11,818 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010. Fortunately, cervical cancer is the easiest gynecological cancer to prevent through regular screening and maintaining healthy habits, including eating nutritious foods. This Meatless Monday in January which is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, I’m sharing a delicious grapefruit and spinach salad recipe full of cancer-fighting nutrients.
Natalie’s Grapefruit and Spinach Salad Recipe
- 1 medium pink grapefruit
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small jicama, peeled and cut into small pieces
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Cut grapefruit in half. With a sharp knife, cut around each section to loosen fruit, keeping some juice.
- In a salad bowl, toss the spinach, onion, grapefruit, and jicama.
- In a jar with a lid, combine the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, remaining grapefruit juice, salt, and pepper and shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.
- Garnish with almonds. Enjoy!
This spinach ensalada topped with grapefruit is an easy and delicious way to get plenty of cancer-fighting vitamin C. I also love the combination of flavors in this receta: the citrus intensifies the sabor while jicama and almonds add texture.
Spreading awareness of cervical cancer is particularly important in Hispanic communities. The incidence of death from cervical cancer for Latina women in the United States is almost twice as high as non-Hispanic white women. Why? Latinas are less likely to get screened. Encourage all of the mujeres in your life to take simple, preventative measures to reduce their risk.
4 Ways to Reduce your Risk of Cervical Cancer
- Get the HPV vaccination: Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be transmitted during sex. While HPV usually goes away on its own, in rare cases it doesn’t, possibly causing cervical cancer. Doctors recommend a vaccine for 11 and 12 year old girls as well as women under the age of 26 who were not vaccinated. Older women may benefit from the vaccine as well.
- Get screened regularly: Cervical cancer is highly curable when found and treated early. Pap smears can detect cervical pre-cancer before it turns into cancer. Women 21 to 29 should have a Pap smear every 3 years then beginning at age 30, combine the Pap test with an HPV test every 5 years.
- Nix the nicotine: Women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer. Don’t know how to kick this habit? Click here for tips.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: Plants are loaded with minerals and antioxidants that can help your body fight off an HPV infection, and slow or stop the process that turns normal cervical cells into cancerous ones.
Committing to a healthy diet can improve your likelihood of remaining cancer-free. Make each meal count and choose foods with cancer-fighting properties, like those I share in Angelina Jolie Inspired Meatless Monday: 7 Cancer Fighting Foods. Be sure to pack your plate with vitamin C: this power vitamina may reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.
Too many families have experienced the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. While all women are at risk for cervical cancer, we can take action to reduce our chances of developing the disease, beginning with what we eat.
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.What will you do to reduce your risk of cervical cancer?