Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients

Cancer and wound Healing

Wound Healing

There are several factors that influence wound healing, and it can be especially difficult for patients on chemo therapy.

Factors that can influence wound healing may include:

Age. The older you are slower the healing process, exercise can help improve the healing process for older adults, the female hormone estrogen helps with healing, so women tend to heal better. Diabetes can slow the healing process, use of certain medications like steroids and chemotherapy, radiation, use of alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition and being overweight can all slow down the healing process.

Good Nutrition can help with the Healing process

Nutrition is important for healing for those surgical wounds or pressure ulcers. There are some key nutrients involved in this process, paying attention to them will reduce you hospital stay and help with wound healing.


Protein helps to build healthy tissue as the wound heals. The amount you need depends on your body weight, a Dietitian will be able to give you the grams of protein you will need for healing. Track your intake by keep a good food log, to do this you will have to read the food label to figure out the amount of protein in a particular food.

Some good protein sources are, all kinds of meats, eggs, dairy and dairy products, beans, tofu etc.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, it can be obtained from fruits and vegetables and low Vitamin C is a rare thing. This vitamin plays a big role in wound healing. High doses of this Vitamin are not recommended, start this vitamin supplementation only if recommend by your doctor. Dietary source should be your first go to.

Vitamin C


This Mineral deficiency can happen to people with celiac disease, Crohn’s, short bowel syndrome and sickle cell diseases, some vegetarian and alcoholics as well. Zinc can be lost during processing of grains, look for whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals, red meats, beans, peas and Lentils are some other good sources. Zinc supplementation should be started in consultation with your Dietitian and should not be taken for more than 3 months.





Desirable Desserts

No celebration and family gatherings are ever complete without dessert. When planning your next party or get-together, follow this advice for some healthier and still delicious desserts.

Fruit Salad

Serve fresh fruit before the rest of the dessert The healthiest dessert around is a fresh fruit salad. Use an assortment of fruit, chopped into bite-size pieces. Create a more flavorful fruit salad by using in-season fruit and smaller pieces. Pair the fruit salad with some other whole food-based desserts, such as dates, figs, and nuts. Try making pitted dates stuffed with pecans—tastes like pecan pie!

Dates figs and nuts

These foods are all high in nutrients and fiber, so you will likely fill up faster when eating them compared to traditional desserts. After serving, wait 15 minutes before bringing out the rest of your dessert.

Buy fewer and pre-portioned higher-calories desserts If you want to offer a high-calorie dessert, such as brownies, cookies, pies, or cakes, only buy or make enough to give everyone a single (or maybe one-and-a-half) portion. Also, pre-portion the servings, so that everyone gets a piece, but is not tempted to take too large of a piece. Odds are that some people will not have their dessert, so those who really want seconds probably can have them anyway.


Also, the fresh fruit, dates, and nuts provide other dessert options for those who are still hungry for something sweet.

Out of sight, out of mind We all often tend to eat too much dessert, because it sits on the table and we pick at it for the rest of the evening. Clear the desserts from the table about 30 minutes after serving. This gives guests enough time to get dessert, but not so much time that they go back for seconds that they did not really need.

Leaving fruit and beverages (and even some cut-up vegetables) out after the 30 minutes is a great way to provide some additional snacking options for those who want to stay longer.

Veg snacks

Fruit Mostarda

At a time of year when fresh fruit isn’t plentiful this dish features a medley of frozen peaches and cherries, fresh pears and grapes, and tart pomegranate juice. Sweet and savory with an unexpected flavor, this adds fiber-packed and phytochemical-rich fruit to your cancer preventive diet. Use either fresh or frozen fruits or a mix of both.

Fruit mostarda


  •        1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen sliced peaches
  •        1 cup frozen dark cherries
  •        1 medium Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch pieces
  •        1 cup large seedless red grapes, preferably globe variety
  •        4 (2-inch x 1-inch) strips orange zest
  •        1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  •        1/3 cup dry mustard powder
  •        3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  •        1/4 cup honey
  •        1/4 cup sugar


In mixing bowl, defrost peaches and cherries. Drain liquid from bowl into measuring cup. Transfer peaches and cherries to stainless steel or other non-reactive medium saucepan. Add pear, grapes and orange zest.

To measuring cup with peach and cherry liquid, add enough pomegranate juice to make 1/2 cup liquid, reserving extra pomegranate juice for another use. Place mustard powder in small mixing bowl. Pour in juice mixture and whisk to combine with mustard. Add mustard mixture to pot with fruits. Add vinegar, honey and sugar.

Over medium-high heat, bring liquid to boil. Using wooden spoon, gently stir to combine fruits with liquid and sweeteners. Boil gently until liquid is foamy, then reduce heat and boil gently until liquid is slightly thickened and fruits are tender but not falling apart, 20 minutes. Off heat, cool mostarda in pot to room temperature.

Using large spoon, transfer mostarda to jar or bowl, preferably glass, including liquid up to level of fruit. It keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days. If desired, use remaining liquid to make red cabbage slaw or salad dressings, adding lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.

Makes 6 servings. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups. Per serving: 165 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 mg sodium.