Mesothelioma Center – Vital Services for Cancer Patients & Families

Thanksgiving Super Foods to Fight Cancer: Feast for the Fight

With the holidays approaching, food becomes the center of our attention as families gather and parties begin.

If you are undergoing treatment for mesothelioma and your appetite is poor, the thought of eating at all may not be appealing. It is important though to stay as nourished as possible, as this allows you to stay strong and fight cancer.

Similarly, if you have been treated for mesothelioma but your appetite is normal, you may be wondering how holiday foods fit into your healthy eating plan.

The great news is much of what is in season right now is certainly worth adding to our plates. The key is to avoid processed foods, if possible, as they usually contain high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, preservatives and other unknown chemicals that our body does not need.

Making dishes ourselves though can seem like a daunting task.

Luckily, there are some very simple super food recipes to make from scratch that won’t take up too much time or energy.

Cranberries

These small red berries have been well researched and are an extremely rich source of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that help fight disease.

Cranberries have cancer-fighting properties because of these nutrients. Fresh cranberries are available September through November.

If you’d like to use them any other time of year, look for the frozen varieties that are just as healthy and don’t contain added sugars you may find in canned cranberries.

Try this cranberry apple chutney to complement your Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberry Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

Directions:

Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Recipe courtesy of Oceanspray.com.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are considered nutrient powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and those all-important phytochemicals.

It is also one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy almost year-round.

They contain phytochemicals called carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene, which gives the vegetable its deep-orange hue. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B1 (thiamin).

Sweet potatoes can be oven roasted, steamed, boiled or fried for a variety of textures and flavors. Incorporate this immune-boosting food into your diet at least once a week, if possible, and keep the skin on for an extra boost of nutrition.

This simple recipe uses cinnamon — a wonderful spice that is immune boosting like all other spices.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon

Ingredients:

Directions:

Serves four.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are part of a larger family known as cruciferous vegetables. Cauliflower, turnips, kale and collard greens are a few examples of others in the group.

In addition to containing carotenoids, cruciferous veggies such as Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates. These are broken down during chewing and digestion to release indoles and isothiocyanates — two compounds with anti-cancer properties.

Brussels sprouts are packed full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. These little green gems are also low in calories, meaning unlike the pumpkin pie, you can eat a little extra and not feel guilty!

This recipe taken from the American Institute for Cancer Research is a fresh and colorful slaw that can provide a bright addition to an otherwise rich and heavy table of foods.

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Cranberries and Walnuts

Ingredients:

Directions:

Serves 8 (4 cups).

Notes:

Article Sources

  1. Weh, K. et al. (2016, September). Cranberries and Cancer: An Update of Preclinical Studies Evaluating the Cancer Inhibitory Potential of Cranberry and Cranberry Derived Constituents. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039576/
  2. Food Network. (n.d.). Roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon. Retrieved from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-butter-recipe-1946538
  3. National Cancer Institute. (2012, June 7). Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet
  4. American Institute for Cancer Research. (2014, April 15). Brussels Sprout Slaw with Cranberries and Walnuts. Retrieved from http://www.aicr.org/health-e-recipes/2014/brussels-sprouts-slaw.html
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