Maintaining a diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants plays a vital role in preventing cancer.
Antioxidants and phytochemicals are nutrients found in certain foods that protect cells from free radical damage—a form of cell damage that can lead to cancer. Fortunately, phytochemicals and antioxidants can be found in most plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.
Therefore, it is important to get the recommended 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Be sure to incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in foods such as tuna and walnuts, and whole grains into your diet as well.
Avoid foods that are high in fat, such as processed meats, to help maintain a healthy weight and cholesterol level, as excess body fat and high cholesterol are both risk factors for developing cancer.
Many studies have shown that long-term lifestyle modifications, such maintaining a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet and exercising, help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, as well as promote higher energy levels and overall well-being.
Along with the latest advancements in medical therapies, Cone Health Cancer Center incorporates nutritional counseling into their patients’ treatment plans to encourage healthy lifestyles and keep them on the journey through survivorship.
Heather Williams is a registered dietician at Cone Health. She teaches the breast cancer nutrition and the Finding Your New Normal classes at Cone Health Cancer Center. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition in 2010 and a Master of Science in Nutrition in 2012 from Appalachian State University. She completed a Post Baccalaureate Dietetic Internship at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.