Nutritious Food: A Silver Bullet in the Battle Against Cancer?

Wondering what role nutrition can play in reducing your risk of cancer, or helping those who are battling the disease get a leg up on returning to full health?

That’s why I recently attended a two-day workshop at The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts: Culinary Translation in Cancer Care. The classes offered instruction in delicious, whole-foods recipe preparation and research-based nutrition information, all delivered by trained nutrition counselors and chefs.

 Karen Collins, Chef Laura Pole, Elspeth Feldman and Chef Ruth Fehr

Karen Collins, Chef Laura Pole, Elspeth Feldman and Chef Ruth Fehr

While the group stressed that the science of what we know about the intersection of food and cancer is still evolving, there are indeed areas where the data is consistent. Some cancers are clearly related to nutrition and some diets increase our risk of getting cancer.  Even more compelling, the science is very clear that we all need to increase our consumption of a whole food plant-based food. 

So, takeaway number one is EAT MORE FRESH FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS and SEEDS! What’s more, the food also needs to be nourishing as well as nutrient rich in order to help with healing.  Healthy food can be delicious and two of the seminar leaders, Chef Laura and Chef Ruth, shared many delicious, nutritious recipes that can be put together fast.

Hey that’s my kind of thing.

 As Chef Laura Pole stated: "Simply giving a person a list of foods that they must eat is only part of the equation. She went on to say, "If you keep in mind that only 25% of Americans even know how to cook these days, we really have to help them translate the prescription to the plate." She also emphasized that food needs to be "enjoyable and pleasurable, delicious, and a coming together of community in order to heal."

 Karen Collins, Nutrition Advisor to the American Institute of Cancer Research made the point that "the evidence is good that we really should be paying attention to the way we take care of ourselves because it does make a difference in your cancer risk, your risk of getting cancer and your survival after cancer.” She emphasized that there may be “many paths to that diet when you focus on eating more of a variety of healthful plant foods that all have positive things to contribute to your health and to make that the focus of your eating."

The Speedy Vegan is all about "Nutritious, Delicious, Fresh and Fast" so if you want to learn how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into you life, we’re here to show you how.