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Nutrition is an important part of life, cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention. Food is one of the few things you can be in control of during your treatment. The oncology certified registered dietitians at the Stanford Cancer Center are here to help you make informed choices about nutrition, answer your nutrition-related questions, and help you to achieve and maintain good health.
The "5 a Day for Better Health" Program, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), is an easy way to remember how many servings of fruits and vegetables to eat every day. Any fruit or vegetable: frozen, fresh, canned, dried fruit, or juice counts toward a serving. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid section for recommended serving sizes of fruits and vegetables.
Eating five to nine servings a day of plant foods may reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in certain fruits and vegetables are showing promising results towards preventing free radicals or cancer-causing agents from damaging cells.
How to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:
Ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet include the following:
Drinking fruit or vegetable juice, or eating fruit cocktail with breakfast.
Having a fruit salad, a piece of fruit, or baby carrots instead of potato chips with a sandwich.
Having vegetable soup or a garden salad with low-fat dressing as an appetizer.
Stocking up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Setting fruits and vegetables in bowls in the kitchen, making them more visible.
Having microwaved vegetables with dinner.
Taking pre-washed cut snacks of fruit and vegetables with you to work or shopping.
At your next visit to the grocery store, reach for apples and carrots for snacks instead of cookies and chips. For more convenience, choose pre-cut or individually packaged fruits and vegetables such as raw "baby" carrots, fruit cups, small boxes of raisins, or bagged salads.
Broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables. This vegetable family contains powerful phytochemicals, including carotenoids, indoles and glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have been studied and shown to slow the growth of many cancers.