A portion of this list (tips 51-100) was offered as a Friday news post in the blog. Since it got so many views, I am republishing it as a regular (static) page so that it can be accessed easily as another resource. As I wrote in the blog post, be sure to read the Hippocrates paragraph (**) which stresses the importance of a balanced diet in fighting cancer. Claims about particular foods or very restricted diets are usually not supported by strong scientific evidence and tend to be anecdotal. Relying on them could have negative impact on your health. I also added the first 50 tips which focus more on cancer prevention. ~ Dennis
According to Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, everyone has cancer cells, but only one out of three develop them. Which means that the other two people have natural defenses. By utilizing the power of a healthy diet, you can prevent, fight, and even treat cancer. Below are the 100 best tips for cooking against cancer.
Best Blogs and Sites for Cancer Cooking
The below blogs contain tons of tips for not only cooking to fight cancer, but to living a healthy life as well.
51. Cancer Project Recipes: With a weekly recipe specially formulated for cancer patients, you are sure to find something tasty and easy. You can also get an online meal planner, shopping lists, and even links to cancer cooking classes in your area.
52. Andrew Weil, M.D.: Famous for his appearances on Oprah, Dr. Weil has a great deal of healthy living information on his massive site. Listen to a podcast, get expert vitamin information, tips on herbs, and much more. Make sure to check out the food pyramid for what and how much you should be eating.
53. Prevention TV: This video source contains expert advice from a doctor and cancer survivor. You can also get tips on exercise, faith for healing, and more.
54. Recipe Corner: The AICR brings you this amazing recipe database. Type in the word of a specific ingredient, and it will give you an array of recipes including it. You can also choose by category and get a guide to reading nutrition facts.
55. Nutrition Hotline Online: Got a questions about a specific food and specific cancer? Then send it in by email for an expert answer within three days. You can also call the toll free line to get regularly updated tips.
56. Sloan Kettering: The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is a leader in cancer treatment and provide a free guide to herbs, botanicals, and related products. Find out which herb or supplement is right for you, along with the ones to avoid.
57. Diet and Nutrition: The American Cancer Society provides this massive resource listing the best foods for cancer fighting. Get information on everything from acidophilus to Willard water, along with a ton of other cancer resources.
58. Prevent Cancer Foundation: Located in Virginia, this foundation contains tips and tools to improve your diet. In addition to eating well, you can get information on preventable cancers, quitting smoking, and even free materials.
59. Eating Well When You Have Cancer: The Canada Cancer Society has a great deal of resources for cooking for cancer patients. Make sure to view the recipes, watch for side effects, and get the Canada Food Guide.
60. Cancer and Nutrition: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is a world renowned name in cancer treatment. Get a guide for healthy eating, tips for prevention, and related articles by visiting this site.
61. Diet, Lifestyle, and Breast Cancer Risk: Cornell University did a study on the link between nutrition and breast cancer and published their results here. Watch the video, get a fact sheet, and learn about this devastating disease from a leader in research.
62. Eating Hints for Cancer Patients: The National Cancer Institute has diet tips for before, during, and after treatment. They also provide information on how to find a registered dietician to help with your dietary needs.
63. Healthy Recipes: The Mayo Clinic offers this resource that allows you to browse through hundreds of healthy recipes. Choose from main ingredient, course, and even recipes for special diets.
64. The World’s Healthiest Foods: This site gives tons of preparation tips on foods for fighting cancer like strawberries, vegetables, and seafood. Get loads of recipes, cooking tips, how to heal with food, and more.
65. Healthy Recipes and Meal Ideas: The Food Network brings you a variety of recipes, tips, and videos to help in your fight against cancer. Get healthy eating for salmon, vegetarian, whole grains, vegetables, and more.
66. Nutrition During Treatment: The Diet Channel offers a list of articles containing relevant cooking tips for cancer prevention. You can also get answers to common questions, along with other cancer fighting resources.
67. Cooking With Cancer: This program is designed specifically for care of those afflicted with cancer, care givers of the patients, and all of those who work in the healthcare industry. In addition to recipes and tips for healthy cooking, you can get news, education, and even enter a recipe contest.
68. 20 Healthiest Foods That Aren’t: Just because it says reduced fat, low sugar, or diet doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Learn which foods cancer patients and preventors should avoid, along with related articles.
