Four Bestselling, Science-Based Cookbooks for Cancer Patients

This page was originally published January 18, 2018 and updated May 8, 2024.

If you or someone you love has cancer, you’ve probably been bombarded with heaps of advice about what to eat and what to avoid. Fortunately, there are experts who blend science-backed research with culinary skills to deliver recipes that focus on overcoming both of these challenges. The four carefully curated cookbooks provide step-by-step guidance to prepare meals that are nutritionally dense and packed with flavor whether you’re cooking for yourself, are a caregiver, or are considering giving them as gifts. They’re your guides to nutrition, tested and backed by scientific studies. Read on to explore four bestselling, science-based cookbooks specifically designed for cancer patients. We hope one of these cookbooks is the perfect culinary companion on your journey. ❤️

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Bestselling Author Rebecca Katz

This award-winning cookbook features 150 research-based recipes that are easy to make and specifically tailored for patients combating the side effects of fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, taste changes, and weight loss. A guide in the book helps patients prepare for all steps of treatment and the recipes combine science and culinary art to create recipes for soups, vegetable dishes, proteins, and sweet and savory snacks that are both healthy and nutritious.

“Rebecca Katz has produced an invaluable resource. Instead of telling patients to ‘just eat a balanced diet,’ we can now show them how to control disease and optimize health with delicious, nourishing food from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. I recommend this book highly.” Bestselling Author Andrew Weil, MD, founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and The Healthy Kitchen.

Beating Cancer with Nutrition (Fourth Edition) by Bestselling Author Patrick Quillin

This book is based on proven clinical research that supports the idea that proper diet and nutrition can improve the quality and lengthen the lives of people fighting cancer and can even help prevent some cancers.

From the cover, “Optimal nutrition coupled with appropriate medical treatment can dramatically improve the quality and quantity of life and chances for a complete remission for most cancer patients.”

It comes coupled with an audio version for patients who have trouble reading because of illness, and also includes an extensive meal-planning guide, tear-out summaries and charts, and a comprehensive nutritional program to use in tandem with professional medical care.

Bestselling author Dr. Barry Sears: “…every cancer physician should recommend Beating Cancer with Nutrition to each of their cancer patients.”

Foods to Fight Cancer: What to Eat to Reduce Your Risk by Bestselling Authors Richard Béliveau and Denis Gingras

This cookbook by acclaimed cancer researchers at UQAM-Sainte-Justine Hospital explains the link research shows between diet and cancer as well as offering a guide on how to eat well to reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Featuring expert opinions and packed with information (more than 100 charts, tables, and diagrams), this book is invaluable for someone wanting to understand the science behind cancer development and nutrition.

“…a fascinating and comprehensive new book.” — Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During & After Treatment by Bestselling Authors Holly Clegg and Gerald Miletello

A top-rated cookbook for caregivers and cancer patients that includes tips on cooking and planning meals for those in treatment. The goal of this book is to provide simple, nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals that are appealing even to those who are struggling with little-to-no appetite. From co-author Dr. Gerald Miletello, “Although no diet has been proven to prevent cancer,health authorities agree that a properly chosen diet can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers and can help you to fight cancer.”

This updated and expanded third edition is written in an easy-to-read and accessible format.  Considered by many medical experts to be an important reference before and after a diagnosis, this cookbook is continually updated with new recipes and is informed by the latest nutritional science.

Megan Doyle Battaglia Roswell Park Cancer Institute Buffalo, NY: “This book has become an invaluable tool for our patients and their families. Many patients continue to use this book years after their diagnosis.”


Eating well and maintaining proper nutrition during cancer treatment is a crucial part of the journey. The challenge of finding appetizing meals while combating side effects like fatigue, nausea, and changes in taste can be daunting. However, the cookbooks highlighted in this article are laden with easy-to-follow, scientifically backed recipes that not only cater to these unique dietary needs but also offer delicious and nourishing meals. They are a blend of culinary art and nutritional science, providing a beacon of hope during such trying times.

Whether you’re a patient, a caregiver, or someone seeking to gift a ray of hope, these books are a treasure trove of knowledge, backed by industry experts, and focused on improving the quality of life during treatment.  These bestselling, top-rated cookbooks offer cancer patients and caregivers nutritious and creative meal ideas. We hope you find a new favorite here. ❤️

Free Financial Help for Cancer Patients

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed and are having trouble paying for treatment or medications, we understand the financial burdens you’re facing. We also want you to know that real help is available. National nonprofit programs can help you for free. If you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, please visit our national directory of free financial programs for cancer patients in the USA for immediate, no-cost assistance for you and your family.


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    • Thanks for your comment, Jimmy! We hope you find a cookbook you really like in this list!

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