HealthONE - February 24, 2022
fruits, vegatables and fish

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Celebrate a World of Flavors”. As we think about nutrition during cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship we will keep this important theme in mind.

Celebrate a World of Flavors

Nutrition for cancer prevention and survivorship:

Foods high in antioxidants: What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are molecules in certain foods that protect our cells from damage. It is important to note that taking high doses of any of these antioxidants in supplement form can be harmful to your health.

Vitamin C – Fruit: Camu camu, kiwifruit, strawberries, orange, papaya, guava, lemons, lychees,

Vegetables: Peas, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnip greens (or other leafy greens), potatoes, peppers, tomatoes

Vitamin E – Wheat germ oil, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils. Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter.

Fruit: Mamey sapote, avocado, mango, kiwifruit, blackberries, black currants, cranberries

Vegetables: Beet greens, collard greens, spinach, red bell pepper

Selenium – Brazil nuts, halibut, shrimp, salmon, crab, lentils

Fruit: Plantains, bananas

Vegetable: Brussel sprouts, shelled soy beans, spinach, asparagus

Carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.)

Fruit: Cantaloupe, mangoes, papaya

Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and pumpkin

Lean protein: Beans, peas, lentils, skinless chicken or turkey, fish such as cod, halibut, tilapia, tofu, lean beef such as “loin or round” cuts.  

Whole grains: couscous, barley, quinoa, whole wheat pasta or rice


Indian Lentil Stew:


  • 1 tablespoon oil, butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed under cold water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Step 1:
Heat oil or butter in soup pot. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent for 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 2:
Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute.

Step 3:
Add turmeric, cumin and chili powder and sauté for 1 minute.

Step 4:
Add stock, lentils, tomatoes, and garam masala. Bring to boil, decrease and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Step 5:
Ladle into bowls. Top with cilantro. Serve with rolls. 

View the recipe on What’s for Dinner

Nutrition during cancer treatment: It is important to remember that during cancer treatment your calorie and protein needs will increase drastically. Eating a well-balanced diet remains important, but focusing on increasing both calories and protein is imperative.

Increasing protein in your diet:

16G Protein, 19G Protein, 4G Protein, 19G Protein, 17G Protein, 12G Protein
  • 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish 7 grams
  • 1 egg 7 grams
  • 1/2 cup of lentils, dried beans, peas 6 grams
  • 1 cup milk (whole,2%,1%,skim) 8 grams
  • 1 ounce cheese 7 grams
  • 1 cup yogurt 8 grams
  • 1 slice of bread 2 grams
  • 1/2 cup of pasta or rice 2 grams
  • Protein supplements/smoothies

Increasing calories in your diet (adding these foods to meals or snacks can help increase calorie consumption):

  • Nuts or nut butters
  • Granola or granola bars
  • Cheese or cream cheese
  • Dried fruit
  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • High protein milk
  • Ice cream
  • Butter or margarine
  • Whipped cream or heavy cream

Snack ideas:Choose healthier snacks that include foods from different food groups, such as:

  • Fruit chutney eaten with bread or cheese.
  • Raw veggies with hummus or tzatziki, which is a creamy yogurt-based dressing made with cucumbers, garlic, and dill.
  • Baba ganouj, a mixture made of roasted eggplant and tahini, which is a sesame seed paste, served with whole wheat pita bread.
  • Or, for a crunchier snack whole grain tortilla chips with guacamole or a salsa made with veggies or fruit. 
Apple Slices + Nut Butter 200kcal, Homemade Trail Mix 300kcal, Dark Chocolate + Berries 150kcal, Grapes + Cheese 200kcal, Veggies+Hummus 150kcal, Tomatoes+Feta 100kcal

Physical activity: 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity is recommended during cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship

For more information about nutrition and cancer treatment and survivorship, visit our HealthONE cancer survivorship website.