New recipe book for people with cancer out now

World Cancer Research Fund joins forces with Life Kitchen to launch second recipe book for cancer patients: Flavour & Nutrition.

26 August 2021

Leading cancer charity World Cancer Research Fund has once again collaborated with chef Ryan Riley – founder of not-for-profit cookery school Life Kitchen – to launch Flavour & Nutrition; a free recipe book aimed at people whose sense of taste and smell has been affected through cancer and its treatment.

Flavour & Nutrition is the follow-up to World Cancer Research Fund and Life Kitchen’s successful previous collaboration, the ‘Ryan Riley recipe booklet’. It features 15 brand-new recipes – each one paying special attention to flavour and texture, with the aim of helping cancer patients rediscover and enjoy food again.

On top of the symptoms caused by cancer itself, treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery can cause side-effects that can affect the way food and drink tastes – common complaints include food tasting bland, all food tasting the same, or experiencing a metallic or chemical taste in your mouth. Cancer treatment may also make it more difficult to fully absorb nutrients from food.

Flavour, based on science

All of the recipes in Flavour & Nutrition have a scientific basis. Prof Barry Smith, founder of the Centre for Study of the Senses, has Life Kitchen since 2018. The recipe book explains the science behind Life Kitchen’s ‘principles of flavour’, which are:

  • umami
  • smell
  • texture
  • layering
  • stimulating the trigeminal nerve

Each recipe in the book has been carefully created to satisfy specific requirements that people undergoing cancer treatment may have – whether it’s a cooling dish to ease mouth ulcers or a recipe to tackle nausea.

Ryan Riley, founder of Life Kitchen, said:

“For many people who are affected by cancer, food can seem unappealing and many people lose their appetite altogether. This is a really difficult side-effect that can make mealtimes isolating and unenjoyable. It’s something my mother experienced when she had cancer and it’s what inspired me to set up Life Kitchen and create recipes specifically for people living with cancer. I believe that food is a big part of recovery – emotionally and physically.”

Matt Lambert, World Cancer Research Fund’s Health Information and Promotion Manager, said:

“Significantly, 8 in 10 cancer patients tell us that they haven’t received any dietary support as part of their treatment. We are delighted to have collaborated with Life Kitchen again on a second recipe book to help fill this vital gap. We want to ensure that as many cancer patients as possible will rediscover the joy of food. What’s more, each of the 15 recipes in Flavour & Nutrition has been designed to follow World Cancer Research Fund’s healthy eating guidelines, making them suitable for everyone.”

Karen, 56, from Loughton, has experienced taste changes as a result of cancer. She said:

“During my cancer treatment I started experiencing nausea and completely lost my appetite. I used to love food, but I found it really hard to enjoy eating anything. The recipes and advice from World Cancer Research Fund have really helped to tickle the taste buds, build up an appetite and enjoy food again. I’m very excited to try the new recipes from the latest Flavour & Nutrition recipe book. I wish I had known about these recipes and the support World Cancer Research Fund offer earlier on in my diagnosis.”

Flavour & Nutrition can be ordered for free on World Cancer Research Fund website: order here.


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Annabelle Lane, Senior Media Officer at WCRF: 07717 131883

Selected images of recipes are available.

Flavour & Nutrition recipe list

  1. Apple and ginger compote with yoghurt
  2. Curried tomatoes on toast
  3. Caramelised banana porridge with nutty granola
  4. Toasted coconut, shiitake and broccoli soup
  5. Sticky mango potatoes with mint and avocado
  6. Miso sweetcorn soup with harissa butter toast
  7. Red Thai curry lentils
  8. Roasted garlic dal
  9. Umami broth minestrone
  10. Soured cream, pea and mint baked potatoes
  11. Miso chicken with pickled cucumber tzatziki wraps
  12. Marmite pasta with porcini and lemon breadcrumbs
  13. Basil and mushroom cannelloni with harissa ricotta
  14. Piccalilli chicken
  15. Fish tacos with kimchi guacamole

About World Cancer Research Fund

WCRF is the UK’s only charity solely dedicated to cancer prevention and survival. Over the last 30 years, WCRF has worked tirelessly to understand the links between a person’s weight, diet and physical activity levels, and their cancer risk. | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn

WCRF’s Cancer Health Check and Cancer Prevention Recommendations help people understand what changes they could make to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Based on the latest scientific research, the advice is practical and simple to understand.

About Life Kitchen

Life Kitchen is a not-for-profit cookery school for people whose taste has been affected by cancer or cancer treatment. Life Kitchen’s focus is on taste and flavour, and helping people enjoy food again. Life Kitchen is run by Ryan Riley – author, cook and food stylist.