Nutrition in Cancer Care and Prevention

Dee Harris, RDN, LDN, CDE

Female doctor checking xray image of lungs.

It is always a shock to hear that you’ve been diagnosed with cancer.  Our immune system usually takes care of  cancer cells, but it takes multiple breaches of our system over time to actually develop a tumor.  So, prevention is key.  But, if you happen to be diagnosed with cancer, there are many things that we can do to fight it naturally or in combination with conventional treatments.

Here are some tips to start with…

Food is medicine. What we put in our mouth dictates the future of all cells.

Keep cells strong- Protect the energy center and DNA by reducing Inflammation.

Clean up the diet– organic, non GMO, hormone free. No processed, no chemicals including artificial sweeteners and preservatives and additives. Avoid fried foods and foods high in sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Bottom line– Avoid white, processed foods,. Avoid soda, diet soda.  Avoid SUGAR. Sugar feeds cancer cells.

Don’t be nutrient deficient– boost your nutrients. Test for vit D, B12. Test for inflammation markers- homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein. – Take a good Multivitamin, and Omega 3 fish oil daily. A Spectracell Micronutrient test will evaluate nutrient status. Also test for blood sugar and insulin levels, which increase inflammation.

In working with your oncologist and your health care team, we may consider supplementation of CoQ10, Vitamin D3, Fish Oil, Resveratrol, NAC, and Broccoli seed extract.

Go Nuts– Eat 2 Brazil nuts per day (for selenium), Raw almonds- for vitamin E.

Eat in Color– Antioxidants are key to protecting cells. It’s the color in the food that protects us as well as the vitamins and minerals.

Juice VEGETABLES- drink a vegetable juice or smoothie daily- alternate colors.

Eat mushrooms or consider a mushroom supplement for the immune system.

Drink Green tea- 2 cups/ day.

Eat 1 oz VERY Dark  chocolate/ day.

Don’t forget Fermented FoodsGood gut bacteria improves the immune system, mood and digestion.

Limit red and fatty meats. Think fish and chicken. Avoid charred- grilled meat. Processed meats contain nitrites which have been linked to cancer. Fish has omega 3 fatty acids- especially sardines, salmon and tuna. Meats should be grass fed. Poultry must be organic. Fish must be wild.

Think FAT– Use healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and nut oils. Use cold press, organic. Don’t use oils at a high heat- they become a trans-fat.  Avoid anything that has hydrogenated vegetable oil or trans fats on the label.

Use ground flax seeds.

Stay Hydrated- filtered water (Beware of tap water as it contains many chemicals)

Detox the body and mind.

 Body detox- skin brushing, Epsom salt baths and a clean healthy diet.

Stay Positive!   Incorporate Stress Management with Meditation and Deep Belly Breathing.

Live in the Spirit!