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Tailored recipes could help boost nutritional intake

By Alex McNally , 28-Jan-2008

The role of nutrition in cancer recovery has been brought to the forefront with a website which gives consumers and patients help in getting more fruit and vegetables into their diets.

Run by the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the site allows users to develop recipes which can increase an individual's intake of important nutrients. "Whether you are looking for options packed with protein to help ward off the side effects of cancer treatment or just hoping to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet, the website will help you find what you are looking for," centre dietician Joan Daniels said. Users can choose meals which include fruit and vegetables they enjoy eating, or pick recipes which give them a high intake of vitamins, proteins or fibre. The website was developed as part of a research study that examined whether access to an interactive website which tailors recipes to individual food preferences motivated people to eat more healthily. There have been many studies linking fruit and vegetables to having a positive effect on either recovering from cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, or warding off the onset of cancer. Support The American university has also studied the potential role of ginger in warding off nausea induced by chemotherapy, which is typically treated with anti-nausea drugs. In October, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology said a diet in flavonols from onions, apples and berries may cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by about 25 per cent. Earlier this month a study in California found an increased intake of fruit and vegetables may cut the risk of Barrett's oesophagus, a precursor to oesophageal cancer. Other studies have linked drinking tea with reducing prostate cancer risk because of tea's high content of polyphenols.

Increasing intake of polyphenols, by eating more fruits and vegetables such as apricots or onions, or taking supplements, may help to prevent intestinal cancer, researchers have also said.

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