Reap health benefits using the power of the plate

health benefitsYour plate can be a powerful weapon! No, we’re not talking about using it as a projectile object for self-defense. Instead you can wield your plate to prevent disease, help with recovery, manage stress, boost your memory and even slow down aging, plus so much more! Focus on adding foods that provide the benefits specific to your needs and you will likely reap additional health benefits.

  • To prevent disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, include a fruit and or vegetable with each meal or snack, choose 100% whole grains over refined grains and limit saturated fat, trans fat and added sugars.  Remember to read food labels as whole grains should be fiber rich (3gm fiber/serving) and limit foods with sugar (any type of syrup, molasses, dextrose or other -ose ingredients, honey and juice) listed as one of the first few ingredients.
  • If you are recovering from surgery, injury or cancer treatment, adequate protein, fluid, vitamins and minerals are important. Include at least one protein rich serving of dairy, meat, nuts, seeds beans or legumes with each meal, drink at least 64 ounces of caffeine free fluids per day and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • To decrease inflammation increase omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and probiotics (for gut inflammation).  This can be achieved by focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains in addition to nuts, seeds and fatty fish.
  • To combat stress, a healthy diet focusing on decreasing inflammation, getting adequate and quality sleep and exercising should be your focus. Added benefit, you’ll look younger, as stress can speed up cellular aging!
  • For healthier skin, vitamins A, C, D and E have been popping up in facial products, but eating whole foods rich in these nutrients can be beneficial as well. Include nuts, oils, whole eggs, Swiss cheese, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and citrus fruit as a start.
  • To promote brain health increase omega 3 fatty acids from nuts and fatty fish as well as other healthy fats like olive or canola oil and avocado. Leafy green vegetables, whole grains and berries have also been shown to be beneficial.

Take the next step:

  • Visit the UMHS Patient Food and Nutrition Services website for more healthy eating tips.
  • Learn more about the Cancer Center’s nutrition services here, or arrange an appointment by calling 877-907-0859.
  • Learn more about food and health benefits from the American Cancer Society.

U-M CCC dietitians NEWRegistered dietitians who are specially trained in the field of oncology nutrition provide cancer nutrition services at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. They focus on assessing the individual dietary and nutrition needs of each patient and providing practical, scientifically sound assistance.



Cancer-center-informal-vertical-sig-150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.