As a 17-year cancer survivor (this month!) and certified health coach, I am often asked which foods are best to heal one’s body after cancer. This always brings me back to when I completed treatment for ovarian cancer and asked my oncologist that very same question. He pretty much told me to go back to the way I was eating prior to my diagnosis. He said that changing my diet wouldn’t have much impact on me healing from cancer or preventing a recurrence.
Somehow my intuition told me differently and besides longing to have some sense of control over my body and health, I wanted to gain my energy back so that I could keep up with my two-year old son. Plus, I was willing to do anything in my power to ensure that I would never have to go through treatment again.
All these years later, I feel better than ever and it has become my mission to help other’s feel the same.
What foods do I make an integral part of my diet?
After researching which foods have healing effects on the body, I came to understand that an anti-inflammatory diet (1) is crucial as cancer is an inflammatory disease. (2,3)
Here are some pointers:
· Eat whole, fresh unprocessed foods (avoid packaged food)
· Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies (6-10 servings a day)
· Incorporate healthy fats, emphasizing omega-3 fats found in wild salmon, cod and sardines.
· More healthy fats-walnuts, almonds, avocados, olives, flax seeds, chia seeds
· Emphasize a plant-based diet
· If choose to eat meat look for grass-fed (more omega 3-s) as opposed to grain-fed
· Eat plenty of fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans
Start by enjoying this easy anti-inflammatory recipe!
Black Bean and Avocado Salad:
· 1 can black beans* (Eden Organic without BPA lining)
· 1 avocado* diced
· 1 medium tomato* chopped
· ½ small red onion* diced
· ¾ bunch cilantro* finely chopped
· 1 clove garlic* minced
· ½ large lime
· 1 ½ tsp. cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
· Sea salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, add the beans, avocado and chopped tomato. Add garlic, onion and cilantro to bowl. In a separate bowl mix together, juice of lime, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour on top of salad and toss gently.
* Cancer protective properties:
· Black beans- contain folate, fiber & magnesium
· Avocados-high in oleic acid (anti-inflammatory benefits)
· Tomato-lycopene (protective anti-oxidant)
· Onions and garlic-quercitin (protective anti-oxidant)
· Cilantro-beneficial phytonutrients, detoxifying herb
Hayley Dubin is a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and founder of reVIVE wellness. She works with individuals who have completed treatment for cancer and have fear around recurrence. She teaches her clients how to nourish their body, mind and soul so that they can feel confident in remaining healthy and cancer-free!
For more information and to get her “7 Top Tips For A Cancer Fighting Immune System”, please visit www.revivewellness.com.