69. Kayln’s Kitchen: Anyone who needs to cut carbs or fat can be greatly helped by this blog with a South Beach flair. Get recipes for cancer fighting foods such as salads, vegetables, grilling, grains, and more.
Tips to Gain Weight
Many cancer patients can undergo extreme weight loss, which is dangerous to their health. Below are some tips for sneaking in some extra calories.
70. Don’t drink fluids or have soup or salad before the meal. It will fill you up on foods that are low in calorie density and leave you feeling fuller faster.
71. Eat on a large plate, which will keep your portions from appearing overwhelming. It’s okay if the portion appears too small, just tell yourself to go back for more.
72. Have friends or family with you. People tend to eat more when in groups, and it’s never a bad idea to sample a few bites off someone else’s plate with their permission.
73. Go to a buffet. With endless portions and various selections, cancer patients can find a variety of tasty and healthy options. Go to Zagat if you need the name of a good buffet in your area.
74. Get out more. Know of a picnic, barbeque, or party? Then go and find an array of freshly prepared food and people to eat with.
75. Do something as you eat. Any distraction, such as movie, television show, or phone conversation can distract you into not thinking about how much you’re eating.
76. Appearance counts. You might love turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, but if it is all the same color, it won’t be as tantalizing. Try mixing it up to get more food and more appetite.
77. Use ginger. Many cancer patients experience nausea, and ginger is a simple, natural way to combat it. You can take tablets, drink ginger tea, or eat the garnish off of sushi.
78. Add, add, add. Sneak calories into meals by adding a little extra. Try avocados in sandwiches, wheat germ in cereal, and powdered milk on toast.
79. Don’t subtract. If you can’t stomach a whole meal, eat a snack. Skipping meals over a long period can shrink your stomach and wreck your appetite.
80. Change your exercise. For those up for some exercising, trying cutting down on the length of any aerobic or cardio activities and increase the intensity. This will help you keep the healthy weight and lose the excess.
81. Pump iron. If feeling well enough to exercise, try adding in some weights. It will build muscle mass in a healthy way and help you put on a few pounds.
Best Cookbooks for Cancer Prevention
Cancer patients, as well as people who just want to eat right, will find tons of easy, delicious, and disease fighting recipes in these books.
82. Beating Cancer with Nutrition: This book and accompanying CD provide a multidisciplinary approach to treatment based on scientific studies and clinical experience. Dr. Quillin is a medical professional who discusses conventional therapies (chemotherapy, surgery), alternative therapies (macrobiotics, herbal and vitamin therapies), and even gives recipes using foods known to slow tumor growth.
83. Anticancer: A New Way of Life: After undergoing chemotherapy and surgery for brain cancer, Servan-Schreiber asked his oncologist if any lifestyle changes would prevent a relapse; the answer was no. Believing this to be wrong, he spent months researching a mass of scientific data on natural defenses against cancer. Get the results in this book.
84. Eating Well Through Cancer: Designed for cancer patients and their family, these easy-to-follow recipes focus on foods to ease symptoms during treatment. With an oncologist’s chapter introduction, doctor’s notes, menu planning, tips, nutritional analysis, and diabetic exchanges, it serves as a guide for nutrition before, during, and after cancer treatment.
85. Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips: Kris Carr, a young actress and photographer, found out that her hangover was actually a tumor riddled liver. Chapters in her book cover changing social life, appearance, and essential health tips on how to boost your immune system, young survivor support groups, and recipes.
86. One Bite at a Time: Chef Rebecca Katz shares delicious, nourishing recipes for cancer patients. Those who experience culinary ups and downs because of restrictions, poor appetite, and damaged taste buds from harsh treatments will benefit from this book.
87. Betty Crocker’s Living With Cancer Cookbook: Many recipes are from patients and include nutritional and fiber information color-coded to indicate which side-effects it helps. A Q & A section answers common questions, such as “Why am I too tired to eat?” and is followed by recipes such as Berry-Banana Smoothie.
88. American Cancer Society’s Healthy Eating Cookbook: A leading force in the fight against cancer, you will find over 300 simple recipes from the ACS. There are also celebrities and bios, along with tips for shopping and for in the kitchen.
89. The Taste for Living Cookbook: Michael Milken is a prostate cancer survivor and owes it to his diet. His book offers a guide to identifying the foods known to help fight cancer, presenting ways to eat more of them, and over 70 recipes.
