Sep 18, 2017 10:00 AM

person chopping vegetables

Updated October 2018

Eating healthy food is an important part of staying healthy and reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, eating healthy may increase your responsiveness to treatment, reduce complications, and improve your quality of life.

Fruits and veggies are naturally lower in calories than many other foods, and they have fiber and water to help you feel full. These foods also have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, like phytochemicals, that help protect healthy cells and repair damaged cells.

Here are some ideas for adding more fruits and veggies to your day:


  • Add fresh fruit to cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt for breakfast.
  • Make a veggie omelet or scramble.


  • Order a side salad or fresh fruit instead of fries.
  • Add extra tomatoes, onions, and lettuce to tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and wraps.
  • Turn salads into main dishes by adding lean protein such as poultry, fish, or beans.
  • Add a side of hearty bean soup or chili to your lunch.


  • Add frozen vegetables to soup.
  • Top a baked potato with steamed broccoli.
  • Add frozen mixed vegetables to pasta sauces, casseroles, or rice dishes.
  • Make a stir-fry with a variety of veggies.
  • Make kabobs with lean meat and lots of vegetables.
  • Use spaghetti squash or spiral-cut zucchini instead of pasta.
  • End your meal with fresh fruit instead of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.


  • Keep frozen fruit on hand to make smoothies.
  • Pair nuts or cheese with dried fruit as a snack.
  • Dip celery, apples, or bananas in peanut butter.

The next time you head to the grocery store, keep these ideas in mind to stock up on cancer-fighting foods and help maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Learn more about personalized nutrition counseling for patients at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

For more information, live chat with a health educator or contact the Cancer Learning Center.

cancer prevention nutrition recipe

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