Why a Balanced, Plant-Based Diet Is Good for Your Health


Studies continue to support a link between obesity and increased risk for certain cancers. Eating a healthy, plant-based, balanced diet can not only help you manage your weight, but may also help reduce your risk for developing certain cancers, while supporting your immune system, helping you feel well during treatment, and promoting healthy survivorship.

 

Eating a balanced diet means primarily choosing minimally processed and natural foods. In addition, drinking plenty of water and choosing plant-based or lean protein (fish, low-fat dairy, lean meats) is part of a balanced diet.

A plant-based diet doesn't have to be 100% plants or vegan, but it can be if you wish. The goal is for a majority of the foods you are eating to come from plants. These foods include bright, colorful fruits and vegetables. But they can also include other foods, such as spices, herbs and seasonings, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

It's important to think about a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables because each contains different phytonutrients to support your overall health and support your immune system. When possible, it is also good to select locally-grown, in-season foods and sometimes organically grown produce to get the most nutrient-rich foods while reducing your exposure to chemicals and pesticides.

Learn more about nutrition services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and how you can eat well during cancer treatment.

Try a sampling of some healthy, plant-based recipes:

Explore answers to questions posed to our nutritionists by patients regarding plant-based diets:

View more "Eating Well During Cancer" videos.


 
  • Email
  • Print
  • Share
  • Text
Highlight Glossary Terms
  • Cancer and Nutrition Twitter Chat

    • mango Read a transcript of a Twitter chat on cancer and nutrition, hosted by Dana-Farber and Health Central and featuring Stacy Kennedy, Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Topics include managing side effects through diet, good foods to eat, and foods to avoid during treatment.
  • Nutrition Services

  • Free Nutrition App

  • Ask the Nutritionist

    • Do you have questions about making healthy food choices during and after cancer treatment? Our team of nutrition experts can help. Submit your question through our Ask the Nutritionist form.
    • To create a customized plan, please schedule an appointment with a Dana-Farber nutritionist by calling 617-632-3006.