VCU Massey Cancer Center


Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition: immunity

There is no shortage of claims that certain foods or supplements can boost our immune systems, which makes it very difficult to decipher the truth. It is important to understand that no foods or nutrients have been found to effect the immune system as a whole. Current research indicates that deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals may increase the risk for infections, although supplementation beyond the body's need has not been shown to improve immune function.


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Recipe corner: spicy sweet potato hummus and spinach artichoke lasagna

A balanced diet should include a variety of colorful plant-based foods. This delicious hummus recipe features wholesome ingredients such as sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins C and B6, and chickpeas, a rich source of of protein. The lasagna recipe is full of spinach, a superfood loaded with tons of nutrients, and artichokes, which are packed with antioxidants.

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Recipe corner: minestrone and winter apple slaw

Seasonal produce is plentiful during the winter months. Delicious options include apples, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, squash and more. Combining all of your favorite ingredients into a savory soup or a colorful side dish is an easy way to maintain your nutritional needs and ensure that you are consuming a variety of healthy foods.

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Recipe corner: crockpot stew and winter fruit bake

Winter is a great time for comfort foods. A variety of fruits and vegetables provide both nutrition and flavor. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and beta-carotene. Apples contain phytonutrients and antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Check out these hearty and delicious recipes that are perfect for the colder months.

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Recipe corner: pumpkin and cider treats

The weather is finally cooling down and leaves are starting to change. The fall season is in full swing! During these months, try adding cranberries and pumpkin to your diet. Both offer high antioxidant power, which may reduce your risk of many chronic diseases. Adding different spices is a great way to help boost the flavor of your recipes and provide extra nutrition. Some great fall spices to keep on hand are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and garlic. Nuts are also a great way to add some good nutrition and crunch to your recipes. 

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