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6 Holiday Recipes that Fight Cancer

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holiday baking - cancerwise.jpgBy Laura Nathan-Garner, MD Anderson Staff Writer

Who said holiday food had to be unhealthy? Whip up these tasty (and easy!) recipes to serve some cancer-fighting nutrients at this year's holiday parties.

Dark Bark with Cranberries and Almonds

Baking? Don't miss the chance to use this season's sweetest cancer-fighting ingredient -- dark chocolate.

Research suggests that the antioxidants in dark chocolate help protect the body from cancer. Added bonus: regularly eating small amounts of chocolate may reduce your chances of both heart disease and stroke.

Get our recipe for dark chocolate bark with almonds and cranberries.

Spiced Toasted Almonds
Want to serve up a hefty dose of cancer-fighting vitamin E? Almonds get the job done. And that's not the only good news. Almonds also are rich in magnesium and fiber, which can help control blood cholesterol.

Try our recipe for spiced toasted almonds.

Chunky Cranberry Dip
Cranberries add more than just a festive color to your holiday spread. They're also a great source of dietary fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Load up on cranberries with this chunky cranberry dip recipe.

Ginger Spice Biscotti
Ginger's more than just a popular holiday flavor. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent cancer.

Unfortunately, the ever-popular gingerbread cake and cookies tend to be loaded with butter and sugar. For a healthier -- but equally tasty -- alternative, we suggest ginger spice biscotti. Serve them with green tea for an extra antioxidant boost.

Bake up ginger spice biscotti.

Holiday Citrus Punch and Sparkling Grape Party Punch
Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer. Luckily, we've got two festive non-alcoholic punch recipes you can serve this holiday season.

Both provide plenty of fruity flavor, fizz and cancer-fighting vitamins and nutrients for just a fraction of the calories and sugar found in most alcoholic beverages.

Get our recipes for holiday citrus punch and sparkling grape party punch.

Get tips to wrap up 2011 on a healthy note
There's more to cancer prevention than just serving the right foods. Learn what you can do to stay cancer-free in this month's issue of Focused on Health.

You'll find our expert's tips on how to feast on your holiday favorites without gaining weight. You'll also learn how to add dark chocolate to your holiday baking -- and easy substitutions you can make to cut fat when baking. And, check out our most-read stories of 2011, and discover tips for a healthier 2012.

For more tips for a healthier holiday, follow us on Twitter and join our conversations on Facebook.

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