Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients

Working with Leftovers

Next time you’re cooking vegetables and are about to toss out those vegetable parts STOP they are perfectly edible, and are packed with nutrition and flavor.

Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your veggies. They’ll help you eat more of a variety of vegetables. You’ll also reduce food waste and save money.

Squash seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a fall favorite, but you can roast seeds from any winter squash, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. Squash seeds are a great source of protein.

To roast, scoop out seeds, rinse and drain. Let them dry, spread flat on a baking pan and bake at 300 F for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Roasted Squash Seeds

Beet greens

Buy beets with the greens still attached and it’s like getting two vegetables in one. Beet greens contain loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene — nutrients linked to lower cancer risk.

Separate the greens from the beets by cutting just above where the stem begins. They’re great sautéed in olive oil, with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Or combine beets and greens in one dish.

Beet Greens

Broccoli stems

No need to toss broccoli stems, they are delicious raw or added to stir-fries, stems are rich in cancer-protective vitamin C and fiber.

Use a vegetable peeler or large knife to remove the thick, tough outer layer of the broccoli stem then incorporate broccoli stems and florets into the same dish.

Broccoli stems

Broccoli leaves

Broccoli leaves look a lot like collard greens but taste sweeter. Dark green broccoli leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and sulforaphane, a phytochemical with anti-cancer properties.

Prepare these nutritional powerhouses like you would any other green. Braising is a great option The braising technique works for any green.

Broccoli leaves

Potato and sweet potato peels

Potato peels are the perfect way to add extra fiber, nutrients, and texture to any dish. You’ll get more minerals and about a third more fiber by eating the skin.

Leave the peels on when mashing potatoes, this works particularly well for red potatoes. You can also leave the peel on when baking or roasting potatoes or sweet potatoes. Be sure to scrub the vegetables well if you’re planning to eat the peel.

Potato peels

Sweet potato leaves

These leaves are tender and mild. They are also a good source of vitamins A and K, and carotenoids.

Look for sweet potato leaves at your farmer’s market or at local gardens, and try them lightly braised.

Please note that sweet potato leaves are edible, some potato leaves and stems can be poisonous. If you’re not sure; avoid them.

Sweet potato leaves

Cauliflower stems

Use the whole cauliflower, including the stem. Cut all the way through a cauliflower head from the top to stem, peel the stem with a potato peeler and add to the same dish.


Cancer Survivor……

For those fortunate enough to survive cancer, living a healthy lifestyle couldn’t be more important.

The American Cancer Society recommends exercising five or more days a week, 30 minutes per session, start with brief sessions, knowing every minute of activity will improve strength and endurance.


After Cancer treatment, normal eating patterns will gradually resume, but most important is food safety at every meal; infection can be a concern among survivors.

Eating five servings daily of fruit and vegetables should become routine. Dark green, leafy vegetables like Swiss chard, spinach, kale and beet greens are good choices, especially when prepared with garlic. In laboratory tests, the allyl sulfate in garlic has been shown to block the spread of cancer.


Fresh herbs such as rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano and basil have documented medicinal properties related to the terpines in their essential oils. Terpines appear to block inflammation by reducing the production of cox-2, the principal enzyme used by cancer cells to cause inflammation.


Whole grains such as bulgur, barley, oats and brown rice are a good source of saponins, a water and fat-soluble plant compound that acts like an antibiotic. They may help fight infection and protect a recurrence.


Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, cod and sardines are good protein sources. They have the added benefit of being rich sources of healthy, omega-3 fatty acids, which play a vital role in boosting immunity.