Eat with intention

Using nutrition to strengthen your immunity

Nutrition is always important, but it becomes even more so when navigating through a cancer diagnosis. It is one of the most fundamental cornerstones of integrative care and your starting point to change the conditions under which cancer thrives. Although there are many healthy diets worth your consideration when healing your body from serious illness, what matters most is your outlook on feeding your body.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

—Hippocrates

Make Mindful Choices

Make Mindful Choices

Your journey with cancer provides a unique opportunity for sincere reflection and taking control of your life which can be empowering. Look at your entire lifestyle. What foods are you eating? What drinks are you drinking? These are just a few questions to think about, but they will help you be more mindful of your choices. Ingredients should be nourishing and immune boosting. Focus on how eating to restore your cells to a healthy state can benefit your personal healing plan.

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What Should I eat?

What Should I eat?

The following information is not comprehensive advice. It is merely meant to provide you with a starting point of drinks and foods to both avoid and focus on as you shift your diet. Make educating yourself about foods and cancer a priority because behind every choice, there’s empowerment.

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Foods to
Avoid While Healing

When you have cancer, it’s important to be aware of everything you are putting in your body. You are now eating to create a healing environment. Our bodies are amazing – we’re made to heal! Eliminating foods that cause inflammation or provide zero to low nutritional value helps set your body up for healing success.

You are on a mission – stay focused!

  • Processed white sugar – essentially most sweets
  • GMO foods – soy, corn and sugar beets (read the labels)
  • Processed foods – including deli meats, snack foods, boxed items
  • Refined carbs – breads and pastas
  • Alcohol – wine, beer and liquor
  • Caffeinated drinks – coffee, soda, tea

Foods to Focus on While Healing

As you focus on healing and work through toxic chemotherapy and radiation treatments, your body will
rely on high-quality food for fuel to help boost your immune system.

 

Try to eat as clean as possible – opting for whole (unprocessed) organic fruits and vegetables. Approach this new way of eating as a lifelong shift – because your health matters today and tomorrow, too. Our advice is to eat a plant-based, more alkaline diet and limit your animal protein. An alkaline diet is high in fruits, vegetables, and water while avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. It emphasizes whole, non-GMO, and organic foods that will help limit inflammation in your body.

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Nourish your body with plenty of the following:

Water

Water

Clean, filtered water is always important for good health but even more so when undergoing treatment for cancer. Drinking plenty of water during treatment can prevent dehydration, move toxins through your system quicker, and make treatment recovery easier. Drinking room temperature water instead of cold water will help with proper digestion and positively impact the production of blood cells.
A minimum of half your body weight in ounces per day should be the goal — always with a slice or two of an organic lemon. To help reach your daily goal include herbal caffeine-free teas or green tea as a nice variation!

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Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, you name it…leafy greens deliver a powerful combination of vitamins and minerals that help fight inflammation and provide antioxidants to boost your overall health. They are packed with anti-cancer compounds including carotenoids, isothiocyanates, and folate making them an essential part of your diet.

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Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits & Vegetables

Reach for colorful fruits and veggies! Bright coloring is nature’s way of showing us which fruits and vegetables are full of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent cell damage and mutations. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamin C, lycopene, and beta-carotene. Each color contains its own set of disease-fighting compounds, so check out your selection and choose a colorful variety to get a complete range of nutrients.

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Garlic & Onions

Garlic & Onions

Part of the allium family, onions and garlic, provide serious cancer prevention and fighting power. They are packed with allicin, sulfuric compounds, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and selenium, just to name a few. Garlic and other allium vegetables such as shallots, scallions and leeks, are incredibly nutrient-dense but naturally low in calories. They stimulate your body’s production of glutathione (the most potent antioxidant for your liver), which boosts detoxification throughout your entire system.

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Nuts & Seeds

Nuts & Seeds

Rich in heart-healthy fats, plant protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, nuts and seeds are a great snack to reach for when healing your body. Their benefits range from promoting bone development and strengthening immunity to increasing energy and fighting inflammation. The addition of ¼ cup of nuts and seeds to your diet can enrich your protein intake by at least 6 grams. Some nuts and seeds to consider: almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

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Animal Protein & Fish

Animal Protein & Fish

When choosing to eat animal protein, consider buying 100% grass-fed beef and organic chicken. This will ensure your food source is free of added hormones and chemicals. Also consider beef or chicken liver – it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods you can find and extremely high in vitamin B12.

Wild fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine are excellent sources for protein and high in omega 3’s. Salmon is also rich in a protective antioxidant called astaxanthin and provides potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12.

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Eating Organic

Eating Organic

Eating organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible is an important part of any anti-cancer lifestyle. By eating organically you are lessening your toxic load by not ingesting all of the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are often times sprayed on commercially grown fruits and vegetables. Organic foods also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals that are missing from commercially grown fruits, vegetables, and/or livestock. That means they have a stronger impact on your immune system.

Your best option is to buy organic when the produce is in season because it will be at its peak for both nutrition and taste. Take the time to find local, organic farms or markets whenever possible so you know from where your food is coming.

To help prioritize your organic purchases, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides an annual update of the least and most contaminated produce. Their Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list can be a great guide when shopping for organic produce.

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2021 Dirty Dozen

Most Important to Buy Organic

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

2021 Clean Fifteen

Not as Important to Buy Organic

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn (Note: Could be GMO)
  3. Pineapples
  4. Sweet Peas, frozen
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas (Note: Could be GMO)
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melons
  15. Kiwi

Cleaning your Produce

Cleaning your Produce

Even when buying organic fruits and vegetables, get into the habit of washing them well before eating them. This will help remove bacteria from the surface of the vegetables and fruits. Peeling or cooking can also remove bacteria.

Do not use soaps or detergents when washing your produce – use a mixture of water and distilled white vinegar. The ratio is about 3:1 – water to vinegar. Fill a bowl with the water vinegar mixture then add the fruit and/or vegetables. For items with thick skin, just lightly use a vegetable brush. Let sit for at least 2 minutes then rinse well with clean water and dry.

Caution
Eating raw fruits and vegetables may not be advisable when undergoing immune compromising cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy. Always check with your doctor to ensure your blood counts are where they need to be for your utmost protection.
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Small Positive changes in your Diet will prepare your

Body For Healing

Remember food is fuel. Nourish yourself while enjoying the wholesome taste of clean, unprocessed foods.
Bon Appetit!

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