I just love learning new things, especially those bits of information that show decreased risk of cancer associated with eating plants. In this case, I learned about the decreased risk of breast cancer associated with eating dried beans and lentils from Karen Ansel's article mentioned in my earlier post today (4/4/08). Somehow I had missed this 2005 Harvard study. It shows a significant decreased breast cancer risk with an increased intake of beans or lentils. In this study, when comparing self-reported food intakes of dried beans or lentils with breast cancer incidence, there was a 24% risk reduction associated with an intake of eating dried beans or lentils 2x/week compared with an intake of once/month or less often.
I do eat dried beans of some kind nearly every day of the week - yes!! 7 days/week, and I have been doing this nearly every single week for the past 13+ years. I have been eating them to obtain an adequate protein intake on a near-vegetarian diet, but it is very very nice to learn that all the phytochemicals in beans may also be playing an important role with decreasing my risk of recurrence.
One way I make sure that it is easy for me to eat some beans on a daily basis is by making my own hummus and consuming some every day for lunch or a snack. I did this even when I was still working outside the home by packing my own lunch and snacks on a daily basis. Numerous recipes for hummus and other bean dishes are on my web site. The photo actually is of a bean dip I made using the dried beans I grew last summer.
Exciting news! My husband and I just found out that we can expand our community garden into the half-plot located next to ours since those folks did not re-sign up for another perennial plot. So my dried bean patch will be able to expand significantly along with my section of greens. This year I want to produce enough of my own locally-grown, organic kale to freeze for winter use in stir-frys, even kale pesto, etc, etc. Oh, I cannot wait for spring to really arrive. :-) I need to be revived!
Speaking of being revived, here is a lovely blessing to end with,
We eat and we are revived, and we give thanks
To the lives that were ended to nourish our own.
May we merit their sacrifice, and honor
Their sparks of holiness
Through our deeds of loving kindness.
~~Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro
Diana Dyer, MS, RD