90. The Anti-Cancer Cookbook: It seems that we hear new discoveries about various foods’ anti-cancer properties on a daily basis. Dr. Julia Greer is a physician, cancer researcher, and food enthusiast who pulls together everything you need to know about anti-cancer foods into one handy book.
91. An Anti-Cancer Diet: Consistent with the plant-based diet recommended by the American Cancer Society, this book summarizes the latest findings from scientific studies related to complex factors now known to influence health.
92. Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: Greg Anderson is a cancer survivor and has designed this book for the recently diagnosed, those with recurring symptoms, and those who have a lingering fear that the disease may strike again. Given only 30 days to live in 1984, Greg advises others how he survived not just by diet alone.
93. What to Eat if You Have Cancer: This cancer survivor and nutrition educator team describe the body’s physical components and how nutrition affects physical function. The proposed nutritional therapy is designed to deny cancer the food elements it requires for growth while strengthening the body against the disease and the rigors of its treatments. Recommendations are also made for supplements, food preparation, and managing the side effects of treatment.
94. Foods to Fight Cancer: Richard Béliveau is a leading authority in cancer research and holds the Chair in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer at the Université du Quebec à Montréal. In his book, he outlines the best and most essential foods for cancer prevention.
95. Nature’s Cancer Fighting Foods: Use this book to prevent and reverse the most common forms of cancer using the power of food and easy recipes. Start with the basics of smart eating and move to the role of antioxidants, phytochemicals, herbs, and vitamins in preventing and conquering cancer.
96. Eat to Beat Cancer: This researcher shows how diet can be used to prevent 90 percent of cancers. His book gives practical techniques for solving the health problems that arise from eating a Western diet.
97. The Strang Cancer Prevention Center Cookbook: The oldest cancer-prevention institute in the country, New York City’s famed Strang Cancer Prevention Center gives the same topnotch advice in this book as it does for its clients. Over 150 recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, sides, entrees, and desserts are featured.
98. The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook: This cookbook presents up-to-date nutritional information (including the Top Ten Super Foods that may protect and fight against cancer) along with strategies for making healthy eating a daily practice and suggestions for reducing the side effects of treatment. It features 100 easy recipes from the nation’s top chefs, as well as cancer patients and survivors.
99. Breast Cancer Prevention Cookbook: A husband-and-wife team, complete with a gynecologist and chef, have joined forces to write this breast cancer resource and cookbook. With over 165 recipes, this cookbook will have you eating healthy as your best proactive defense against breast cancer.
100. Cancer Prevention Cooking for Health: Many foods have anti-cancer nutritional properties, and this cookbook shows you how to incorporate these foods into your daily life. Part of the Kitchen Doctor series, the book also comes with many illustrations.
** Hippocrates once said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” The American Institute for Cancer research believes that while no single food can protect you against cancer, a healthy diet is essential. With the right combination of foods, minerals, and vitamins, cooking for cancer prevention is a real and worthwhile goal.
Foods That Fight Cancer
For the best results, find a way to sneak these cancer fighting foods into your recipes and diets. Many can also be eaten as a health snack.
1. Cabbage. Full of sulforaphane and indole 3 carbinols, cabbage can improve chemotherapy, colon cancer, and papillomavirus induced cancers. Studies on the benefits of these nutrients and cabbage can be found here.
2. Broccoli. Several laboratory studies have suggested that cruciferous vegetables help regulate bodily enzymes that defend against cancer. Other vegetables in this category include Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale.
3. Green tea. With an abundance EGCG and polyphenols, cancer patients should definitely switch out their coffee for this. In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells. Other studies have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin, and digestive tract.
4. Wild Salmon. Constantly considered one of the healthiest fishes, it contains high levels of omega 3 and low mercury. Stay away from farmed salmon, as it has many additives and less nutrients. For a variety of wild organic seafood by mail, visit Vital Choice.
5. Sardines. Also high in nutrients and low in fat, these little fishes are also a low cost option. If you’re worried about the mercury content of the fish in your area visit the EPA Fish Advisories.
6. Rasberries. Rich in anthocyanidins and ellagic acid, studies have shown them to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus, and breast.
7. Strawberries. They also contain a wide range of other phytochemicals, called flavonoids, Each seems to employ a similar array of anti-cancer strategies and these berries make a tasty and healthy snack.
