Best Diet and 10 Best Foods for Cancer Patients

Cancer is very common in western nations, so here is a blog giving you information on our picks for the best diet and 10 best food for cancer patients. It’s estimated that in 2018 alone, 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease[1]. Because everyone knows someone who will be affected by cancer it’s important to know there are a variety of foods that can help boost your immune system and even kill cancer cells. While we are not recommending cancer in lieu of treatment - research has shown that women with breast cancer who eat a healthy diet high of fruits and vegetables have a better prognosis than counterparts who eat the standard american diet[2]. Here is our compilation of the best diet and 10 best foods for cancer patients.

While we know diet can make a big difference in one’s prognosis, there is a lack of clinical trials therefore the type of diet has little consensus. In the book Radical Remission, Dr. Natasha Turner identifies a radical change in one’s diet as one of the 9 Factors that recommended for end-stage cancer patients spontaneous recovery. Diet is always an individual issue. No matter how much research exists an individual still has to choose on a daily basis what digests best for them and what is accessible for them. And this is no different for cancer patients.

However some guidelines are consistently recommended. While a raw food shows good promise in preventing cancer - a cancer patient may not have the digestive health to eat a lot of raw vegetables so amendments need to be made for cooked vegetables, which also show promise to reducing cancer incidence[3]. All high vegetable diets show good evidence for cancer protection. In a large prospective study those who ate organic foods the most were able to reduce breast cancer diagnosis by 34%, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 86% and lymphomas by 76%[4]. When looking at other nutrition websites, half favored a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet and half favored high-caloric intake to maintain weight[5]. The ketogenic diet may be the most evidenced diet for cancer treatment with numerous preclinical studies showing benefit of eating a ketogenic diet for a variety of cancer types - with the exception of kidney cancers [6]. One study even showed that a radio of 8 fat to 1 carb with 25% of the fat content coming from coconut oil and other medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to avoid caloric restriction was the most effective diet for shrinking neuroblastoma brain cancer type[7].

VERY IMPORTANT: When choosing a high fat diet - the rest of the diet must be low in carbs - with 0 added sugar and refined carbohydrates - otherwise a high fat diet WILL NOT WORK.

We’ve looked at Organic diets, Raw Diets, Vegetarian Diets, Vegan Diets, Mediterranean Diets and Ketogenics Diets. Having high cholesterol and high uric acid levels is also a negative prognostic for women with breast cancer. However losing weight while undergoing cancer treatment is also a detriment for the health of the person[8]. It’s always recommended to start where you are. If you are already underweight, do not engage in low calories diets. However if you are overweight with high cholesterol and a standard American diet high in sugar and processed carbs then it is essential to go low-carb and high fat- eliminate sugar and processed foods - always eat high in vegetables with moderate protein. Always eat high in fresh vegetables (minimum 8-10 servings per day), raw if you can, and as many organic foods as possible.

While all diets high in plant food consumption hallmarked by a high consumption of fresh or raw vegetables, fruits, organics, legumes/pulses, coconut oil, whole grains (not whole wheat bread) have shown some benefit for either cancer prevention or treatment, with the addition of Dr. Turner’s research, that amending ones diet radically - is a good idea when fighting cancer.

Changing one’s diet for the better can improve the immune system, change one’s internal environment to make it less hospital for cancer growth, as well as introduce cancer fighting foods that may directly impact the tumor.

So I propose that the best diet for the average cancer patient is a high fat, mostly vegetarian diet with as many organic cancer-fighting foods as possible, and as few cancer-promoting foods. Limit alcohol intake to very little red wine. Eliminate refined sugar and aspartame alltogether except for raw honey and real grade B maple syrup in sparing amounts- under 2 tsp per day. Again one needs to go higher in fat and lower in carbs in overweight individuals who have high cholesterol, high blood sugar and/or high insulin. Even high fat diets need to include as many organic green vegetables as possible - especially from the broccoli and cabbage family[9]

10 Best Foods for Cancer Patients

  • Coconut Oil - contains medium chain trigycerides that assist the body in using fat as fuel instead of sugar - May starve cancer cells from their prime nutrient source- - sugar. Other good fats are raw olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, ghee and palm kernel oil.

  • Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cabbage, arugula, mustard greens, horseradish, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts each contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals called sulfurophanes that may arrest cancer cell cycle from reproducing.

  • Flaxseeds and flaxmeal - contain high lignans that fight cancer, even estrogen-related cancers. Lignans can cause the body to produce less active forms of estrogen. Animal studies have shown that both flaxseed oil and lignans can reduce breast tumor growth and spread. Add 2 Tablespoons to smoothies or make a bread with flaxmeal instead of flour.

  • lentils - contain high fiber content that lower blood sugar - lentils also have a relatively low starch content and contain natural protein. Reduces metabolic syndrom. Consuming lentils 2-3 times per week lowers cancer risk for breast and colon cancer.

  • Avocado - one of the few fatty vegetables - avocado are filling, lower insulin and blood sugar and have anti-cancer carotenoids. Include an avocado or two per day to increase fat ratio of the diet in a healthy way.

  • Blue, black and red berries - pomegranates, blueberries from Maine, raspberries, lingonberries all contain plant chemicals that help fight cancer cell promotion as well as provide enough natural sugar. Limit to 2 servings per day

  • Spices like turmeric, ginger, fresh rosemary and cinnamon - add to salad dressings, on tops of vegetables and lentils for their intense multi-faceted cancer fighting properties.

  • small fatty fishes - herring, sardines, mackerel, wild salmon contain high content of omega 3. Women who ate fatty fish at least once a week had a 44% lower risk of kidney cancer than those who ate no fish. Those who consistently ate lots of fatty fish over a 10-year period had a 74% lower risk of kidney cancer.

  • root vegetables - eating the rainbow ensure a full spectrum of plant antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage. Choose veggies with lower starch content - avoiding potatoes unless eaten raw. Choose garlic, onions, fennel, onions, celery root, water chestnut, ginger, turmeric, beets, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Do not burn them - they are best when raw, grated, steamed and sauteed.

  • organic soy - like miso, natto, organic tempeh, wildwood sprouted tofu, soy sprouts, tamari contain cancer protective phytoestrogens called genistein. Be absolutely certain your soy is certified organic, non-GMO, and idealy sprouted or fermented - otherwise the pesticides may reverse the cancer-protective effects of soy.

    Bonus Supplements:

  • Vitamin D K2: The majority of studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and lower risk of cancer. Am J Public Health. 2006 February; 96(2): 252–261.

  • OPC-3: Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) target cancer stem-like cells and suppress tumor organoid formation in colorectal cancer. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 3335.

  • Curcumin Extreme: This study elaborates the current understanding of the chemopreventive effects of curcumin through its multiple molecular pathways and highlights its therapeutic value in the treatment and prevention of a wide range of cancers. This product also has sulphoraphane-containin broccoli seed extract. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):56-68.

    Sources:

    1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29887784

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342442

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23530643

5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2707948

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29443693

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29029389

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048091/

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603442/

Dr. Millie Lytle