There is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of cancer, by adopting healthy dietary and activity behaviours. Current estimates suggest that around one third of cancers could be prevented by adhering to current guidance. A recent European study1 reported that people who adhered best to WCRF guidance (that is, had the full dose of what is recommended) had a 34% lower hazard of death than those who followed only a small dose (one or two recommendations).

Eat plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits.

In terms of diet, there are some very positive messages e.g. eat mostly foods of plant origin. The European Code Against Cancer signposts us to “Eat plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits”.

At the SCPN, we inevitably get into conversation about how to translate this recommendation, into what this means for the food on our plates. People understand about fruit, but still ask about how they can eat more veggies in interesting forms.  It is a pleasure to signpost folks to the excellent WCRF recipes but there is always a need for more ideas. Kellie Anderson who kindly provides us with recipes for the SCPN newsletter, also has some inspirational recipes of her own.

However, we thought it might be fun to share some of our own recipes. We have started with soup, most of which have come from the Coupar Angus Food Focus Collection, which we have adapted to minimise the salt. No salt added, no stock cubes, but some spices and herbs (and of course you have the choice to add flavourings to suit when serving).  You can also add cooked beans or lentils to increase the fibre and add wholegrain cereals (e.g. brown rice) to turn into a one pot meal. The end of winter is not yet in sight, and veggie snacks are hard to find – it doesn’t come much better than a mug of soup – Enjoy!

– Annie

Professor Annie S Anderson BSc PhD RD FRCP (Edin)

1 The American Journal of Clinical Nutition Adherance to the World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research guidelines and risk of death in Europe: results from the European Prospective Inverstigation into Nutririon and Cancer cohort study 9th February 2015