8. Bluberries. They contain proanthocyanidins and a family of phenolic compounds called anthocyanosides, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.
9. Garlic. Tarig Abdullah, M.D. found that white blood cells from garlic-fed people were able to kill 139 percent more tumor cells than white cells from non-garlic eaters. Numerous studies on garlic and cancer can be found here.
10. Onions. Forget apples. According to Cornell University, an onion a day can keep the cancer away. They contain antioxidants that help prevent cancer by mopping up free radicals and inhibiting the production of reactive substances that could damage normal cells. More on this study, as well as which onions are best, can be found here.
11. Leeks. Along with chives, leeks are suspected to protect against stomach and colorectal cancers. Information on health benefits and nutritional information on leeks can be found here.
12. Eat Carbs, Beat Cancer: According to this article, carbs can actually help in the fight against cancer. A study showed that women who eat seven or more daily servings of whole grains, legumes, and roots, were less likely to develop cancer.
13. Get more soy. Those looking to cut back on red meat can use healthy soy as an option. It has been shown to control cholesterol, protect the prostate and bones, and improve your memory. Five smart ways to do soy can be found here.
14. Switch to rye bread. In a 2000 “Journal of Nutrition” study, rye bread was found to reduce the levels of bile acids thought to contribute to colon cancer. Make sure the bread is made from whole rye flour or whole rye meal to get the best benefits.
15. Drink orange juice. According to Dr. Patrick Quillin, although 1000 mg. daily of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk for stomach cancer, a small glass of orange juice containing only 37 mg of vitamin C is twice as likely to lower the chances for stomach cancer. Research by the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station has shown that citrus compounds like those found in natural orange juice targeted and stopped neuroblastoma cells in the lab.
16. Eat yogurt. Modern scientists have found that the active culture of bacteria in yogurt (Lactobacillus) can fortify the immune system. An article that further explores the link between yogurt and cancer prevention can be found here.
17. Mushrooms. Oral extract of Maitake mushrooms provided complete elimination of tumors in 40 percent of animals tested, while the remaining 60 had a 90 percent elimination of tumors. The famous Dr. Weil answers this question for one of his readers.
18. Get rid of sodas. High in calories, sugar, and carbs, this is a must do for cancer patients. An easy and tasty alternative is to try diluted apple juice or ginger tea with 1/4 tsp of vitamin C per cup.
19. Go dark. When perusing the salad bar or produce aisle, stay away from the lighter veggies such as iceberg, and concentrate on the ones rich in color. Good ones to choose are romaine, kale, and spinach.
20. Beans, beans. Also known as legumes, lentils, peas, and others, contain saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid which are believed to fight cancer. An extensive list of studies on beans can be found here.
21. Nuts. Containing the antioxidants quercetin and campferol, nuts may suppress the growth of cancers. Brazil nuts are a good source, and if you are allergic, consider taking a supplement.
22. Solances. Most commonly known as tomatoes, they contain a great deal of a phytochemical called lycopene, which has proven useful to combat prostate disease. Don’t like raw tomatoes? Try a sauce, juice, paste, or ketchup. Click here for a study on how tomatoes and broccoli can fight cancer.
23. Flaxseed. Available as flour, meal, or ground, they provide an array of cancer fighting power. It is also the richest plant source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alphalinolenic acid, which has shown to protect against heart disease and some cancers. Those studies can be found here.
24. Grapes. Whether found in juice or straight off the vine, grapes are rich in polyphenols and resveratrol, which has been able to prevent the kind of damage known to trigger the cancer process in cell, tissue, and animal models. Four different studies on grapes can be found here.
25. Whole grains. When all three parts of the grain kernel: germ, bran, and endosperm are left in, you have whole grains. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and hundreds of natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals, which protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer. Instead of white bread, whole grains can come in the form of wheat breads, rolls, pasta, cereals, oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice, tortilla, chips, corn, kasha (roasted buckwheat), and tabouleh (bulghur wheat).
26. Carrots. A great source of beta carotene, which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bladder, prostate, and breast. In addition, a substance called falcarinol found in carrots has been found to reduce the risk of cancer, according to researchers at Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences.
27. Avocados. Rich in glutathione, they act as a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis, as well as other sources of liver damage.
