Here's the scoop on the best cancer fighting foods and nutrients
What are the best cancer fighting foods and nutrients that you should eat or be taking after having gone through Radiation or Chemotherapy?
Are you a cancer survivor?
All finished up with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and want to focus on prevention?
Do you wonder what you should eat or if you should take any supplements after going through radiation or chemotherapy?
Did you ask your doctor what you can and should eat after going through radiation or chemotherapy, but didn’t get a logical or straight forward answer?
Are you interested in Cancer Prevention?
What you need to know
Being a cancer survivor and having had cancer, your body is in a state of needing more micro-nutrients than ever before. The amount necessary is far beyond what the RDAs call for1. RDAs for what supplements to take are set for healthy people, not people that have gone through an extensive exposure of highly toxic amounts of chemotherapy products and/or radiation. Because of this added need for nutrients after one has gone through and finished with radiation or chemotherapy, it is imperative that you focus on prevention through diet and nutrition as best as you can with some of the best and top cancer fighting foods and nutrients.
Many of my patients have asked their Oncologist if they should focus on anything specific in their diet or nutritional regimen to aid in cancer prevention as well as "what are my best cancer fighting foods and nutrients?" The majority of the responses they got was “just eat what you want and enjoy life”. Does that sound familiar? I believe this is one of the worst things a cancer survivors can or should ever hear! Nutrition has been found time and time again to play a huge role in cancer prevention, recovery, and most importantly, a statistical reduction in recurrence rates. The problem is that most doctors aren’t trained in health and nutrition. Oncologists are trained in ways to kill off cancerous cells and tumors, which is great, but to give advice without looking at any research first is a true disservice to his or her patients. I'm so happy you're hear to learn about the best cancer fighting foods and nutrients!
My Nutritional Recommendations
With thousands of hours in nutritional training, including cancer prevention, I would like to provide you with a list of some of the top and best cancer fighting foods and nutrients. These top anticancer or cancer preventing foods and nutrients are what I have found through extensive research to help aid cancer survivors with their recovery while also reducing recurrence rates.
Much of this cancer fighting nutritional prevention information has to do with keeping your immune system strong and optimal by taking in enough macro- and micro-nutrients. In fact, you probably didn’t know, but even a mild deficiency in as little as just one nutrient can result in an altered immune system2 and that nutritional deficiencies are one of the most common causes for a lowered immune, and cancer fighting system3.
Good Nutrients along with Complete Proteins have been found to help aid with the following amazing cancer prevention benefits4:
- Modulating Immune Cell Function
- Supporting an Anticancer TH1 Immune Response
- Produce Antibodies and Cytokines
- T Cells
- B Cells
- NK Cells
The Biggest Problem From Radiation and Chemotherapy
The biggest problem from Radiation and Chemotherapy is that they often use free radicals to kill tumors5, which also contributes to the destruction of healthy cells6. Ultimately, this raises your bodies needs for extra antioxidants to help aid in fighting and preventing future recurrences of cancer7. Therefore, if you are wanting to repair and recover from radiation or chemotherapy, then you really need to fight this free radical damage with some of the best quality anticancer fighting foods and nutrients, especially with full spectrum antioxidants.
Best Top 10 Cancer Fighting Foods and Nutrients8:
- Vitamin A and Carotenes: Organic / Wild - Beef Liver, Lamb Liver, Cod Liver Oil, King Mackerel, Salmon, and Bluefin Tuna. Carrots, Peppers, Apricots, Spinach and Mangoes.
- Vitamin C: Acerola Cherries, Rose Hips, Chili Peppers, Broccoli, Guavas, Sweet Yello Peppers, Blackcurrants, Cauliflower, Parsley, Thyme, Kiwi, Strawberries and Papaya.
- Vitamin D: Cold-water fish and dark green leafy vegetables and mid-day sunlight (don’t burn!)
- Selenium: Brazil Nuts, Yellowfin Tuna, Turkey, Chicken, Eggs, Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Oatmeal, Spinach, Lentils, Cashews and Bananas.
- Zinc: Organic Red Meat (beef, lamb and pork), Shellfish (Oysters, Alaskan Crab, and Shrimp), Legumes (Chickpeas, Lentils, and Beans), Seeds (Hemp, Flax, Pumpkin, Sesame), Nuts (Pine, peanuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds), Eggs, Whole Grains, Ginger Root, and Dark Chocolate (see cocoa blog).
- Vitamin E: Whole Grains, Seeds and Nuts
- Calcium: Kelp, Almonds, and Watercress
- Magnesium: Wheat Bran, Brown Rice, Cashews, Peanuts, and Figs.
- Flavonoids: Colored Fruits (Cherries, Grapes, Blueberries and Strawberries)
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Fish, Shellfish, Flax Seeds and Sea Vegetables
The ultimate health goal
The ultimate goal for cancer prevention and repair, should be to eat one or more of these organic foods with every meal, on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the reality is that it can be quite challenging for many to get enough of these foods in to truly make a difference. This is where nutritional supplements come in for cancer prevention to help make things much easier, convenient and fill in any voids that you might be missing in your diet. Two of the most common foundational supplements I give to my cancer survivor patients that contains all of the above nutrients are:
However, I usually start them out first, until they restore their mitochondria levels and reduce inflammation, with a more complete nutritional regimen called "Cell Revive" and incorporate that with "BindaTox" to aid in absorbing left over toxins, heavy metals and radiation from the body.
