Norfolk’s Big C serves up top cancer fighting foods

Norfolk’s Big C serves up top cancer fighting foods 

Later this month Big C Cancer charity teams up with nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans and herbalist Alex Hobbs to hold special healthy treats cookery workshops, designed especially for cancer patients and those caring for them.

Here Catherine recommends some of her favourite warming foods for winter days and post treatment comfort and suggests her top five cancer fighting superfoods patients should be incorporating into everyday meals.

In the run up to Christmas, delicious looking seasonal dishes seem to leap out from every magazine cover and be paraded on every television screen. The colours and decoration are sumptuous and you can almost smell how good they taste!

For some people this may be their first Christmas coping with diagnosis of cancer or recovering from treatment, so many of their festive favourite foods may be off the menu.

Nutrition and what you eat as a cancer patient can be key both to resistance and prevention of the disease, as well as how well you recover post-treatment. Certain foods can support relief of symptoms and provide vital nutritional elements that help recovery.

Traditional Chinese herbalists are great believers in warmth coming from within, which is important for post-treatment patients who often feel the cold. These are some of my seasonal picks.

Fresh ginger is soothing and an anti-inflammatory, but go easy as it can also be a little too astringent for those suffering with sore throats – often a post –treatment symptom.  Instead of making a cup of tea, infuse an unpeeled small chuck of ginger root with some lemon or a little honey in hot water. Peel and grate to use in stir fries and soups.

Chestnuts are wonderful freshly roasted over the fire. But they also are available freeze packed so chop them into stews or vegetable dishes, or sweeten desserts and cakes without adding sugar using the puree available in tins.

Stewed apples are good for the digestive system and served hot with ground cinnamon and nutmeg will give a real warming dessert. If you’re avoiding dairy, creamy coconut milk is a good substitute for a dollop of cream.

At this time of year, game meat of all types is plentiful and because they tend to be roaming creatures the meat is relatively low in fat. Venison, pheasant, rabbit make great casseroles that contain plenty of Omega 3 and other good fats. Chestnuts also work well with game and can transform an ordinary family meal into something a little more special.

A massive pot of soup made from seasonal vegetables with added protein – bits of cooked chicken or lentils and pulses or try a tablespoon of humous – will keep the cold away.

Try adding a few tablespoons of uncooked Quinoa, and let it bubble in the soup for about   14 minutes.

Miso turkey broth is a great way to use up any leftovers, and is warming and nutritious.

Christmas is a difficult time but our advice is that everything is good in moderation.

If you are a bit of a chocoholic, you don’t have to skip on the chocolate, but try to choose dark chocolate which has less sugar, is a great source of iron and magnesium.  Or for extra calcium, opt for some chocolate coated nuts. Have a little bit of what you fancy, it all about also maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  If you would like a glass of red wine have a little every couple of days, don’t save it all for a binge and you will not feel you have missed out on the festivities.

Finally don’t forget to include my five favourite cancer fighting superfoods – broccoli, oily fish, turmeric, pulses and pumpkin seeds. Fish, beans and pulses are packed with protein, broccoli contains glucoraphanin an anti-cancer compound as well as fibre, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Turmeric is a fantastic light yellow colour and may lower risk of many cancers, and is being studied for its ability to kill cancer cells. Add it to scrambled eggs, soups, rice, curries leafy greens and roast vegetable – with a little black pepper which helps your body to use the turmeric more effectively. Pumpkins seeds are full of zinc, magnesium and important for immunity, gut health and hormone balance.

Introduce them into the family’s meals, lightly toasted in a pan with some turmeric or other spices as a healthy nibble or as a savoury topping or garnish.

As co-director of The Orange Grove Clinic, Norwich, Catherine aims to provide her clients with long-term relief of their symptoms using diet and nutrition and many have reported immediate, yet long-lasting, benefits.

Big C has funded Catherine and Alex to run nutrition and herb workshops teaching different ways of creating Healthy Treats and feeling Nourished.  There will be different herbs and food to try and practical hands-on cookery lessons and tips, including making a cake for the Christmas party.

Spaces are limited and can be booked by contacting the designated centre where the workshops are being held.

Thursday 19th November – “Healthy Treats”
10-12am, Big C Centre Norwich on 01603 286112

Friday 20th November – “Healthy Treats”
11am to 1pm, Big C Centre Kings Lynn on 01553 818737

Thursday 26th November – “Nourish”
10.30am to 12:30pm, Louise Hamilton Centre  on 01493 453930

Thursday 26th November – “Healthy Treats”
2– 4pm, Great Yarmouth Big C Centre  on 01493 855297

Call 01603 286112 for more information about the day, or email [email protected].


For more details visit or call 01603 286112

Other news:
Fund raising goes the right side of the tracks

Fund raising goes the right side of the tracks

On the generous side of the tracks for Big C

Big C is constantly overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of its supporters…if not amazed at the lengths they go to raise funds to help those affected by cancer right on their doorstep.

Take the “ploughmen” who dusted down their vintage track tractors, small walk-behinds and agricultural vehicles with large spiked potato wheels and ploughed for at least six hours around a 35 acre field at North Elmham for the ninth year running to raise funds for Big C. Of the 20 or so entrants, many came from outside the county – and self-funded the cost of transporting these vintage machines – and one even travelled nearly 100 miles all the way from Hertfordshire.

Furthermore, no one paid an entry charge, but more than £1600 was raised through donations, stalls and a raffle comprising 65 prizes, which had all been donated.

The energy behind the day is vintage tractor collector and mobile mechanic Neville Websdale, who with partner Sally Needle are members of a farm machinery group and travel around the country on similar kinds of rallies. In just under a decade they have made in excess of £11,000 and lent many of their own collection of 70+ vehicles and some ploughs to the other participants.

Pictured is Ed Pearce, a collector of Caterpillar crawlers for several years, with his 1947 yellow D2. This was the first time he had attended a ploughing event and according to the owner of Pearce’s Farmshop and Café, he did perfectly well and would do the event again. “I had a brilliant day and will certainly be returning next year, hopefully with a little more ploughing experience under my belt!”

“We chose Big C as all of us have lost family and friends to cancer and we think it is amazing what the charity does – the fabulous centre at the Hospital and all the equipment they have bought,” said Sally.

Anyone interested should put October 9, 2016 in the diary now and get into practise!