Five best fruits for pancreatic cancer patients: Red Grapes, Berries, Bananas, Apples and Citrus, like Oranges and Tangerines

Pancreatic cancer at any stage can create challenges in a patient’s diet and change nutritional needs.

In recognition of June as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, we asked Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, about five fruits she recommends for patients. They are listed below.

Please note that before incorporating any of these fruits into your diet, you should speak with your physician and/or a registered dietitian.

  1. Red Grapes: are a great source of resveratrol – a phytochemical that’s been shown in cell and animal studies to have anti-pancreatic cancer effects, including causing cell death and suppressing growth. Red grapes are also helpful with hydration, due to high moisture content (1 serving = 17 grapes)
  2. Berries: a good source of resveratrol, antioxidants and fiber (1 serving = ¾ cup)
  3. Bananas: a good source of soluble fiber, they help thicken stools for those having diarrhea. Bananas are also a great source of potassium (1 serving = ½ medium banana)
  4. Apples: the inside of the apple is another good source of soluble fiber; red apples also have resveratrol (1 serving = an apple about the size of a baseball)
  5. Citrus fruits (oranges and tangerines): a good source of soluble fiber and vitamin C (1 serving = about the size of a baseball or ¾ cup orange/mandarin sections). Please note: If you’re curious about grapefruit, please discuss with your pharmacist or doctor, due to possible drug interactions.
Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager
For more information about diet and nutrition, including our booklet with specific information for pancreatic cancer patients, contact PanCAN Patient Services.

Pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers can access comprehensive disease information, reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field, including Petzel, by calling PanCAN Patient Services at 877-272-6226 or by completing our contact form.