Take the Steps to Prevent Cancer this February

If you could reduce your risk of developing cancer, would you? The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates nearly one-third of cancers could be prevented by eating healthy, being active and staying lean. February is Cancer Prevention Month, and we’re teaming up with AICR in their Can Prevent Campaign to bring awareness to how families across America can lower their cancer risk.

A nutritious diet plays a big role in maintaining overall health. In fact, AICR suggests what we eat can impact our potential for developing cancer. To aid in adopting healthy eating patterns, AICR features the latest research in a list of foods that fight cancer. While no single food alone can protect you against cancer, evidence shows that a diet filled with a variety of plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, can help lower risk for many types of cancer.

Not only are whole grains tasty and filling, AICR indicates they contain a variety of healthful compounds that aid in their potential anti-cancer activity. Sorghum is an excellent whole grain to add to your plate. This super grain is packed with fiber, protein, vitamin B-6, magnesium and niacin. Certain types of sorghum also contain beneficial antioxidants important for the body’s cells to combat oxidative stress. Current research suggests decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation with the daily consumption of antioxidants can help lower the risk of chronic diseases, including cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some neurological diseases. Learn more about the health benefits of sorghum here.

Get started eating well and cooking simply with this AICR Health-e-Recipe developed bySonja Goedkoop, registered dietitian at Zesty, Inc.

Lemony Shrimp Sorghum Risotto

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb shrimp, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 cup whole grain sorghum (optional, rinsed and soaked overnight) *
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas (no-salt added)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and chop roughly on a cutting board. Set aside.

  2. If using soaked sorghum, drain and pat dry sorghum using a paper towel. Add sorghum to pan and toast until lightly golden, about 4-6 minutes. Remove toasted sorghum from pan and set aside.

  3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add toasted sorghum back to pan with onion and garlic and stir around for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and stir gently, allowing sorghum to absorb the liquid.

  5. Once first cup of broth is absorbed, add 3 more cups vegetable broth, cover with lid, and reduce heat to low.

  6. Cook for 50-60 minutes, stirring periodically, or until broth is almost completely absorbed and the sorghum is tender (if the sorghum is hard, add more broth and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes).

  7. Add peas, shrimp, pepper and lemon juice, stir, and cook for 4-5 minutes (add more broth if needed).

  8. Remove from heat. Add basil, cheese and lemon zest and stir. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil on top. 

While following a healthy diet can help lower your risk, following all three components of AICR’s cancer prevention model – diet, weight and physical activity – will provide the greatest protection. For tips on eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising, visit AICR.org.

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