By Uma Sivanathan

County officials and community members came together during the ‘Paint the Town Pink” walk in Līhuʻe Oct. 26.

County officials and community members came together during the ‘Paint the Town Pink” walk in Līhuʻe Oct. 26.

I want to share with the women and young ladies of our community an encapsulation of the extensive research I am doing on the prevention of and healing from breast cancer.

I am very impressed with the work of Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, also known as Dr. V, Through her own journey of conquering breast cancer. In her book, “Healing Breast Cancer Naturally,” she outlines the seven essential steps to prevent and heal breast cancer. Her website is BreastCancerConqueror.com.

Dr. V’s first recommendation is to “let food be thy medicine.” There are six superstar foods that greatly protect us from breast cancer. The first one is turmeric, or what we call olena in Hawai‘i. Turmeric’s long list of benefits is increased when combined with the second superstar, green tea.

I make a morning tea from sliced fresh olena (very easy to grow here, or you can buy it at the farmer’s market or health food store), which is simmered in purified water for 10-20 minutes. Then I add organic green tea to steep. I also like to add sliced ginger and a teabag of “Everyday Detox” by Traditional Medicinals. This combination is great for relieving inflammation and for the prevention of cancer.

The third superstar food is freshly ground flaxseeds. They contain the highest amount of cancer-fighting lignans than any other edible plant. Flaxseeds can be purchased at one of our health food stores. I grind them in a small coffee grinder, along with sesame seeds to make a super condiment to put over rice, salad, whole grain cereal, pretty much any dish. You can also add sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, to boost up the nutrition and cancer protective qualities even more.

County officials and community members came together during the ‘Paint the Town Pink” walk in Līhuʻe Oct. 26.

County officials and community members came together during the ‘Paint the Town Pink” walk in Līhuʻe Oct. 26.

The fourth superstar is the mighty walnut, which contains healthy omega-3s as well as antioxidants. Other great nuts are pistachios and mac nuts.

Our fifth food that is a superior cancer preventer is anything in the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kale. Also, the brightly colored vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and pumpkins, contain carotenoids, high in Vitamin A, which is a cancer preventative vitamin.

Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are the sixth superstars in breast-cancer prevention. I like to buy the frozen organic berry mixture at Costco or Cost-U-Less and include them in our smoothies.

Other great foods for breast-cancer prevention are whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and a variety of beans, and apples, figs and raisins. Dark, leafy greens such as bok choy, collards and watercress are high in vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals that also help prevent cancer. An important thing to remember is that cooking our vegetables on high heat destroys valuable enzymes and the qualities in the vegetables that protect us from cancer.

It is also recommended that we avoid refined carbohydrates and large amounts of sugar found in many of our packaged and fast foods. Other foods to avoid are certain kinds of oils, such as corn, soy, peanut and cottonseed. Olive oil is a healthy choice as well as safflower oil, which can be used if cooking on high heat.

Other things to avoid ar