How to Boost Your Immunity and Support Your Body During Cancer Treatment

Did you know that Hippocrates, the Greek Physician considered the “Father of Medicine,” once said,


“All illness begins in the gut”


When we talk about the gut, we are referring not just to the stomach but to the entire Gastrointestinal Tract, a long tube running from our mouth to our bottom. This incredible system does much more than digest food; it is home to a dynamic ecosystem called the microbiome, which houses 100 trillion microorganisms, each with a specific role to play. While some microorganisms can be harmful, many are beneficial, and it’s essential to maintain a balance to keep our gut healthy.


Did you know 70% of your immune system resides in the gut?

If you are a cancer patient, your immune system is likely to be compromised. Even if you already have cancer, it’s worth exploring ways to boost your immunity, and one approach you can take is to support your gut health. Remember that other factors may be at play, so it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about immunity, especially since some cancer treatments can affect it.

As a cancer patient and a qualified Health Coach, I’ve learned about natural ways to enhance immunity through lifestyle. Here are some ideas that might help you, too:


  • Rest and reduce stress: Stress can increase the hormone cortisol and this can repress your immune system; by taking rest and sleep seriously, you can reduce the amount of cortisol in your system – read more in my blog post about cancer, stress and the immune system.
  • Exercise regularly: Although exercising during treatment can be challenging and you might feel tired, a short walk or simple stretching exercises can help get your blood flowing and repair damage to your gut.
  • Eat well: Cancer treatments can make you feel nauseous and affect your taste, causing food to become unappetizing. My strategy was to eliminate highly processed junk food and stick to foods that are as natural as possible. On chemo days, I would have a bacon and egg bagel to prevent nausea and provide me with much-needed calories and protein to process and repair the damage caused by chemotherapy. Foods supporting good gut health include fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, meat, fish, and plant proteins like pulses. Foods rich in vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D, as well as copper, folate, iron, selenium, and zinc, are particularly beneficial to the gut.


Boosting your immunity is essential, and I hope this article inspires you to explore this area of our health a bit more and find what works for you. A good place to start is the College of Naturopathic Medicine website which has a blog post on gut health.

Victoria Walsh

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