It goes without saying that a diagnosis of cancer is a scary thing. One of the easiest things you can do to try and decrease your cancer risk is to incorporate cancer-fighting foods into your diet. Diet and cancer have been linked by many scientific professionals, even if exact connections are not yet known.
There are various diets that are recommended to help prevent or treat cancer. While most cancer diets are founded in the principles of the health benefits of low-fat, high-protein and vitamin-rich foods, certain types of food are more closely associated with the treatment of certain types of cancer.
Types of Cancer Diets
Below is a list of common cancer diets and their superfoods. It's important to note, however, that the exact effects of cancer diets and their superfoods aren't always proven by scientific evidence. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any cancer diet or supplement regime.
- Prostate cancer diet. Vitamin E and selenium (a nutrient that helps in cell repair) are believed to help prevent prostate cancer, while soy is thought to help combat prostate cancer cells.
- Breast cancer diet. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, are believed to decrease the chance of developing breast cancer. They may also increase the effectiveness of chemo treatments, though this is not proven.
- Colon cancer diet. Onions, kale, beans, apples and any foods that are high in fiber or are easily digestible sources of protein are recommended for those who have colon cancer or those who wish to prevent it.
For those diagnosed with cancer, treatment through chemotherapy is extremely traumatic for the body—a chemo diet can help combat the negative side effects of the treatment and give the body more strength during the process.
Because chemotherapy can cause nausea and vomiting, it's important that a chemo diet consists of highly nourishing foods that are easy on the stomach. Soup recipes and high-protein meals are often staples on these diet menus.
A chemotherapy diet should also include nutrient-rich foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If it's not possible to keep these foods down, or if you're concerned that you're becoming nutrient-deficient, talk to your doctor about adding a multivitamin to your diet plan.
Because chemotherapy can decrease or alter the taste of foods, many people choose to incorporate stronger flavors into their meals. Seasonings like garlic, cilantro and black pepper can add more taste to food without being overly harsh on the stomach.