Diet for Cancer Survival: How Eating the Right Foods can Help Fight Cancer

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When it comes to battling cancer, the right diet plays an essential role in helping a patient achieve and maintain the strength they need to take on their journey. For those undergoing treatments and trying to combat cancer, it is critical to include specific nutrient-rich foods into their diet in order to build a strong immune system. Here are a few food recommendations that cancer patients can add to their meal plan in order to strengthen their body and get one step closer to cancer survival.

Fruits & Vegetables

Diet for cancer survival includes fruits and vegetables as these are filled with antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients. Fruits like papaya, blueberries, strawberries, and apples are full of vitamins and minerals that help improve overall health and reduce inflammation. Similarly, consuming an assortment of colorful vegetables like broccoli, kale, peppers, and cauliflower is known to prevent cell damage, as well as provide protection from certain types of cancers.

Healthy Fats

Though many may not be aware, consuming good fats can help cancer patients. Eating healthy fats can help fuel cells that are struggling to recover. Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts, avocados, and seeds. They not only promote weight maintenance, but also provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Fish and Poultry

Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been known to fight against cancer. In addition to fish, poultry is another recommended protein for cancer patients as it is a great source of low-fat, high-quality protein.

Herbs & Spices

The culinary world provides cancer patients with an array of flavorful ingredients to spice up meals and add beneficial antioxidants to their diet. Many of the common herbs and spices used in cooking are filled with powerful anti-cancer properties. A few of these spices include oregano, turmeric, and cinnamon, which are all believed to help suppress tumors.

Foods to Avoid

As with any dietary plan, it is essential to identify which foods to avoid. For cancer patients, this includes avoiding any type of processed, fried, and sugary foods. Additionally, any alcoholic drinks or tobacco should be avoided in order to limit any potential damage to the body’s organs and to allow for an easier recovery process.

It is no surprise that proper nutrition is an integral part of managing and treating cancer. Cancer patients should consult with a nutritionist in order to properly develop a diet that meets their specific nutritional needs and strengthens their immune system. The food suggestions mentioned above should serve as a starting point to incorporate cancer-fighting ingredients into meals that are both tasty and nutritionally sound.

Main photo: Ella Olsson/

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