Many people struggling to control their weight have been taught to follow the guide, “Eat to live, not live to eat.” While that proposal may hold true for those trying to shed some pounds, its spirit can also offer help for cancer patients looking to nourish their body and their health.
So, what can cancer patients do to make their dishes more health-friendly?
Greens, greens and more greens
Most of us heard the value of green veggies since we were young and, though we may have stubbornly refused them, there is significant benefit to incorporating green vegetables into our diets, especially for cancer patients. Vegetables known as “cruciferous,” which offer lots of fiber and vitamins with few calories, are particularly good in fighting cancer. Such veggies include Brussels sprouts, arugula, collard greens and broccoli.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables include chemicals called glucosinolates, which, when broken down during digestion, have been shown to prevent cancer.
Spice it up
Adding a few pinches of some additives and spices can infuse a dish with flavor and also provide help for cancer patients’ health.
A report in KXLY found that herbs such as thyme, oregano and basil are rich in fatty acids that can target and kill cancer cells. Another common cooking herb, parsley, functions to restrict the delivery of nutrients from blood vessels to the cancer cells, while garlic regulates insulin, which promotes cancer prevention.
For dessert, add some ginger or cinnamon, or even top your ice cream with walnuts, all of which have been shown to be effective in preventing or slowing cancer growth (and they taste great too!).
Healthy eating is a challenge for everyone, but for cancer patients, it’s especially important – and effective.