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Healthy You

Cancer-Fighting Food Recipes to Boost Your Health

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 5:59 AM

PLUS! Download Our Free Digital Cookbook! HERE

Eating well with good food is the best way to prevent cancer and promote good health, and the best weapon to help those who are fighting the fight against cancer.

Whether you’re going through treatment now—or trying to kick up your health to prevent cancer—each nutrient you feed your body has a certain job in providing for your body. NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center Registered Dietitians know that nutrition is one of the most important parts of the healing process and share what to add to your diet. 

Phytochemicals have been shown to stimulate the immune system, slow the growth rate of cancer cells and prevent DNA damage that can lead to cancer. So how do we eat more phytochemicals? A diet consisting of mostly plant foods with brightly colored choices is the first step. Our dietitians share over 20 recipes of their favorite cancer-fighting recipes in our cookbook, which you can download for free here.

To get you started, here is an easy, delicious lunch option. The recipe makes a few servings and can easily be stored for future use when you’re just too tired to cook.

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Ginger Meatballs

What could be more inviting than soup on a cool autumn day? To help fight fatigue this soup conveniently can be frozen for up to 2 months. Ginger root has been grown in Asia for millennia and is used fresh, sliced or minced, in all kinds of savory dishes. Its health-boosting phytochemicals and ability to quell an upset stomach makes it popular around the world as a tea, candy and dried and as a ground spice in baked sweets. This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 35 minutes to cook.

Recipe makes 4 servings

1 lb ground organic dark-meat turkey or chicken
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced small
Sea salt
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 large celery stalk, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
8 cups homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into quarters, for garnish

To make the meatballs

  • Line a sheet pan with wax paper.
  • Combine the turkey, ginger, garlic, parsley, salt, cayenne, egg and rice in a bowl and mix with your hands or a spatula until well combined. Don’t overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be tough.
  • Wet the palms of your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick, roll it into 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared pan.

To make the soup

  • Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the carrot, celery, garlic, ginger and 1/4 tsp of salt and continue sautéing for about 3 minutes.
  • Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 71/2 cups broth and another 1/4 tsp of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, then gently transfer half of the meatballs into the simmering broth. (Refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use later.)
  • Cover and allow the meatballs to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes more, then stir in the parsley and basil.
  • Serve each bowl garnished with a wedge of lime.

Variation: If you aren’t a pea person, use this recipe as an opportunity to get some dark leafy greens into your diet. Simply replace the peas with 1 cup of baby spinach leaves.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 210
Total fat: 7 g (1.6 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated)
Carbohydrates: 23 g
Protein: 15 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 380 mg

Recipe adapted from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen.