Last month I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 American Institute for Cancer Research Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer. Here are a few important conclusions from the sessions:
As one of three fruits native to North America, cranberries have been around for centuries, but have only gained traction for their health benefits in the past few decades.1 These small red berries are packed with vitamins C and E, fiber, and manganese, as well as a host of phytochemicals—compounds naturally found in plants with health protective properties (e.g., antioxidants).1-8 Of greatest significance for cranberries is the flavonoid group, including anthocynanidins (responsible for the rich, red color of cranberries), flavonols, and proanthocyanidins (PACs), and phenolic acids—mainly benzoic, hydroxycinnamic, and urosilic acids. 1,3-8
Fasting is traditionally a religious practice utilized to establish self-control and purification. Scientists find that fasting may prove useful for certain medical conditions as well. Dr. Valter Longo and colleagues observed that fasting on chemotherapy days increased the ability of the drugs to target the cancer cells, making the drug more effective and decreasing the side effects to “healthy” cells. While these results are promising, the practice of fasting during chemotherapy should only be used in very specific circumstances until further research is available. (more…)
As we conclude National Family Caregivers Month, what better way to head into the holiday season than with some strategies to help caregivers achieve more optimal nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role in a caregiver’s life, not only to reduce the risk chronic disease, but to maintain optimal health, well-being, and strength to support and care for a loved one. (more…)
Palliative and hospice care serve a critical role in the progression of life-threatening diseases, yet they’re often overlooked and not used to full advantage. In light of November being National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we wanted to spend a few minutes highlighting this important form of care, particularly as it relates to cancer.
November marks American Diabetes Month, a movement spearheaded by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to raise awareness of the issues surrounding diabetes and the millions affected by it.1 With an estimated 26 million Americans currently diagnosed with diabetes, another 79 million with prediabetes (at risk for type 2 diabetes), and a total national cost of diagnosed diabetes of $245 billion, this is undoubtedly a disease that warrants significant time and attention.1
Meals to Heal is an amazing resource for those who are not well enough to cook on their own but still deserve healthy, nourishing meals. Thanksgiving is the one time of year when even those who can’t even scramble an egg throw their aprons on, and it can be hard to think about celebrating that special day without least one homemade dish. At Cook For Your LIFE we believe that nourishing food eaten with family is healing in more ways than one, and that cooking good, healthy food does not have to be a daunting task. Whether you’re currently in treatment for cancer or are a caregiver or a friend who wants to help with limited time, here are some tips for making it a little easier to have your turkey and eat it, too. (more…)
Of all forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer is perhaps the most daunting from a patient and medical care provider perspective. Its symptoms are vague,1 there are no early detection methods,1 and it is the most lethal form of cancer with a five-year relative survival rate of six percent.2
This month we had the opportunity to interview Cara Anselmo, MS, RDN, CDN from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to get her perspective on the benefits of nutrition counseling for cancer patients. The highlight of this interview is to share a professional perspective on the importance of early and ongoing nutritional intervention. We at Meals to Heal equally recognize the benefits of nutritional counseling for the cancer patient throughout cancer treatment and beyond. As a result we have launched a nutritional coaching service that will provide easy, affordable access to oncology certified registered dietitians. You can find more information about our nutrition coaching program by clicking here.