The strawberry banana fruit parfait offers a wide range of health benefits for cancer patients before, during, and after cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
Strawberries are packed with antioxidants and ellagic acid, which may inhibit the growth of tumors caused by certain carcinogens. Asbestos is classified as a human carcinogen. Further, studies show that other phytochemicals in strawberries (and blueberries) inhibit steps in tumor initiation. What’s even better is a whopping eight types of strawberries have the same cancer-fighting ability.
Listed among The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Dr. Jonny Bowden, strawberries are also uniquely loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C, manganese, fiber, folate, and they are easy on even the most sensitive palates and digestive systems.
Bananas are chock full of potassium. Potassium is important for cancer patients undergoing treatment as well as patients who are in remission. A drop in potassium can make you weak and tired: it can cause muscle cramps, and a host of other conditions. You see, potassium helps maintain cell integrity, fluid and electrolyte balance, and a steady heartbeat.
Further, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer concluded that regular consumption of foods such as bananas, root vegetables, salad greens, and cabbage was linked to 50-65 percent decrease in the risk of certain cancers, such as kidney cancer.
In addition to strawberries and bananas, the strawberry banana fruit parfait includes bacteria-fighting yogurt and another disease-fighting powerhouse walnuts. Walnuts contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fats of any other nuts. They are also loaded with potassium, fiber, calcium, magnesium, protein, and phosphorus. Yogurt helps you maintain a healthy gut, it ups your immunity and boosts calcium and B-12 levels.
Strawberry Banana Fruit Parfait Recipe
The strawberry banana fruit parfait recipe below was the recipe of the month for June 2014 at the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups walnut halves
- 4 cups plain Greek yogurt (your choice)
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 1 cup of chopped cinnamon roasted walnuts
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Small bowl
- Paper towels
- Canola oil (to grease the pan)
Preparing this fruit parfait is easy. All you have to do is:
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Dab a paper towel in canola oil to grease pan.
- Beat egg white and honey together.
- Mix cinnamon, vanilla, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Combine with egg mixture.
- Fold walnuts into the mixture to coat and spread out on greased pan.
Time to Bake, Assemble, and Store:
- Bake until coating on nuts is crusty, about 1 hour.
- Cool nuts completely.
- Separate 1 cup of walnuts from the rest.
- Use one cup of yogurt, 1/2 cup each of bananas and strawberries, and 1/4 cup of walnuts to assemble one parfait.
- Alternate layers of walnuts and fruit with yogurt.
Go ahead and save the rest of the cooled walnuts in an airtight container. You can use them in everything from hot cereal to salads or as a snack. Enjoy!
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Foods to Fight Cancer by Richard Beliveau, PhD and Denis Gingras, PhD
Print. DK Publishing, New York, New York.
- Strawberry Plants.org
- The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, PhD., CNS
Print. Fair Winds Press, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
- The Chemotherapy Survival Guide, Judith McKay, RN, OCN and Tamera Schacher, RN, OCN, MSN, Print. New Harbinger Publications, Inc., Oakland, California.
- The World’s Healthiest Foods
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Photo credit: ralph and jenny / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)