The 5 Most Important Foods to Eat After Cancer Treatment

The 5 Most Important Foods to Eat After Cancer Treatment


Fred Smith

30 days ago at 3:13 PM

Certain types of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, can cause malnutrition and specific vitamin and protein deficiencies. One way to combat these changes is to make changes to your diet! Let's talk about what you can add or take away to improve your nutrient intake.

Certain types of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, steroid use, and hormone therapy, can cause malnutrition and specific vitamin and protein deficiencies. One way to combat these issues is to make changes to your diet. Learn more about what vitamins you'll need to replace and where to find them in naturally occurring foods you eat every day from our nutrition expert Sarah Kown.

Vitamin deficiencies caused by cancer treatment

Chemotherapy and hormone therapy are known for causing deficiencies in Iron, Potassium, Vitamins B1 & B2, Magnesium, and Folic Acid. The good news is that these deficiencies are often easy to fix by adding nutrient dense foods to your diet, or taking supplements that have been approved by your doctor.

Other important vitamins to get plenty of after cancer treatment are Calcium and Vitamin D, since many forms of treatment increase the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

How to fix vitamin deficiencies naturally

Most healthcare professionals will recommend getting essential nutrients from eating a variety of healthy foods rather than taking supplements. But how do you know what foods have these essential nutrients?

Thanks to science, we now know which foods will provide us with the nutrients we need to fight cancer cells and heal from treatment. Here are the five most important foods for you to eat after you're finished with cancer treatment to fight cancer cells and heal your body.

The 5 Most Important Foods to Eat After Cancer Treatment

1. Green Vegetables

Veggies like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and kale are jam packed with essential nutrients your body needs to heal and rebuild. If you don't like eating them raw, try sneaking them into smoothies or pureeing them into sauces to get some extra servings in!

2. Avocados

Avocados contain a number for important vitamins and nutrients necessary for healing and cell regrowth, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids. While they are by no means a miracle cure, researchers from UCLA are evaluating whether avocado extract can reduce prostate and oral cancer cell growth, and previous studies have linked olive oil and avocado oil to better outcomes in aggressive breast and colon cancer cases.

3. Protein

According to research, at least 30% of your diet should consist of protien. Protein is filled with amino acids that your body can't produce on its own, and which are critical to the production of muscles. Many patients lose muscle weight if they have lost weight during cancer treatment, so eating plenty of protein is a great way to help get yourself back on track!

4. Nuts and Seeds

Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews are a a rich source of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, have been known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects with many health benefits. Snack on them raw, add them to salads or smoothies, or check out some of these great recipes for how to add incorporate more cancer fighting nuts into your diet.

5. Calcium and Vitamin D

Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and steroid use can all cause bone loss and joint paint. As naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, calcium reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and keeps bones strong and healthy. Calcium can be found in milk, dairy, green vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach, as well as soy and soy products. You can find vitamin D right outside your door in the form of natural sunlight, or ask your doctor if it's OK to take a supplement.

Want to learn more? Watch this short video for a deeper dive into the five most important foods to eat after cancer treatment.

Interested in learning more from Sarah Kown and Own Your Cancer Coaching? Explore their full course on OneVillage, The Cancer Fighter's Diet Course.

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Last activity by Darrell McKinnon


Darrell McKinnon

Avocados are like the super food of the world and I should have listened to my parents way earlier about that!

0 Replies
Janet Cuccio

Working on getting more leafy greens to get my energy back up

0 Replies
Anne Young

This was super interesting, I didn't realize that there were vitamin deficiencies caused by chemo! I guess it makes sense. Thanks this was a good read.

0 Replies

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