Good morning, all—Happy Friday. Today I want to bring you a guest post by Jillian McKee, a Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Diet can have a huge impact on cancer treatment and outcome, and here is a piece from Jillian to explain how. Feel free to leave comments below!
As anyone who has ever undergone cancer treatment can tell you, it is impossible to know how cancer treatments will affect you. Overall health, the type of treatment and the length of cancer treatment all play an important role in your recovery. While a healthy and nutritious diet will not cure cancer, it can give you the strength you need to make it through even the toughest days.
Incorporating a wide variety of nutritious foods into your daily diet will give you a boost of energy, whether you are being treated for mesothelioma, breast cancer or some other form of this disease. Many people suffer few side effects from treatments and continue to enjoy food during this time. Other people find it difficult to eat well-balanced meals due to nausea and fatigue. Try to eat a combination of complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein at every meal. This will ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to fight cancer and repair itself.
One way to ensure you will have plenty of healthy meals to eat even on bad days is to prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them. On days that you have energy and feel good, cook large quantities of lean meats, fish and chicken, a variety of vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice. Cooking your meat in olive oil will provide a serving of a healthy fat. Combine these cooked ingredients into freezer safe containers and freeze until you need them. By planning ahead, you will always have a well-balanced meal ready to eat in a matter of minutes. Keeping ready-to-eat snacks handy will also help you stay on track. Purchasing pre-washed vegetables such as carrots or small bags of trail mix will provide you with a quick energy boost. Eating foods rich in nutrients is the key to keeping your body as strong as possible during cancer treatment. Avoid eating foods with empty calories such as soda, cookies and chips as these foods provide little nutrients.
If you find you have trouble eating enough protein, consider using a protein powder to supplement your diet. Health food stores carry a wide variety of these powdered supplements that can be mixed with water or milk. You can even purchase ready-to-drink protein, which is portable and convenient. Protein supplements come in a variety of flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Ask your doctor to prescribe you a multi-vitamin if you find it difficult to eat a variety of nutritious foods. For more nutritional information for cancer patients please visit- The National Cancer Institute.