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Snack against Cancer on Super Bowl Sunday

Contributor: Vincent Li

Dr. Vincent Li is COO, Scientific Director, and Co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and is a scientific innovator, medical doctor, and social entrepreneur.

I'll be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday, along with a record number of viewers. Last year, the Superbowl averaged 111 million visitors, and at least part of the game was watched by 163 million people (1). That's half the population of the United States. Like many, I'm also looking forward to the Madonna halftime show, seeing Ferris Bueller take another day off twenty five years later, and all the other ads. They should be entertaining as heck. According to Nielsen, ads that aired during last year's Super Bowl were 58% more memorable than the commercials that were aired during regular programming around the same time (2011Q1). No wonder the cost of a 30 second ad was $3.1 million during Super Bowl XLV last year. Advertising Age estimates that one-third of the ads will be about food and beverages (2). And research has shown that TV commercials can trigger an "automatic eating response" to the food that's in front of us, according to an expert at Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. In fact, Americans consume more food on Super Bowl Sunday that on any other days of the year -- with the exception of maybe Thanksgiving (3). Can you believe that 11 million pounds of chips are munched on Super Bowl Sunday alone (4)?

So I guess this means that today most people in the U.S. are going to be exposed to a high proportion of ads pitching junk foods that will make us crave whatever foods is placed in front of the TV. So, what can we do?

Here are some things I'm going to eat to snack to whack cancer. These foods contain ingredients that pack a wallop using natural cancer-fighters that are anti-angiogenic, starving cancers of their blood supply. They're among the Featured Foods and Recipes right now.

Avocados. Cut into slices, and eat on top of your favorite crackers (try Stoned Wheat Thins). No salt or sauce needed. Simple, satisfying, and filling, too. Make sure to use ripe avocados -- the stem should easily flick off, the skin should be brown, and the flesh should give slightly to moderate pressure.

• Dried pomegranate (I get them at Trader Joe's) mixed with popcorn. This one doesn't need butter. I like a little sea salt if desired. Delicious and healthy.

• Ming Tsai's Panko Popcorn Shrimp recipe. Tasty, feels like Super Bowl party food, and easy to make. Rock shrimp are nice to use because they're small. The flax seed (shown to rev up natural cancer fighters like endostatin in the body) makes them stay crispy (5). Instead of drizzling the Lemon Teriyaki glaze on, I like using it as a dipping sauce.

• Mario Batali's Pizza Miles. Takes just minutes to roll-out and bake pre-made dough, top with strained tomatoes, drizzle olive oil, and it's a great way to get the family to eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli --broiled in the oven quickly to retain their glucosinolate cancer-fighters).


What are you doing on Super Bowl Sunday to eat to defeat? Tell us below.


1. Riccobono, A. Super Bowl Rating: How manuy people wil be watching in 2012? International Business Times. Feb 3, 2012. Online.
2. The Super Bowl Investment: Ad Spend Trends over the Past Five Super Bowls. Nielsen wire. Jan 30, 2012. Online.
3. Sparacino, A. Are Super Bowl ads bad for our health? February 4, 2011. Online.
4. The U.S. Calorie Control Council.
5. Nilsson AUW et al. PLoS One 2011;6(9):e25720.

posted on February 5, 2012


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