Cancer-Fighting Foods For A Healthy Diet

Proper nutrition that can help during all stages of cancer care—or reduce the risk of it starting.

It is no secret that a nutritious and well-rounded diet is important for a healthy lifestyle; but it is also important to keep that diet up if you fall ill.

“Proper nutrition is crucial at all stages of cancer care, from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment and survival,” says Geralyn Plomitallo MS, RD, and Clinical Nutrition Manager at White Plains Hospital. Plomitallo says that one of the priorities of While Plains Hospital is prevention, so patients are talked to regularly about healthy eating habits. 

White Plains Hospital has provided a list of foods whose nutrients can be vital in both the prevention and treatment of cancer, sorted conveniently by color.

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Red: Tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, vegetable juice, tomato soup, guava, pink grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates.

Possible Benefits: May reduce risk of prostate, pancreatic, cervical, lung and breast cancer; ellagic acid found in red berries may have anti-cancer properties; antioxidant

Orange: squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, papaya, pumpkin, dried apricots

Possible Benefits: May reduce the risk of lung, stomach, mouth, colon and cervical cancer, antioxidant

Green:  Green, leafy vegetables – collard greens, spinach and kale

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Possible Benefits: Antioxidant

Also Read: The 41 Healthiest Foods In The World, And Where In Westchester To Buy Them

Red-Purple: Grapes, and grape juice, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, plums, raisins

Possible Benefits: May inhibit or prevent inflammation and tumor growth

White/Green: Garlic, onions, chives

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Possible Benefits: May slow progression of tumors and work as an antioxidant

Different foods carry different nutrients, and therefore are healthy in different ways. Plomitallo suggests that people “mix up the colors” to ensure a well-rounded supply of nutrients. (Who doesn’t like a colorful plate?) She also suggests the traditional five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. One serving is one cup raw or ½ cup cooked. Additionally, red berries like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and pomegranates contain ellagic acid, which may have anti-cancer properties.

Along with fruits and vegetables, studies show that having a healthy amount of fiber a day can be a big boost for a healthy diet. White Plains Hospital suggests 20 to 35 grams, and tells patients that they can get healthy servings of fiber from whole grains, as well as lentils, seeds, nuts, and beans.

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