Cancer Diet: Eating Right When You Have Cancer

You know what you eat affects your cancer risk – lots of fresh veggies, good; too much red meat, not so good – but scientists have discovered that when you eat can also influence your susceptiblity to the disease. Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health looked at data on 621 men with prostate cancer and 1,205 women with breast cancer and found that eating your evening meal before 9pm (or at least two hours before going to bed) reduces your risk of these cancers by 20 per cent. It’s not clear why this occurs, but the timing of your meal could influence your ability to metabolise food. Plan ahead if you know you’re going to have a busy day.

If you like the benefits of intermittent fasting but find the 5:2 diet too hardcore, the 16:8 version could be for you. Simply requiring you eat your day’s food in an eight-hour window (with no calorie restrictions) it’s been shown in a pilot study to help people lose weight. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago asked 23 obese people to eat any type and quantity of food between 10am and 6pm. For the remaining 16 hours, only water or caloriefree beverages were allowed. After 12 weeks, compared to controls, they consumed 350 calories fewer per day, lost about three per cent of their body weight, and saw their systolic blood pressure fall by about 7mm Hg.

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At the end of a long day, a simple bowl of goodness is sometimes all we crave. Buddha bowls – wholesome onebowl meals packed with an assortment of nourishing, flavourful ingredients – are just the ticket. Easy to prepare ahead or whip up from store-cupboard staples and a few fresh ingredients, they provide comfort and nutrition in equal measure. And, it’s now, with the change of season, that the Buddha bowl really comes into its own. ‘Once the cool chill of early autumn enters the air, I feel a distinct shift in the foods I crave,’ says Kelli Foster, author of new book Buddha Bowls: 100 Nourishing One-Bowl Meals (Quarto, £14.99).

‘Fresh salads and light, herb-filled meals give way to smoky roasted veg, warm spices and hearty grains. A mingling of warm, autumn flavours in a bowl.’ Foster has a simple formula for preparation. ‘Each Buddha bowl starts with a base typically made up of wholegrain rice, noodles or legumes – or a mix – then it gets loaded with assorted cooked or raw veg, a handful of fresh greens and a boost of protein from meat, fish, eggs, tofu or beans, before finishing it off with a dressing, sauce or broth,’ she explains. The possibilities are endless! Here are a tew of Foster’s autumn favourites…

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