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CancerLynx - we prowl the net
December 13, 1999

Nutrition after Cancer Diagnosis
Diane Scott-Dorsett, RN, PhD, FAAN

The literature on nutrition in cancer research reports that several vitamins (A,C,E) and selenium and zinc stand out consistently as important to healthy cell and tissue regeneration. This knowledge is especially important in oncology because cancer treatments are largely cytotoxic (aimed at killing cancer cells), and ablate a large number of normal rapidly dividing cells as well. The theraprutic goal of good nutritional intake after cancer diagnosis is to replenish the body with new, healthy cell growth.

Vitamin supplementation is not enough and may not be the safest method in some cases. On the other hand, if we try to get all the needed nutrients through diet, some fear they will consume too many calories. The good news is that most foods rich in the important vitamins and minerals for cell and tissue renewal are also low in calories. In addition, these foods contain many of the other nutrients that aid vitamin and mineral absorption, not contained in expensive supplements.

Although knowledge of what nutrients are important to cancer recovery is essential, eating a diet with foods plentiful in those substances may be a different story. Therefore, goo-tasting recipes using readily available foods abundant in vitamins A, C, and E and selenium and zinc are key links to attaining the goal.

This compendium is designed to provide a list of the most potent foods rich in these important nutrients, and provides a cross-tabulation of foods rich in two or more of those building blocks. Further, the recipes are easy to prepare and so delicious that you will find yourself making them over and over again for you and your family.

Best Source Foods
* Apricots * Broccoli * Broccoli Rabe Greens
* Collard Greens * Mustard Greens * Beet Greens
* Chard * Kale * Bok Choy
* Cantaloupe * Mango * Peaches
(especially dried)
*Spinach * Carrots * Sweet Potato
(not yam; be careful and buy the paler yellow tuber)
* Red Bell Pepper * Brussel Sprouts * Peas
* Tomato * Romaine Lettuce * Parsley
* Crabmeat * Cold Cereals
like Product 19 and Total (check the labels)
Ripe Watermelon Winter Squash (acorn etc.) Canned Pumpkin
Yellow Corn *Foods high in both Vitamins A and C

Best Source Foods
Broccoli Brussel Sprouts Cabbage
Cantaloupe Cauliflower Collard Greens
Mustard Greens Turnip Greens Beet Greens
Bok Choy Grapefruit Mango
Orange Papaya Pineapple
Spinach Strawberries Apricots
Asparagus Honeydew Melon Sweet Potato
Tomato Turnip Romaine Lettuce
Raspberries Blackberries Blueberries
Sour Cherries Tangerine Wax Beans
Green Beans Apricots Artichoke
Rhubarb Beets Carrots
Dried Peaches Peas  

Not many food sources the following require supplementation
Wheat Germ Whole Grain Breads Avocado

Best Source Foods
Asparagus Garlic Beef
Mushrooms Seafood  

Best Source Foods
Beef Crabmeat Oysters
Lamb Pork Turkey
Brown Rice Salmon Spinach
Yogurt Beans Rye Bread
Whole Wheat Bread Chicken Clams
Lentils Lima Beans Lobster
Oatmeal Milk Peas
Baked Potato    

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