Diet and nutrition guidelines

The food you eat before, during and after cancer treatment can play a large role in your overall health and wellness. VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center registered dietitian Samantha Haswell, MS, RD will provide nutrition tips and tricks for cancer prevention as well as recovery during and after cancer treatment.

Meet Samantha

Welcome! My name is Samantha Haswell and I have been working with cancer patients to help them meet their nutrition goals since 2017. I work with patients, VCU & VCU Health staff, and the community as Massey’s Integrative Health Outreach Dietitian to provide nutrition education through blog post, recipes, workshops, lectures, support groups and more! I also work with our Massey medical teams as a Clinical Dietitian to provided one-on-one counseling to cancer patients to help improve their nutrition during cancer treatment and throughout their survivorship journey. I received my Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Drexel University in Philadelphia and completed my dietetic internship here at VCU Health. I began working with oncology patients as soon as I passed my exam to become a Registered Dietitian and genuinely enjoy helping the patients and the community improve their overall health and well-being during cancer treatment and beyond.

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Nutrition Blog

The New American Plate webinar series
In this four-part webinar series, Allie discusses the New American Plate model, an innovative approach to eating.
Diet and nutrition: more herbs, less salt
It is important to monitor your sodium intake. A good way to do so is by replacing salt with herbs and spices for additional flavor.
Diet and nutrition: chocolate
An ingredient in chocolate, cocoa, has been shown in research to have cancer-fighting effects.
Diet and nutrition: avocados
Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamins. Add them to salads, sandwiches and more.
Diet and nutrition: picnics
While not the most conventional idea, eating outside can help us slow down our fast-paced lives and cherish the outdoors.
Maintaining a healthy weight during cancer treatment
Increasing your protein and calorie intake will help you maintain your muscle mass and weight during treatment, improving your chances for a speedy recovery.
Meal prepping during a pandemic
Meal planning during a pandemic has added challenges but it does not have to be stressful or difficult.
Cooking with spices
Research shows that phytochemicals might play a role in cancer prevention.
Cooking with super seeds
Research indicates that seeds have numerous health benefits.
There is no shortage of claims that certain foods or supplements can boost our immune system.
Understanding a nutrition label
Allie explains how to interpret the nutrition labels on packaged foods.
Food safety
Allie provides easy advice for proper food handling and hygiene to prevent food-borne illness.
Shop smart for fruits and vegetables
Allie provides quick tips on buying high quality produce, while saving money and ensuring that your nutritional needs are met.
The truth behind natural products
Natural products include vitamins, minerals and probiotics. Some individuals may identify them as dietary supplements, herbals, botanicals and alternative or complementary products.
Hydrating for Nutrition
Allie provides simple tips to integrate into your lifestyle.
Eat the rainbow
A balanced diet should include a variety of colorful plant-based foods rich in phytochemicals.
Should I avoid sugar in my diet? Does sugar feed cancer?

Massey does not endorse all integrative and complementary practices. We only recommend those that are known to be safe and have the potential to improve health when used alongside, and never in place of, professional medical care. All cancer patients are advised to consult with their physician before starting any integrative practice, as some may interfere with medical care.

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