Cancer project

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

Parham to speak on health benefits of food

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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Don’t underestimate the power of collard, mustard or turnip greens. They’re more than just side dishes in Southern cuisine.

According to Groesbeck Parham, a Birmingham gynecologic oncologist, greens repair damaged DNA because they’re rich in folate, a B vitamin that is key in preventing the development of cancer. Greens also lessen the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Parham will further discuss the health benefits of greens and other foods on Saturday when he leads a seminar titled &8220;How to Eat Your Way Into Good Health in 2007&8221; at the Carl Morgan Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hosted by the Cancer Project, a Washington D.C.-based organization, the free seminar’s &8220;primary purpose is to teach and show people how certain foods can be used to improve one’s health specifically to prevent some of the common diseases from which we suffer as an American population,&8221; Parham said.

The seminar will also feature a cooking demonstration led by Parham’s wife, chef Katherine Parham. Katherine will prepare healthy dishes published in the Cancer Project’s survivor’s handbook. Attendees will be allowed to sample the dishes and receive a free copy of the handbook.

Dr. Parham chose Selma as a seminar locale after working to improve health screenings throughout the Black Belt and the Mississippi Delta.

Dr. Parham will explain the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean meats and present diagrams of how the body utilizes those foods.

In a previous report, Cancer Project spokeswoman Edith Sodolo said more than a third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. are due to poor diet.

Fatty foods and added fats and oils, particularly saturated fats, have been linked to an increased risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer. Recent studies have revealed that a vegetarian diet that his high in fiber and low in fat helps prevent cancer and its recurrence.

Parham said seating is limited for the seminar and urges interested persons to contact Hubert Brandon at (334) 834-4045 to register.

The Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Minority Office, Selma City Government, Bama Kids, the Tri-County Sickle Cell Agency, the UAB 1917 Clinic and the Black Belt Health Initiative support the event.