Cancer Diet: Healthy Recipes

Cancer Diet: Fast, Easy & Healthy Meals | Cook and Learn

What should I be eating to boost my health? Sometimes it feels overwhelming to prepare a meal that’s both good for our bodies and won’t take forever to put together.

That’s why we’ve put together a series called Cook & Learn to promote how food can be medicine for our community members. This is in partnership with our friends at Diverse Health Hub.

Note: This is not a substitution for nutrition and medical advice from professional experts.

Episode 01: Healthy Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is known to be heart-healthy, in addition to bringing flavor to all recipes. In this video, nurse Melanie Villa shows us how to cook using garlic to spice up a fast, easy, and most importantly, healthful meal.

Recipe: Hidden Garlic Broccoli and Beef
  • 1-1/4 pounds flank steak, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Medical Properties of Garlic 

Has anyone ever told you to eat some garlic when you’re fighting off a cold? Well, it turns out they’re not wrong in giving you that advice after all.

Garlic contains the important substances of sulphur and quercetin that help the body in numerous and unexpected ways. It’s been shown to work as an antibiotic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antihistamine medical agent.

What do all those things mean exactly? They translate to fighting a variety of ailments like the common cold, fungal infections, allergies, and cancer among other things.

Episode 02: Healthy Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

What are the hidden health benefits of Brussels sprouts? Watch our latest video featuring Melanie Villa, who shows how you can cook a quick, easy, and healthful lemon parmesan Brussels sprouts recipe!

Recipe for Lemon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  • 1. Preheat oven to 400
  • 2. Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil & sprinkle salt and pepper
  • 3. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet
  • 4. Place cut side facing down Bake for 30 minutes
  • 5. Toss half way through
  • 6. Serve warm spritzed with more lemon juice and top with Parmesan cheese
Medical Properties of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in several important nutrients for the body including folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the carotenoids of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They are also very good sources of manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Brussels sprouts belong to the cruciferous vegetable family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and cabbage. The processes of cooking and digestion break down to a phytochemical called isothiocyanate that researchers have discovered to have anti-cancer effects in fighting against DNA damage and against growth within tumor cells.

Medical experts tout Brussels sprouts for their role in helping with bone and skin health, lowering cholesterol, balancing hormone levels, improving digestion, reducing oxidative stress, decreasing the risk of obesity and diabetes, protecting the heart, reducing inflammation, aiding the immune system, and increasing circulation.

Though Brussels sprouts may help fight cancer, experts recommend limiting dietary intake to once a week and to rotate other vegetables into your diet, as well.

Episode 03: Pumpkin Hummus

Watch Melanie Villa demonstrate a pumpkin hummus recipe – quick, easy, and healthy to eat!

Recipe for Pumpkin Hummus
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Pita chips, for serving
Medical Properties of Pumpkin

Pumpkin supplies vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber that help support healthy blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels. The liver can also be protected by eating pumpkin, and the fiber in pumpkin aids in health digestion and in maintaining a healthy weight. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc consumed from pumpkin helps to boost the immune system against colds and other viruses.

Antioxidants in pumpkin also fight against free radicals to help in aging healthily, and protein and zinc in pumpkin seeds help with recovery when consumed after a workout.

Episode 04: Hidden Benefits of Kale
Recipe: Spicy Sausage, Kale and Goat Cheese Pizza
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large leaves Tuscan kale, ribs removed, leaves torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 links spicy sausage, casings removed
  • 1 ripe tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
Medical Properties of Kale

Kale boasts a standing as one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around. Exceptionally high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, kale also supplies nutrients like manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Kale is a source of antioxidants that help fight cancer. And zeaxanthin and lutein along with vitamin A in kale help fight degeneration of eyesight and against the formation of cataracts.

Also, kale contains the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin that studies have shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation, protecting the heart, combatting depression, and in fighting viruses and cancer.

Studies have also shown that cholesterol can be lowered by substances in kale that bind to bile acids and then prevent their reabsorption by the body. With its high water content and low amount of calories, kale can be a helpful addition to aid in losing weight.

Episode 05: On-the-Go Green Monster Frittata Bites

Best-selling cookbook author and chef Ryan Scott is a juvenile colorectal cancer survivor whose father and grandfather also battled cancer.

Ryan won an Emmy Award for his TV show Food Rush and was on Top Chef in 2007. In this video, Ryan shares some of his own cancer story as he demonstrates a healthy frittata recipe, along with helpful cooking tips.

Recipe: On-the-Go Green Monster Frittata Bites
  • 1 cup shredded russet potatoes (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 large handfuls finely chopped Swiss chard
  • 7 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 or 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese