Food For Thought after October's BCAM

After Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Food For Thought
Advances in breast cancer research and ways to lessen one’s risk of getting it, are salient no matter what month it is. That’s why healthcare professionals, such as travel RNs in oncology, have an enduring interest in a study conducted by Spain's University of Navarra. The findings were published in JAMA.1

The study tracked 4,000 women between the ages of 60 and 80 who were split into two groups. One group ate a Mediterranean Diet (think fish, whole grains and Omega-3 fatty acids), plus a daily supplement of 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVO). The other group ate a less specific, low-fat diet. The control group consuming Mediterranean staple foods and EVO had a 68% lower risk of developing breast cancer. The study revealed another amazing fact; apparently EVO (that's first press olive oil) has polyphenols similar to the anti-inflammatory properties found in ibuprofen.

This discovery builds on a previous nurses’ health study published in The BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal), about the positive impact a Mediterranean Diet can have on telomere length, a biomarker of aging. In this study, 4,676 healthy middle aged women recorded their daily intake of foods such as fish, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, plus lots of EVO.2 After the fact, blood samples from the test subjects showed that their telomeres were in better shape than when the study began.

Travel Nurses at American Traveler “Walk the Walk”
Our registered nurses know that a natural part of American Traveler’s community outreach is to promote a healthy lifestyle year round; this means sticking to annual checkups, studying up on new cancer treatments, and educating patients on health and wellness. With enough vigilance and research, we may one day see breast cancer wiped off the map, where it currently ranks #2 among female cancers.

Nurses, perhaps more than other groups, may recall that The Mediterranean Diet consistently holds top honors in U.S. News & World Report's healthiest diets, and has garnered credit in the Blue Zones for increasing human longevity – Blue Zones are areas around the globe where high concentrations of healthy people are 100+ years old.

If you are looking to perpetuate healthy careers among your friends and peers and want to give the Mediterranean Diet a go, click on this Mediterranean inspired stuffed mushrooms recipe to get started. This seasonal dinner (most mushrooms are harvested during the fall) hold the distinct and yummy Greek flavors that appear in this slideshow from the Mayo Clinic, where travel nurses can find ideas, easy to cook in any housing arrangement.

Bon appetite, and be sure to tweet the ways you're lengthening those telomeres – whether it's on a plate, during a 5K weekend, or at work. Looking forward to seeing your adventures @RNHealthyCareer.

1. Miguel A. Martínez-González, M.D. “Mediterranean Diet Plus Olive Oil Associated with Reduced Breast Cancer Risk.” Monday, September 14, 2015: JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(11):1752-1760
2. Marta Crous-Bou, postdoctoral research fellow and peers. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: population based cohort study.” December 2, 2014: The BMJ: 349.

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