​Nutrition - book review Nourish the cancer care cookbook

Tuesday 08 May 2018

Leading on from my blog last week about the cancer workshop that I went to recently I want to include a review of a new book called Nourish. It was written in collaboration between the Penny Brohn Cancer centre in Bristol and Christine Bailey. Some of the recipes were used in the cancer day that I attended.

It is a very clean looking refreshing book with really well illustrated photographs to accompany the recipes and we all like pictures don’t we.

The first 45 pages are dedicated to notes on diet and cancer. Initially it is focussing on the whole person approach to cancer also known as the ‘Bristol approach’. Apart from recognising that eating well is a simple powerful way to strengthen the body’s natural defences against cancer it also focuses on a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the person.

One of the main pieces of advice is that eating well, trying to exercise regularly, managing stress and emotions and connecting with people that really matter to you are all ways that can help increase your chances of staying well. The book explains in more detail the Whole Person approach.

The next section is on natural foods and cancer and the links between diet and cancer. It has a very comprehensive useful chart on beneficial foods, which compounds they contain and the possible benefits that these may have. I like the charts as it makes it not only informative but clear to understand and I would use it as a reference when I went shopping for ingredients.

There are several pages explaining natural ways that you can try and manage the side effects of cancer treatment like a sore ulcerated mouth or constipation etc.

It then goes on to frequently asked questions about food and cancer covering questions about organic V non organic, whether to eat dairy or not, about coffee and alcohol, soya foods and also supplements. Questions many people want to know the answers to.  

The section is followed by a 7 day menu planner with the suggestions made linked to the recipes in the book. The recipes include shakes, smoothies through to ideas for main meals and snacks. At the end of each recipe is a nutritional breakdown and a small paragraph on the health benefits of the food in the recipe. A simple example is a recipe for  Green Hemp Shake which is a one step process and an easy way to increase protein, essential fatty acids including omega 3.

The very last chapter includes recipes that can support you through treatment. To enhance healing and recovery. I particularly like the ginger and miso soup which contains the immune boosting shiitake mushrooms and ginger which aids digestion. Also the coconut Cocoa booster which is a drink that can be served hot or cold. It contains the maca powder which as we know supports the body in times of stress and is a natural tonic. I have included the full recipe below.

Coconut cocoa Booster Each drink contains approximately 200 calories depending on the size of the banana and whether you used the coconut oil or not.

2 tsps unsweetened cocoa powder or cocao powder.
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup coconut water or water
2 tsps coconut oil (optional) would add extra calories.
1 banana.

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Drink immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 day. To serve hot, heat in a saucepan till hot but not boiling.

Overall I think it is a useful book with some very simple and nutritious ideas,its information embracing many of the superfoods that I have covered in other blogs

Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook Paperback – 11 Apr 2013
by Penny Brohn Cancer Care (Author), Christine Bailey  (Author)


Blog originally written by Caroline May 2013

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