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Fighting cancer with a healthy diet

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Cancer-fighting diet tips

Eating a diet which features antioxidant-rich foods, healthy grains and lean protein is one of the best ways to boost your immune system to fight cancer. Here are some handy tips to help you enhance your knockout cancer punch.


How to eat well

Eating a healthy diet will help your body function at its best, something that's especially important if you have cancer. Not only do people who eat well decrease their chances of developing the disease, if they're diagnosed, they're better able to cope with treatment side effects and their body will be able to repair itself faster. Follow these healthy eating tips to help fight cancer.

Get your daily five

Every day eat at least five colorful servings of fruits and veggies. Try to mix it up -- one day eat a serving of spinach, the next reach for broccoli. Also, dig into fruits and veggies that are high in antioxidant activity (berries, cruciferous veggies, etc.).

Try new foods

If you're undergoing treatment, doctors say it's a good idea to try new foods. You may find you like something you used to disdain. You may also find some handy food options to help you cope with a treatment's side effects.

Go low-fat

Eating low-fat, plant-based foods will keep you lean and will help boost your body's ability to combat all types of cancer.

Drink alcohol in moderation

While studies have shown a glass of red wine every now and then could decrease your cancer risk, other research has shown imbibing could cause cancer of the mouth, throat, liver, breast and even colon. Therefore, you should limit how much you drink. It's also advised to stay away from alcohol if you're undergoing treatment (it could irritate your throat or mouth sores).

Power-up with protein

We need enough protein on a daily basis to boost our strength and to help repair (and build) muscles post-treatment. Get your daily dose by eating lean meats such as chicken or fish, low-fat dairy products and nuts.

Plan ahead

It can be difficult to focus on healthy eating, especially if you've just been told you have cancer. The best course of action? Plan ahead with these helpful tips.

Buy frozen

Because frozen fruits and vegetables are packaged right after they are harvested, they're sometimes higher in cancer-fighting nutrients than fresh ones. Frozen foods also are easy to prepare.

Cook in advance

Whenever you have the energy to cook a meal, cook more than you should and freeze the leftovers. This way you'll have some go-to good meals when you're not up for cooking.

Ask for help

Friends and family will always be willing to help you with your cooking and baking needs. Ask them to help you grocery shop or cook meals for your family.

Keep snacking

When you're waging war on cancer, it's important to keep your strength up. Keep healthy snacks on hand and nibble on them throughout the day. Some suggestions include yogurt, cereal and milk, cheese and crackers, nuts, sherbet and sports drinks.

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