Monday, June 11, 2012

Healthy Eating Helps Cancer Patients

Healthy Eating Helps Cancer Patients

Eating well is vital to living a healthy life, and is even more important for cancer patients. A nutritious diet helps to boost energy levels, the immune system, and an overall sense of well-being. Whether a cancer patient has just received the dreaded diagnosis, is undergoing treatment or is in remission, it is never too late to incorporate a more healthful way of eating.

Improve Immunity

Because it may be difficult to eat well during cancer treatment, it’s a good idea for patients to begin nourishing their bodies as soon as possible. A proper diet can improve the immune system, which will help the patient cope with the treatments and fight the disease. Furthermore, proper nutrition can help keep patients strong during these treatments and aids in the rebuilding of body tissue as patients recuperate

What to Eat

While it’s important to consult a doctor about any special diet restrictions, experts generally advise eating plenty of food with phytonutrients. These include dark, leafy vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, legumes and whole grains.

Dietary fiber, between 25 and 35 grams per day, has been recommended for cancer prevention. Many cancer patients may be asked to continue that regimen when possible. Omega 3’s are also important. They’re most often found in fatty fish such as salmon, but can also come from berries, mushrooms and brussels sprouts.

Difficulty Eating

Good intentions aside, eating enough food each day is often a challenge for some cancer patients, according to the National Cancer Institute. Various side effects from chemotherapy treatments often lead to difficulty eating. Reasons for this include loss of appetite and changes in sense of taste or smell. Vomiting and nausea are common in patients undergoing treatment for many types of cancers, including asbestos exposure-related mesothelioma.

A patient’s doctor may also advise against eating certain foods. He may, for example, suggest limiting the amount of fiber, which is often touted as beneficial for maintaining a healthy life. Doctors recommend that patients not eat when they’re nauseous, but rather eat very well when they are feeling better. Eating small nutrient- and protein-rich meals several times a day can help maintain a good immune system and adequate energy levels.

By:  Jillian Mckee of:  The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Very Valuable Information with us Jillian!!