Most cancer survivors have heard the importance of following a plant-based diet and limiting their intake of red and processed meats. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, “plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans contain a variety of cancer fighters including vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals.” Typically, the more plants you eat, the less processed and unhealthy food you eat.

Lauren Talbert, RD, CSO, LDN, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition and registered dietitian with the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital, offers a few simple tips to eating more plants:

  • Start your day with fruit. Add berries to whole grain cereal or try a fruit smoothie.

  • Add sautéed spinach, peppers and onions to scrambled eggs.

  • Pump up the veggies at lunch. Try roasted red peppers, caramelized onions or sliced cucumbers in your sandwich. Swap vegetables and dip for chips. If you really crave that salty crunch, try snap crisps made from peas. They are rich in fiber and protein and taste great.

  • Add fruit and or nuts to your salad to jazz it up. Try berries, apples, peaches or even watermelon on your greens. A few teaspoons of crushed nuts can go a long way and give a good savory crunch.

  • Make a wrap with hummus and tabbouleh instead of lunch meat.

  • If you need a 3 p.m. snack, try whole grain crackers or whole grain bread with nut butter. The fiber, protein, and healthy fat combination will hold you over until dinner.

  • Replace meat with vegetables at dinner. Grill a portabella mushroom instead of hamburger.

  • Replace meat in recipes with beans.

  • Make banana ice cream by slicing and freezing a ripe banana. Blend it with a little bit of milk. Add a nut butter or cocoa to really make things exciting!

“Once you start shifting towards a plant-based diet, you will feel better and your body gains in fighting cancer. Only you can control what you eat!” Talbert says.ext.

Learn More

Nutrition guidance for cancer patients and survivors is available through The Program in Women’s Oncology by calling (401) 453-7540.