November is Men's Health Awareness Month.
So it’s fitting that a new study published yesterday (29th Nov 2022) in BMC Medicine journal, found a healthy plant-based diet (high in fibre and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables) is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in men (a 22% average risk-reduction depending upon race and ethnicity). The study showed no such correlation for women. But don't be dismayed ladies, there are plenty of studies concluding a fruit & veg-rich diet significantly protects against colorectal cancer in both sexes.
This Butternut Squash and Sweet potato Tagine, with cauliflower rice, might be one dish you want to add to your weekly diet to bump up your fruit and veg intake and keep your gut healthy.
It’s packed with antioxidants such as: betacarotene, lycopene, isothiocyanates, Vitamin A and vitamin C, all of which protect cells from DNA damage and inflammation – making it an anti-cancer, anti-aging, immune-boosting, anti-acne and heart-healthy dish.
Cauliflower (a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables) contains 'Glucosinolates' and 'Thiocyanates' — both sulphur-containing phytonutrients that cleanse the body of damaging free radicals. It also contains a substance called sulforaphane (SFN), a compound known to inhibit the occurrence of all cancers. Cauliflower also provides 'Glucoraphanin', a phytochemical that inhibits the growth of Helicobacter Pylori/H. Pylori and protects the stomach lining, reducing the risk of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. The soluble fibre-rich content feeds 'commensal' and 'beneficial' gut bacteria, helping regulate bowel movements (constipation is one lifestyle factor that contributes to an increased risk of colorectal cancer).
Here's the recipe for this 'Trusty Tagine':
(Serves 4, and can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp rose harissa
1 bunch of fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
1 butternut squash (approx. 500g), peeled and diced
300g sweet potato, peeled and diced (or you can leave the skin on)
400g cherry tomatoes and 400g Mr Organic Passata
Zest of 1 lemon or 2 preserved lemons, flesh & pips discarded, skin finely chopped
200g green beans
Ingredients for Cauliflower Rice:
1 head of cauliflower (grated finely to resemble ‘rice’) or 1 box of Pack’d Organic Cauliflower rice
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat and cook the onion with a
grind of sea salt for 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Add the garlic, ground spices, rose harissa and coriander stalks, mix with the onions and
cook for 2 minutes
3. Add the butternut squash, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes & passata, lemon zest, sultanas
and 600ml of water. Bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for 45minutes - 1hr, or
until the root veg is tender.
4. Place the grated cauliflower in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and just enough boiled water
to steam until tender. Drain fully, and then stir in the chopped mint and chopped coriander
with a grind of sea salt & black pepper.
5. Stir the chopped green beans into the Tagine and simmer for 3-4 minutes until just tender,
but still bright green with a crunch. Season and serve with the cauliflower rice. Scatter with
coriander leaves to garnish.
You can increase your veggie intake further by adding kale or sliced courgettes to the Tagine and green peas to the cauliflower rice.
If you’re concerned about your risk of colorectal cancer, the Oligsocan Test can reveal your ‘oxidative aggression’ (level of damaging ‘free oxidative radicals’) and ‘oxidative protection’ (levels of protective antioxidants), showing deficiencies in antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin A, C and E, selenium, zinc and sulphur.
Feel free to DM via Instagram, text or call me for more information on the Oligsocan Test.