Fighting Cancer with Food – by David Haas

We received a wonderful article from David Haas of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Good nutrition is important for everyone, but even more so when your body is recovering or battling a serious illness.  Thank you David for sharing this great information.

(always check with your doctor if you have limitations or concerns with your dietary needs or interference with medications you are taking)


Fighting Cancer with Food


Good nutrition during cancer treatments not only helps you feel better but can also aid your body fighting off infection and getting stronger. While food cannot necessarily heal cancer, it certainly allows the body to function better and more comfortably.


Chemotherapy Can Cause Anemia, Bruising and Bleeding

Unpleasant side effects, such as anemia, which is due to insufficient iron levels in the blood, or bruising and bleeding, are commonly experienced during chemotherapy. These conditions are caused by a low platelet count in the blood. Your diet can help to reduce and possibly eliminate some of these side effects.

Be sure that your diet is rich in iron. Iron is found in many foods, including red meat, liver, eggs and fish. Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collard greens and mustard greens, are another excellent source of iron.

• Whole grain products, including breads, cereals, pastas and rice, are often fortified with added iron. Look on the label to be sure that the particular food contains at least 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron.

• Eat more pineapple. Pineapple contains a natural enzyme called bromelain, which can actually help to dissolve blot clots and cause bruises to fade.

• Calcium prevents iron absorption in the body. Therefore, do not take an iron supplement when eating foods rich in calcium. Likewise, do not take a calcium supplement when eating iron-rich foods.


Radiation May Cause Mouth Soreness or Ulcers

Radiation is designed to attack and destroy rapidly growing cancer cells. The downside is that it can also destroy healthy cells, causing damage and pain in the mouth.

• Avoid spicy and acidic foods. Foods with a higher acid content, such as vinegar, citrus fruits and sugary foods should be limited as they can irritate the inside of the mouth.

• Stay away from extremely crunchy foods or those with sharp edges, such as chips, crackers and pretzels. Eat softer foods or those that can be broken into smaller pieces.

• Consume plenty of liquids, but try using a straw, as this may keep the liquids away from any sores in your mouth.


Chemotherapy Often Causes Vomiting

Various cancer treatments, chemotherapy in particular, dehydrates the body, which can lead to frequent vomiting.

• It is important to stay well hydrated with nourishing beverages, such as water, milk, juice and broth.

• Eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of consuming three large ones. Think in terms of smaller breakfasts, lunches and dinners with snacks in between.

• Take time to thoroughly chew your food, thus beginning the process of digestion in your mouth and reducing the overall load placed on the stomach.

• Sit upright in a chair while eating. Reclining while eating or lying down soon after a meal may cause indigestion or heartburn by allowing some of the gastric juices from the stomach to leak up into the esophagus. This is not only uncomfortable but can also induce painful vomiting, due to the high acid content.

• Refrain from any strenuous activity for at least an hour after a meal. This will allow the stomach to fully digest your meals, lessening the likelihood of vomiting.

• Avoid potent smells. Anything that makes you feel nauseated, such as an unpleasant smell, can trigger vomiting. Try to notice and avoid your triggers.

The foods that you eat and do not eat can greatly aid in abating the side effects of cancer treatment. Try keeping a journal of what foods help or hinder your comfort in your battle against cancer. Inform family members as well so they can be mindful when preparing meals for you.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance


Cooking Food: PART 4 – by Chef Bill

Search for the proper cooking temperatures on the FDA’s Food Safety Web site, 24 hours a day at

hamburger-thermometerThese temperatures must be reached and held for a specified amount of time.  Use properly calibrated thermometers to measure the internal temperature of food.  Measure internal temperatures in the thickest part of food and take at least two readings in different locations.  If the food is too thin then stack them on top of each other and check temperature.  This method works well with hamburgers and chicken breast.
Keep your thermometer clean and sanitized.

You should clean and sanitize after each use.  I like to use alcohol wipes because it is quick and easy.   You can purchase several different  brands of  sanitizer or make your own by using one gallon of room temperature water and one cap full of bleach.  Use a separate bucket for sanitizers with a clean towel in it.  After you clean your  counter and equipment dry it with a clean cloth then wipe it down with the sanitizer and let it air dry.  Do not dry it again with a cloth.

Note:  When you cook your food to the proper temperature not only is it safe but moist.  Never over cook your  food again.  I like to check my food temperatures early and often.

Here’s to your healthy kitchen!

Chef Bill

Food Preparation: PART 3 – by Chef Bill

Preparing Foods Safely

foodprepFollow these guide lines when preparing food.  Always use clean and sanitized work areas, cutting boards, knives, and utensils.  Take out of storage only as much product as you can prepare at one time.  Uncooked eggs that are out of the shell should be cooked promptly.  You can store eggs out of the shell in the refrigerator at 41 degrees F or lower for no more than two hours.
Make sure fruits and vegetables do not come into contact with surfaces that have been exposed to raw meat and poultry.  Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before cutting or combining with other ingredients. This includes melons, oranges, etc. that you may be cutting through but not eating.   Bacteria can be pushed into an unwashed fruit or vegetable when being cut with your knife.
Store your canned tuna fish in the refrigerator so when you make your tuna salad it will be at 41 degree F or lower.  Warm tuna will raise the temperature.  Use cold eggs for egg salad.   Use cold chicken for chicken salad.  Use cold ham for ham salad.  It will help keep your protein salads at the proper temperature.
Handling food safely prior to cooking is very important.
While cooking food to the required minimum internal temperature is the only way to kill micro-organisms it does not destroy spores or toxins that micro-organisms create.  Safe handling of the food before it is cooked is essential to preventing micro-organisms from growing and producing  spores and toxins.  The minimum internal temperature at which micro-organisms are destroyed varies depending upon the food.  Minimum internal cooking standards have been developed for most food and will be listed in our next article.

Here’s to your healthy kitchen!

Chef Bill