Ovarian Cancer: Quality Of Life & Diet

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Ravleen Sakaria (MS, RD)

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The most important natural remedies for ovarian cancer include soy, ginger, flaxseed, shiitake mushrooms, red clover, green tea, red onions, fish, peppermint, sunshine, exercise, acupuncture, and hydration.

However, any type of cancer should be taken with the utmost seriousness, and formal consultation with an oncologist or medical professional is recommended. Many of these suggestions are preventative strategies, complementary treatments, and ways to help recover from the side effects of formal treatment, but should not fully replace formal, pharmaceutical cancer treatments.

Ovarian Cancer: Quality Of Life & Diet

Let us look at these home remedies in detail.

Shiitake Mushrooms

There are thousands of different mushrooms in the world, many of which have been praised for curing various ailments, but shiitake mushrooms are certainly one of the most famous varieties. The active ingredient in shiitake mushrooms, a beta-glucan called lentinan, has been linked to inhibiting certain types of cancer growth. Shiitake mushroom extracts have been used in Japan and other alternative medical traditions for centuries. While research is still ongoing in the complete effectiveness of shiitake mushrooms against ovarian cancer, it certainly won’t hurt to add this to your diet!

Printed diagnosis on a white background with a text "Ovarian Cancer" and pills, syringe, and medicine bottle

Standard chemotherapy has been effective in treating most ovarian/fallopian tube cancer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Soy Products

Switching over to soy milk and products may seem “fashionable”, but there is a definite health element to the choice as well! According to the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), consuming isoflavones- a phytochemical found in soy foods, may limit the production of cancer-related hormones and work as an antioxidant in the body. Isoflavones inhibit the transmission of cancerous cells, slowing the spread of cancer and tumor growth, according to the results of a case-control study conducted in China. Furthermore, the isoflavones found in soy products can help repair and protect the body from the often brutal side effects of chemotherapy and other formal cancer treatments.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is ideal for soothing an upset stomach, which is one of the most common ailments of someone suffering from ovarian cancer.


As with many cancers that affect the bowels, intestines, prostate, and other organ systems, some of the major side effects of ovarian cancer include diarrhea and constipation. Both of these states are unpleasant and potentially dangerous; drinking enough water ensures that you stay hydrated, and also helps to smooth digestion and prevent constipation.


Onions are actually packed with anti-cancer compounds, including quercetin, apigenin, and various anthocyanins. The phytochemicals in onions may aid in immunity and decrease inflammation associated with tumor growth (AICR).


One of the most overlooked (and simplest) home remedies for ovarian cancer includes going outside and grabbing a bit of sunshine. Studies have shown that vitamin D has anti-cancer properties, and is significantly linked to ovarian cancer prevalence.  In other words, let the sunshine in from time to time; it can’t hurt!


Ginger found in food is being used in patients experiencing chemo-related side effects such as nausea and vomiting. The preferred way to ingest ginger would be in its natural form through the raw ginger root. The recommendation is currently no more than 1 tbsp daily. Ginger hard candies or chews also seem to be of interest among the patients undergoing chemo.


Eating oily fish is one of the best ways to consume omega-3 fatty acids, the essential fats that the body needs to protect the heart. Preliminary research says that omega-3s may protect against cancer due to their anti-angiogenic properties; however, some studies say there is no correlation between these fatty acids and cancer prevention. Further studies are required to assess the anticancer potential of omega-3s.

Green Tea

The high concentration of antioxidants in green tea, namely a broad variety of catechins and epicatechins, make it a healthy beverage choice. Catechins are known to induce apoptosis (automatic cell death) of cancerous cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading throughout the body. If you are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer (environmental, menstrual, genetic, etc.), then you can try adding green tea to your daily diet.


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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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