Cancer treatment can greatly affect your nutritional needs. The treatments at times may even influence the body's ability to process nutrients. Hence, patients undergoing cancer treatments should take special care in their diet so as to balance their health conditions. Eat nutritious foods that will help you tolerate treatment-related side effects. Look up some answers regarding diets for cancer patients. However, the nutrient needs of a cancer patient may vary from person to person. Work with your dietician/physicians to identify your nutrition goals. Look at anti cancer foods that can go a long way in keeping carcinogens at bay.
Protein is essential for a healthy immune system, with out which the body takes longer to recover from illness and lowers resistance to infection. Cancer patients require more proteins than a normal person in order to combat the diseased cells. Further protein may be required after chemotherapy and radiation therapy to heal tissues and to help prevent infection. Good sources of protein include lean meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, nuts, dried beans, peas and lentils, and soy foods.
Carbohydrates and Fats
Carbohydrates and fats assist the body by supplying the calories required for a healthy living. The amount of calories each person needs depends on his/her age, size and level of physical activity. Sources of carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, grains and cereal products, dried beans, peas, and lentils. Sources of fat include butter, margarine, oils, nuts, seeds, and the fat in meats, fish, and poultry.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper growth and development. In addition they allow the body to use the energy (calories) supplied in foods. Generally, a person who eats a balanced diet receives plenty of vitamins and minerals. However, this may be difficult in case of cancer patients who do not take balanced diets. Consult your dietician/physician to increase the level of vitamins and mineral supplements in your food.
Diet before Cancer Treatment
Take plenty of water else you may become dehydrated. Plan a healthy diet that includes green, leafy vegetables and fruits. Choose whole grains over processed grains or sugars. Also limit the consumption of red meats, especially high fat processed meats. Eat lots of high-calorie, high-protein meals supplemented with snacks, commercial liquid nutrition products, and homemade drinks and shakes.
If you experience weight loss, you may also be advised to eat more sauces and gravies and to include more butter, margarine, or oil in your foods to boost calories. In addition, you may be encouraged to eat fewer high-fiber foods, because fiber can aggravate problems such as diarrhea.
Diet after Cancer Treatment
Eat good nutritious food that is rich in proteins and fibers. There is no research that suggests that the foods you eat will prevent your cancer from recurring. But, eating well will help you regain your strength, rebuild tissue and improve overall wellbeing. Consult your dietician and create a nutritious, balanced eating plan. Add a variety of foods that are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Try to eat at least five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits and dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables. Eat plenty of high-fiber foods, such as whole grain breads and cereals. Decrease the amount of fat in your meals by baking or broiling foods. Also avoid salt-cured, smoked and pickled foods. If you are overweight, consider losing weight by reducing the amount of fat in your diet and increasing your activity. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Anti Cancer Diet
Antioxidants work well in an anti cancer diet since they prevent free radical reactions. They also prevent faulty cell metabolisms and protect the intestinal membrane cells. Beta carotene fights against cancer by both boosting the immune system and releasing a specific chemical called tumor necrosis factor. This blocks the growth of potential cancer cells. You can find beta carotene aplenty in colorful vegetables and fruits such as carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkins, butternut and other types of winter squash, spinach, broccoli, mango and papaya. Vitamin C in your diet can help in fighting potent carcinogens, especially those found in processed meats. It also boosts the production of lymphocytes, thereby giving a fillip to your immune system. Women who have low levels of Vitamin E and selenium are more likely to contract breast cancer.
- Follow a diet that is low in saturated fats. Cancerous tumor cells need LDLs to grow. A low LDL diet can be beneficial to prevent cancer. Omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated oils do not contribute towards cancer. In fact they offer protection against cancers. Use of cooking oils such as soybean, sunflower, sesame and virgin olive can provide high omega-3 fatty acids. Use of hydrogenated fats can be potentially carcinogenic.
- Including salads of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet can arm you with cancer-fighting properties since they contain phytochemicals, phenols, indols, flavones, cumines, and isothiocyanates, all of which are carcinogen-blocking agents.
- Eating cruciferous vegetables can lower the risks of breast and colon cancer significantly. Include garlic, dark leafy spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, red peppers, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans and vital sources of beta-carotene.
- Including soy products as a source of protein can go a long way in your anti-cancer diet.
- Incidence of breast cancer is very low among Greek and other Mediterranean women whose diet is rich with monounsaturated oils. Large amounts of fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts and legumes are also responsible for lowering the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Include sources of Selenium in your anti cancer diet - lobster, shrimp, whole grains, brown rice, cottage cheese, lamb chops, chicken, sunflower seeds and garlic.
- Flaxseeds are said to be full of cancer-preventive compounds that can help you reduce the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Green tea and garlic are also credited with anti oxidant properties that fight cancer cells.
|Cancer Fighting Food|
1. Eat the right foods
2. Limit dietary fat and keep your weight under control
3. Include a healthy exercise regimen into your lifestyle
4. Keep stress at bay
5. Include daily supplements of Vitamin C, Calcium, Flaxseed, Vitamin E and Selenium
6. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
7. Quit smoking
Breast Cancer Diet
Chemotherapy and radiation can lead to nausea and loss of appetite. A typical breast cancer diet can include small meals instead of three heavy meals. Try eating foods such as crackers, toast, yogurt and oatmeal to fight the nausea and vomiting. Ensure that your breast cancer diet includes plenty of fluids. Sipping water often can help in coping with the dry mouth syndrome that sometimes accompanies breast cancer treatments. Avoid fried and high-fiber foods, unless you suffer from constipation.