Always speak with your doctor prior to making any dietary changes or taking supplements.
BY JEAN LAMANTIA
Why should a cancer survivor enjoy Salmon with Grainy Mustard and Wheat Germ Topping?
Let me explain… One of the top nutrients for immune function is omega-3 fatty acid. This makes omega-3 fatty acid a MUST for cancer thrivers!
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acid is found in cold water fish including salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and trout. It is important for you as a cancer survivor (and thriver!) to include these types of fish in your diet regularly (about two times per week). This is because omega-3 is a strong anti-inflammatory (the strongest in fact) and it can also support the immune system. A strong immune system can mean a better defense against cancer cells!
There is a Catch!
There is indeed a catch at the end of the salmon line. The catch is that researchers discovered that omega-3 could reduce T-cell mediated immune function. This means that it can actually reduce the functioning of this part of the immune system. Yikes!! But I just said that omega-3 was immune boosting, right? It is immune boosting, BUT you have to combine omega-3 with other foods properly to achieve this immune boosting effect.
Food Combining to The Rescue
The solution to overcoming the immune weakening effect of omega-3 is to include an antioxidant along with the fish oil. In the research, a supplement of 100 and 200 IU of vitamin E (an antioxidant) was used. While the research on this used a vitamin E supplement, you can also get your antioxidants from food.
Antioxidants Plus Omega-3
Antioxidants include vitamins E and C, as well as beta-carotene, flavonoids and selenium. A wheat germ crust (wheat germ is high in vitamin E) with salmon is an example of combining an antioxidant with omega-3. And it’s delicious!
Other Food Combining Examples
Combine your favourite omega-3 rich fish plus:
- Citrus glaze
- Side salad with almonds and strawberries
- Tropical fruit salad (papaya, kiwi, guava, mango)
- Green tea
- Bean salad
- Brazil nuts
Why Remove the Fish Skin and Dark Fat?
While there is a big health benefit to consuming fish for its omega-3 content, because of environmental contamination, fish can contain contaminants such as PCBs. Many contaminants are bound in the fat and the skin of the fish, so by removing these parts of the fish, you will reduce your exposure!
Salmon with Grainy Mustard and Wheat Germ Topping
- 4 – 1” pieces of salmon
- ¼ cup wheat germ toasted
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbsp grainy mustard
This is an original recipe by Jean LaMantia at www.jeanlamantia.com. It is adapted from a recipe from this blog Wheat Germ Crusted Salmon. Please share with credit to www.jeanlamantia.com.
Jean LaMantia is a registered dietician, cancer survivor, and best selling author of The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. She can be found at www.jeanlamantia.com.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Rinse the salmon and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Toast the wheat germ by heating in non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Remove from heat when a medium brown colour is achieved.
- Cover the top and sides of the salmon fillet with grainy mustard.
- Mix the garlic powder, cayenne pepper and toasted wheat germ and apply over the mustard.
- Place the salmon into the preheated oven and cook until you see the white fat appear on the fish. You can test it with a fork. When the salmon flakes, it is done. Do not overcook it or it will be dry! It should be about 10 minutes depending on the thickness.
- Separate the salmon from the skin and dark fat (keep reading to find out why I suggest this!).
- Serve with your favourite vegetable and grain!
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.