Friday, October 23, 2020

The Link Between Cancer and Your Diet

The Link Between Cancer and Your Diet

We have heard over and again how important a healthy diet is for your long term health. The truth is, though, for individuals who are facing a possible cancer diagnosis, or who have already received a cancer diagnosis, diet can become a crucial part of their recovery journey. Keep reading to learn about how your diet can affect your cancer recovery.

The Diet Problem

The biggest diet problem faced by cancer patients is often a lack of protein in their diet as well as too few calories altogether. Certain forms of cancer treatment can have a dramatic effect on your appetite. The problems arise when you begin consuming too few calories and too few of the right calories. Your body needs all of the fuel it can get in order to work on healing. If your body is not receiving this fuel it can become weaker. This will compound problems like fatigue, weight loss, and even depression.

Diet Tips

When your diet is on track it can help your body fight off infection, build more energy, and improve your outlook.

Eating a healthy balanced diet is not complicated. Here are a few super simple tips to get you started: 

Eat small meals throughout the day- If 3 big meals are just too much, try eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day.  
  • Pack in the nutrients- If you do not have a huge appetite, then it is important to pack in the nutrients with every bite. Make sure you are choosing foods that are dense in nutrients that your body needs rather than empty calories.  
  • Learn your triggers and stay away- If certain foods or cooking smells make eating hard, then make sure you avoid these items.  
  • Drink lots of water. 
  • If eating often enough is a challenge set a timer as a reminder.  

Special Considerations for Mesothelioma 

It is especially important for Mesothelioma patients to get enough protein each day. Grains and sugar should be kept low, while protein and dense starchy vegetables should be kept high. Many patients find it helpful to add a high protein, high calorie liquid nutritional supplement as well. These are convenient, require no cooking or meal prep, and can make up for nutritional deficits.

Foods That Help

There are certain foods that have been identified as beneficial for cancer recovery. Be sure to work these foods into your day when you can.  
  • Omega 3 Fats- These nutrients are found mostly in fatty fish. 
  • Fiber- Fiber is crucial to stabilizing insulin levels and some studies show that it slows cancer cell growth.  
  • Spices- Certain spices such as turmeric, basil, rosemary, mint, dill, and others have been linked with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity.

When discussing your prognosis information with your doctor, be sure to discuss your current diet and any changes that can be made to better help you on your road to recovery.  
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