A Recipe for Boosting Your Cervical Health

Once considered one of the most common causes of cancer-related death for women in America, the mortality rate from cervical cancer has thankfully dropped more than 50 percent in recent years. This is mainly due to more frequent screenings of the cervix, which has allowed the cancer to be discovered early or, in some cases, even before it can develop (in other words, in the stage that doctors classify as “most curable”).

Another leap forward in this fight against cervical cancer has been due to women getting vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is classified as the cause of most cervical cancer. Leading these advances is the American Cancer Society, which is battling cervical cancer in numerous ways. They're educating women about the importance of being tested for cervical cancer, helping to decipher any potential diagnosis and, of course, assisting with the various forms of treatment when necessary.

Maintaining a Healthy Cervix 

Maintaining a healthy cervix is important for preventing cancer and many of the methods are ones that will benefit our overall health. In a recent article from the Canadian Women’s Health Network, women are urged to maintain an overall healthy immune system. That equates to getting enough sleep, eating healthier foods, and minimizing smoking and stress. These can be tall orders for some of us, but the lives we save may be our own.

When it comes to nutrition and diet, there are lots of ways we can help boost our cervical health. Great choices include green tea, which has properties that prove effective in helping to protect our cells from free radical-caused DNA damage. Go-to veggies to serve in cervix-friendly meals include asparagus and carrots.

You can even add some turmeric spice, which has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to lower rates of certain cancers. 

Salmon, rich in vitamin D, has also been deemed as an aid in preventing or fighting cancer. It's also a terrific source of omega-3 fats, an all-star nutrient that benefits bodies from head to toe.

A Recipe for Cervical Health

For an easy way to enjoy the advantages and flavor of salmon, you might want to try this simple recipe. It's like an upgrade on the classic tuna salad. 

Wild Salmon Salad

6 ounces canned wild salmon
1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or more if desired)
2 tablespoons minced onion (optional)

In a small bowl add the salmon, mayonnaise, mustard, onion (if using), and black pepper to taste. Using a fork, mash the salmon and combine with the other ingredients. This takes only about 5 minutes to prepare and yields 1 serving.

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, “Not one single woman ever needs to die from cervical cancer” thanks to what we know about prevention and early diagnosis. That's a cause for celebration and a healthy reminder for all of us ladies.

By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks

Joy’s latest book is From Junk Food to Joy Food.

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