28. Chili peppers and jalapenos. Think spicy foods can be bad for you? These contain a chemical called capsaicin, which may neutralize certain cancer-causing substances and may help prevent cancers such as stomach.
29. Figs. They contain benzaldehyde. It has been reported by the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Tokyo that benzaldehyde is effective at shrinking tumors. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says figs may curtail appetite and improve weight-loss efforts.
30. Red wine. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants that help neutralize disease-causing free radicals and red wine is a great source. It also contains the same nutrients as grapes for fighting cancer. If you are worried about alcohol intake, you can simply drink a non-alcoholic wine.
31. Sea Vegetables. Wonder why fish is so healthy? It’s because they eat these vegetables containing beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll. Many sea vegetables also have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.
Whether preparing, selecting, or ordering a food, keep the below tips in mind to prevent cancer.
32. Use fiber. Whether as whole grain, vegetable, or barley, try sneaking or substituting these to fight cancer. A list of impressive fiber studies can be found here.
33. Use a crock pot. This inexpensive kitchen tool cures the evening dilemma of haphazard meal preparation. Pressure cooking is a healthy way to prepare food and the aroma will pleasantly fill your home.
34. Get the sauce on the side. If you can’t bear gravy or sauce being left out of your favorite dish, try getting it on the side. Dunk a corner of your meal into the sauce and you will be amazed at how much you can avoid while enjoying the natural flavor of the dish.
35. Use a shake to take your pills. Many cancer patients are forced to take numerous medications and supplements. If you hate swallowing pills, scroll down this page for a recipe for a shake to make taking your medicine easy and sneak in some extra nutrients.
36. Cut the butter. Many spreads are just as tasty as butter, but contain a fraction of the calories, fat, and cholesterol. Still got to have butter? Try blending it with equal parts organic olive oil.
37. Only 11 ounces of red meat per week. We currently eat an average of 11 ounces of red meat a day. A study linking red meat to cancer can be found here.
38. Add in lots of seafood. A powerful remedy for many diseases, natural seafood contains many minerals essential for well being. The 72 trace elements in seafood can be found here.
39. Grill more. Now you have an excuse to light up that barbeque. Use lean meats or seafood, and stay away from using butter. Click here for an Ultimate Grilling Guide.
40. No skin. Eating chicken? Get rid of the skin. It contains most of the fat content.
41. Don’t fry. When you fry even healthy foods in batter, butter, or oils, it all gets soaked into the food, robbing it of it’s nutritious value. A study found that fried foods contain acrylamide, which can contribute to cancer.
42. Steam It!: Italy’s University of Parma found that steamed broccoli is better than raw broccoli by making more antioxidants available to your body. The article also contains a video on how to steam vegetables.
43. Trim the fat. Eleven ounces of red meat a week can still contain a lot of fat. Even chicken and fish can contain visible chunks of fat. Put them in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden the fat, making it easier to cut off.
44. Skim the fat. If a layer of fat rises to the top on a broth, stew, or soup, skim it off. Use a spoon or drag a paper towel across to accomplish this.
45. Bake. No shaking needed to utilize this healthy technique. You can cook seafood, vegetables, or even make your own whole grain bread using this method. Few recipes call for adding fat, which makes them healthy and easy.
46. Poach. Not only useful for eggs, it can be used for a variety of cancer preventing foods. Poaching simply requires you to gently simmer ingredients in water or a flavorful liquid such as broth, vinegar or juice until they’re cooked. Get an array of videos on poaching here.
47. Stir fry. Not to be confused with deep frying, stir-frying quickly cooks small pieces of food while they’re rapidly stirred in a wok or large nonstick frying pan. You need only a small amount of oil or cooking spray for this cooking method. A list of best woks and electric skillets can be found here.
48. Sneak in some herbs. Creating meals using herbs adds color, taste, and aroma to foods without adding anything harmful. Visit here for an array of herbs targeted for parts of the body or various health concerns.
49. Go organic? The question remains whether organic products reduce the risk of cancer. Vegetables, seafood, and others contain the same nutrients as non-organic, but are they better for you? This article examines the pro’s and cons.
50. Non-stick cookware. These smooth pots and pans eliminate the need for butter, oil, or sprays by letting your food slide right off. The folks at Good Housekeeping have put together a list of the best non-stick cooking sets. All are available for online order.