids in overall detoxification. Hijiki can be used in soups, stews and spreads, but please note it requires longer cooking times than other sea vegetables. Combining Hijiki with apple juice, shoyu or tamari enhances its rich flavor.

Q: Why is pizza bad for you? What in particular about pizza makes it a bad food?

A: Pizza is a highly processed food. It can be loaded with sodium, low-quality saturated fat, and dairy, which has been linked to cancer. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch pizza altogether. You can opt for thin or whole grain crust and load it up with tomatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, peppers and olive oil. You can also pair with a raw leafy green salad with other colorful vegetables (but be mindful of the salad dressing!). The goal when transitioning to a more health-supportive lifestyle is to not make drastic changes. It’s about making better choices and easing into new habits.

Related Links:
Healing Ginger-Tumeric Tea
Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening & Wellness Q&A (2 of 4)
Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening & Wellness Q&A (3 of 4)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn December 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Great article. You can also add Kombu to cooking liquid when preparing rice. When the rice is cooked you can chop up the kombu and eat it mixed in with the rice or on the side.

Columbia Surgery December 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

Thank you for the cooking tip, Lynn – I am sure this is another idea our readers would love to try.

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