Getting proper nutrition during any kind of cancer treatment is so important. The body needs high quality forms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals during this time. These nutrients give the body energy, help repair normal tissue, and keep the immune system strong to fight disease.
Chemotherapy works to kill cancer cells but it also kills healthy cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and mucus membranes. Good nutrition can help build better and stronger blood cells which benefits the immune system. Nutrition is also important to ensure an adequate balance of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
Be sure to consume ORGANIC fruit and vegetable whenever possible as many of the chemicals used to grow food have been linked to certain cancers.
INCREASE your intake of antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage and can even repair cell damage. Antioxidant foods include spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, oranges and other brightly coloured fruit and vegetables!
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) contain sulforophane, which has anti-cancer properties. 5 or more servings a week of these vegetables has been linked to lower incidences of cancer. Another vegetable that cancer patients should stock up on is asparagus as it is high in glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant and may be effective in enhancing the immune system and preventing cancer development.[ad name=”Google Adsense Banner”]
Protein forms the building blocks of enzymes, hormones and cells so it is important to get a good source of protein in the diet. This might include beef, lamb, fish, poultry and pre-soaked nuts, beans, peas and lentils. Make sure you eat organic, free-range meat so not to exposure yourself to hormones and antibiotic residues. Adequate protein will help to maintain muscle mass and reduce weight loss.
Carbohydrates intake MUST be from complex, nutrient dense carbohydrates. Eat gluten-free carbohydrates like brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, sweet potato and butternut and AVOID any processed grains such as bread, cakes, biscuits, fried food, white potatoes, etc. Sugar is the food source of tumours so this must be avoided at all cost.
Fats help to form healthy cells and should come from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and the fat in meats, fish, and poultry. Omega-3 fatty acid is essential in cancer treatment as it has been shown to stop the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid are: salmon, cold water fish, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseed. AVOID seed oils that have been processed because they denature when exposed to heat and become carcinogenic.