Fruit Choices for those with Cancer
During treatment for cancer, and recovering afterwards, food choices are very important.
Cancer treatments cause side effects, and sometimes these can be affected by what we eat. However, in my layman’s opinion I don’t believe that cancer can be avoided by eating fruit.
At home we had a huge kitchen garden. Every fruit or vegetable we ate would have been home-grown, organic, fresh etc. I ate a huge amount, as I loved all – except for marrows and leeks! But this healthy eating didn’t stop me from getting cancer.
What fruit can do is help you live healthily, which has to be good. Also, I am sure it gave me good skin which helped me recover and look better than expected!
Sometimes eating habits can help with treating
- If you suffer from
- changes in appetite
- painful swallowing
- dry mouth
- mouth sores
Eating sensibly, and including fruit in your diet, helps supply your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But you will have to find out by trial and error what helps you e.g. I learnt to avoid citrus fruits when I had mouth ulcers (ouch!) but a juicy nectarine was bliss with a dry mouth! So it’s important to tailor your fruit choices to your specific symptoms. And what your body tells you it needs.
- After major surgery I needed potassium; instead of horrible pills, the hospital chef supplied banana milkshakes, and I lived happily on these for a fortnight.
- Puréed fruits or fruit smoothies are a good option if you have difficulty swallowing, while fruits rich in fibre help deal with constipation.
- You may also want to avoid certain fruits based on your symptoms. For example, citrus fruits can irritate mouth sores.
are not only one of the most popular fruits but also one of the most nutritious. Each serving is rich in fibre, potassium, and vitamin C — all of which can benefit cancer recovery. They can promote regularity and keep things moving through your digestive tract.
Potassium affects your fluid balance and can help prevent fluid retention, a common side effect of some types of chemotherapy .
Lastly, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to support immune function and fight cancer cell growth.
Bananas can be a great dietary addition for those recovering from cancer. They’re not only easy to tolerate for those with swallowing difficulties, but also a good source of many important nutrients, including vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C .
Additionally, bananas contain a type of fibre called pectin, which can be especially beneficial for those experiencing diarrhea caused by cancer treatments . And because bananas are rich in potassium, they can also help replenish electrolytes lost through diarrhea or vomiting.
Furthermore, test-tube studies have observed that pectin may help protect against the growth and development of colon cancer cells . That said, more research is needed to determine whether the pectin found in bananas could slow cancer cell growth in humans.
This popular fruit is high in vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin K. Blackberries also contain an array of antioxidants, including ellagic acid, gallic acid, and chlorogenic acid.
Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse, containing fibre, vitamin C, and manganese. They’re rich in antioxidants and have been well studied for their cancer-fighting effects .
It has been suggested that Blueberries may also help alleviate chemo brain; one small study found that drinking blueberry juice daily for 12 weeks improved memory and learning in older adults.
These small fruits are a good source of antioxidants such as beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which have health benefits.
In addition to providing a hearty dose of vitamin C, provitamin A, and potassium, it’s rich in beneficial compounds like lycopene, a carotenoid with potent anticancer properties. Some research suggests that it may reduce certain negative side effects of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.
However, grapefruit might interfere with certain medications, so it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet.
They’re especially high in vitamin C, but also contain some potassium, iron, and vitamin B6.
Test-tube studies have found that lemon extract may help prevent the growth of several types of cancer cells.
Oranges are a common type of citrus fruit, with a sweet taste. Just one medium orange can meet and exceed your daily needs for vitamin C, all the while supplying other important nutrients like thiamine, folate, and potassium.
Vitamin C plays a key role in immunity and can help strengthen your immune system during and after cancer treatment. Vitamin C from oranges can also boost the absorption of iron from foods. This helps protect against aneamia, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
However, this hero fruit loses a lot of its benefits if you juice it – it’s best to eat whole.
Like other fruits, they’re high in vitamin C and fibre but also pack plenty of vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Some research has found that eating pomegranates may improve your memory, which could help those affected by impairments in focus or concentration caused by chemotherapy.
Pears have fibre, copper, vitamin C, and vitamin K in each serving. Copper, in particular, plays a central role in immune function and reduces your body’s susceptibility to infection, which can be beneficial during cancer treatment.
Anthocyanins, a type of plant pigment found in pears, have also been linked to decreased cancer growth and tumor formation in test-tube studies.
are rich in vitamin C, folate, manganese, and potassium, along with antioxidant compounds like pelargonidin.
Ripe strawberries are soft, making them suitable for those with mild swallowing difficulties.