Are Supplements Really Necessary?
I run into way too many people that believe that supplements aren’t needed and that you can get all the nutrition you need from the food you eat. The reality is yes, this is possible, but in all my research and 22 years of practicing… I have NEVER seen anyone actually be able to do this due to mass produced, processed and nutrient depleted crops. The other issue or concern is that of quality. Most nutritional supplements are of poor quality and are a true waste of money. Therefore, finding a quality brand you can trust and rely on for the best cancer fighting nutrients can be quite challenging in this day and age of mass-produced supplements and schemes. As you can see now, you need both, cancer fighting foods and nutritional supplementation if you are wanting to aid in reducing your chances of recurrence rates as a cancer survivor.
Just how important are supplements?
In a double-blind randomized trial that was in the Journal of Urology back in 1994, they compared the recurrence rates of patients with bladder cancer. What they found was that those that were given a supplement that contained the recommended RDA serving had a 91% recurrence rate within five years VS only a 41% recurrence rate for those that received a supplement above and beyond the RDA suggested levels. Mind you, all these people in this study received the exact same immunotherapy treatments9.
Ultimately, good cancer fighting nutrients from proper supplements and foods is a critical part when it comes to cancer prevention and providing you with optimal health and vitality. Check out my post on the Top Cancer Causing Foods. Also, if you review my website more, you will see that often times all this chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause so much damage that it depletes your mitochondria and increases inflammation to the point where even eating healthy won’t do any good.
So, the answer for fighting cancer, preventing cancer, reducing recurrence rates and increasing vitality is to take in a strong array of quality top cancer fighting nutrients designed to reduce inflammation and restore mitochondrial function with our customized Post Chemo product called Cell Revive. Once your inflammation is down and your mitochondria are restored, you can then focus on long term prevention. To see where you stand on mitochondrial function take our Post Chemo Health Quiz today.
1. Lipid peroxidation products, and vitamin and trace element status in patients with cancer before and after chemotherapy, including adriamycin. A preliminary study. Faber M, Coudray C, Hida H, Mousseau M, Favier A. Biol Trace Element Res. 1995; 47(1-3):117-23 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7779537
Nutritional deficiencies in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Dreizen S, McCredie KB, Keating MJ, Andersson BS. Postgrad Med. 1990; 87(1):163-7, 170. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2296564
2. Nutrition and the immune system: an introduction. Chandra RK. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Aug;66(2):460S-463S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9250133
3. Human nutrition, the gut microbiome, and immune system: envisioning the future. Joseph E. Pizzorno and Michael T. Murray, Textbook of Natural Medicine (St. Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006) Andrew L. Kau, Philip P. Ahern, Nicholas W. Griffin, Andrew L. Goodman, and Jeffrey I. Gordon Nature. 2011 Jun 15; 474(7351): 327–336. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298082/
4. [Role of free radicals in the treatment of cancer]. [Article in Japanese] , Kondo M1, Yoshikawa T. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1989 Dec;16(12):3655-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2688556
5. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health Lobo, A. Patil, A. Phatak, and N. Chandra , Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jul-Dec; 4(8): 118–126. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
6. Pentoxifylline and alpha-tocopherol in prevention of radiation-induced lung toxicity in patients with lung cancer. Misirlioglu CH, Demirkasimoglu T, Kucukplakci B, Sanri E, Altundag K. Med Oncol. 2007;24(3):308-11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17873306
Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, Part 2. Simone CB 2nd, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone CB. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):40-7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17405678
Acute adverse effects of radiation therapy and local recurrence in relation to dietary and plasma beta carotene and alpha tocopherol in head and neck cancer patients. Meyer F, Bairati I, Jobin E, Gélinas M, Fortin A, Nabid A, Têtu B. Nutr Cancer. 2007;59(1):29-35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17927499
Dietary fat, fiber, vegetable, and micronutrients are associated with overall survival in postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer.McEligot AJ, Largent J, Ziogas A, Peel D, Anton-Culver H. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):132-40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17044767
Dietary influences on survival after ovarian cancer. Nagle CM, Purdie DM, Webb PM, Green A, Harvey PW, Bain CJ. Int J Cancer2003; 106(2):264-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12800204
7. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing, 3rd Edition, (Celestial Arts, Berkeley 2010) Lise N. Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn A. Gazella, Lamm DL, Riggs DR, Shriver JS, vanGilder PF, Rach JF, DeHaven JI. Megadose vitamins in bladder cancer: a double blind clinical trial. J Urol. 1994; 151(1):21-6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8254816
The Fine Print
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. The nutritional information, suggestions, and research provided are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and should not be used as a substitute for sound medical advice. Please see your health care professional in all matters pertaining to your physical health. This article was written for educational purposes only by Dr. Dylan Foster, DC, PScD, CFMP, ONC. of www.PostChemoNutrition.com. Everyone and every situation is different. Please see your health care physician for any of your healthcare needs.