Eating well for a cancer survivor

Healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices can help you recover from cancer treatment while also lowering your risk of recurrence. Heart disease, diabetes, and various kinds of cancer can all be reduced by making healthy choices.

You may have special nutritional demands as a cancer survivor, which will influence your dietary choices. As a survivor, you want to go back to normalcy as soon as possible. There are methods to boost your long-term health after your initial recovery so that you may enjoy the years ahead as a cancer survivor.

Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as entire grains, in your diet. When it comes to appetizers, the American Cancer Society suggests that cancer survivors to:

  • Every day, consume at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and walnuts.
  • Choose low-saturated-fat proteins such fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
  • Choose carbohydrate sources that are high in fibre, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.
  • This mix of meals will guarantee that you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthy.(Mayo clinic)
  • Eating a plant based nutrient diet
  • Quit smoking 
  • Limited amount of alcohol 
  • Keeping a healthy weight 
  • Keeping yourself physically active 

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended by most nutritionists. The impact of some dietary variables on cancer survival rates is yet unknown. However, cancer survivors should eat well since they are at a higher risk of developing other health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone thinning.

Doctors generally advise cancer survivors to follow standard health guidelines to reduce their chance of developing other diseases.

Limit highly processed foods

Sugar, salt, and fat content are all high in these meals and beverages. They are frequently deficient in nutrients that keep us healthy, as well as too high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain. Avoid eating such foods, only consume in limited amounts. 

Foods that have been highly processed include:

  • Red meat/ Processed meats
  • Pop soda, sweetened coffee and tea beverages, lemonade, and fruit drinks are all sugary drinks.
  • Snack items such as chips
  • Fries à la french
  • Boxed soups and quick noodles
  • Foods that have been deep fried
  • Cereals with added sugar
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Pie, cake, donuts, and cookies are examples of baked foods.

Reduce your intake of red meat and consume very little, if any, processed meats.

Reduce the amount of red meat you eat, such as beef, pig, lamb, and goat, and eat smaller quantities. If you eat red meat, limit yourself to fewer than 500 grams (18 ounces) each week.

Processed meats like sausages, bacon, ham, deli meats, and hotdogs should only be consumed in very limited amounts. 

Being physically active

Being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight, stay healthy, and feel good. It may aid in the reduction of fatigue, the maintenance of strength, and the reduction of the chance of some cancers returning.

Consuming more Fruits and vegetables

Certain foods, like fruits, include health-promoting chemicals that may help you recover faster by slowing tumour development and reducing treatment adverse effects.

  • Blueberries : Blueberries are a nutritious powerhouse, with each serving containing lots of fibre, vitamin C, and manganese.

They’re also high in antioxidants and have been extensively researched for cancer-fighting properties.

Blueberries may also assist with chemo brain, which is a phrase for memory and concentration difficulties that some individuals suffer throughout cancer treatment and recovery.


  • Oranges are a popular citrus fruit that are prized for their sweet flavour, bright colour, and high nutritional content.

One medium orange can fulfil and surpass your daily vitamin C requirements while also providing other essential elements such as thiamine, folate, and potassium.

  • Bananas 

Bananas may be an excellent supplement to a cancer patient’s diet. They’re not just simple to swallow for individuals who have trouble swallowing, but they’re also high in vital nutrients including vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C. 

They include pectin, a kind of fibre that can help those who are suffering from diarrhoea as a result of cancer therapies.

  • Grapefruit 

Grapefruit is an antioxidant-rich, vitamin-rich, and mineral-rich fruit.

It’s high in beneficial components like lycopene, as well as delivering a healthy dosage of vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, and potassium  

  • Apples: 

Apples are one of the most popular fruits, as well as one of the healthiest.

Fibre, potassium, and vitamin C are all high in each serving, which can help with cancer recovery. 

  • Pomegranates 

Pomegranates are a fantastic addition to any diet since they are tasty, nutritious, and full of health benefits.

Pomegranates, like other fruits, are high in vitamin C and fibre, but they also include a lot of vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Some study has indicated that eating pomegranates might assist with memory, which could be beneficial for people suffering from chemotherapy-related deficits.

  • Cruciferous vegetables 

Brassica genus of plants includes cruciferous vegetables. They include, among other things, the following vegetables:

Arugula, Bok choy ( a kind of Chinese cabbage) , Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Greens from collards, Horseradish ,Kale, Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress ,Wasabi

Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and minerals. They’re also a fantastic source of fibre.

The glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables are broken down during meal preparation, chewing, and digestion to create physiologically active chemicals including indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates.

Indole-3-carbinol (an indole) and Sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate) have been most frequently examined for their anticancer effects.