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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:

    View more "Eating Well During Cancer" videos.

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  • Nutrition & Diet
  • Nutrition Resources

    fresh fruit and vegetables

    Nutrition Services

    Our nutrition experts help patients follow a healthy diet during and after cancer treatment.
    Dana-Farber Nutrition Team

    Ask the Nutritionists

    Do you have questions about making healthy food choices during and after cancer treatment? Our team of nutrition experts can help.

    Cowboy Cavier recipe

    Delicious and Nutritious Recipes

    Our recipe collection features a varied selection of dishes that will get you started in the morning and keep you going through the day – including a few sweet treats you don't need to feel guilty about.