Healthy Foods to Eat

Healthy Foods to Eat During Breast Cancer Treatment

Many studies suggest there are cancer-fighting foods, but until there is conclusive evidence, dietitians at MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando remind cancer patients that fruits and vegetables have long been proven to be two of the healthiest choices at the dinner table.  Researchers have not yet discovered the ultimate “power food” for preventing cancer, but the old saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” may not be far from the truth.

Tejal Parekh, an Orlando Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health dietitian, recommends eating four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables a day. Plant food is full of non-nutrients called phytochemicals that protect the human body from illness and can help cancer patients going through chemotherapy and radiation.  It may seem like a lot fruit and veggies to eat in one day, but the serving size is smaller than you might expect.  For example, one banana equals two servings.  Ten grapes equal another serving.  Plus, there are creative ways you can incorporate fruit and vegetables into your diet.  A couple of easy ways to get your recommended daily servings of veggies is to add some of the following to your meal:  ½ cup of sweet potatoes, 2 small stalks of broccoli with cheese sauce, or ½ cup of cooked tomatoes.

It is incredibly important for cancer patients to maintain their body weight during chemotherapy treatments. It’s a difficult task for some, considering chemotherapy can literally leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Parekh suggests patients drink high-protein fruit milkshakes to keep up their strength.  Here are several tasty, easy to make milkshakes Parekh proposes for cancer patients:

Orange Julius

  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • ½ cup of vanilla ice cream
  • ¼ cup of pasteurized liquid egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • (303 calories, 12 grams of protein, 11.5 grams of fat)

Pineapple Soda
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup pear nectar
  • (319 calories, 7 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat)

Apricot Raspberry Shake
  • ½ cup apricot nectar
  • 4 apricot halves
  • ½ cup raspberry sherbet
  • (266 calories, 2.3 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fat)

Cranberry Lemon Shake
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • ½ cup lemon sherbet
  • ½ banana
  • (259 calories, 1.7 grams of protein, 2.3 grams of fat)

Sunshine Sipper
  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup lime sherbet
  • (245 calories, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat)

Banana Grape Shake
  • 1/3 cup grape juice
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup lemon sherbet
  • (287 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat) 

Hawaiian Float
  • 2 tablespoons orange-pineapple juice concentrate (undiluted)
  • ¼ package vanilla instant breakfast (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ½ cup evaporated whole milk
  • ¼ lime sherbet
  • (285 calories, 11 grams of protein, 10.5 grams of fat)