Health & Spirit

Nutrition News: Whole Grains For Cancer Prevention

Charlyn Fargo on

A: Soy foods contain phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogens) called isoflavones. These are structurally similar to the hormone estrogens. So, they bind to estrogen receptors, although less strongly than estrogen, and exert estrogen-like effects. Because a high level of circulating estrogen is a known risk factor for breast cancer, there has been concern that consumption of soy foods may increase women's risk of developing breast cancer. However, the existing epidemiologic evidence (observational research) does not support that. On the contrary, some evidence suggest that a high intake of soy foods is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. The exact mechanisms for an anti-cancer effect are unclear but may include isoflavones inhibiting cell proliferation (an increase in cell number) and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Overall, epidemiologic studies consistently suggest no harm of soy food consumption in either women with or without breast cancer. So, continue to enjoy soy foods (preferably minimally processed ones, like unsweetened soy milk, tofu and edamame/green soybeans) as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet. - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.


There's something about chicken that bursts with comfort food flavor. Here's a recipe from "Eating Well" magazine that is sure to be a family favorite.

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

4 (4-5 ounce) chicken cutlets

4 cups mixed mushrooms, (about 8 ounces), sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil and mushrooms to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to high, add wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in cream, any accumulated juice from the chicken and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce and sprinkled with parsley. Serves 4: 1 cutlet and generous 1/4 cup sauce each.

Per serving: 325 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 29 g protein, 20 g fat, 99 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 329 mg sodium.


Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Springfield, Ill., and the media representative for the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For comments or questions, contact her at or follow her on Twitter @Nutrition Rd. To find out more about Charlyn Fargo and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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