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Oncology treatment

Best Foods for Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, experts recommend following a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables.

A balanced diet is especially important for patients with cancer. Eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants helps strengthen the immune system, protect against infections and encourage the body to fight cancer more effectively. What's more, eating right can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, such as nausea, weight loss and vomiting.

Oncologists recommend including a large amount of fruits, vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes and other foods rich in protein and vitamins in patients' diets. During remission, people should also maintain a healthy diet to take care of their long-term health.

Fruits and vegetables

A proper diet includes fruits and vegetables, because these foods are especially beneficial for cancer patients. The reason is not only their saturation with vitamins and minerals. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (ASC), fruits and vegetables also provide a huge variety of phytochemicals that have health benefits. These components protect plants from drought, predators and diseases.

And for humans, according to a report published in June 2015 in the British Journal of Medical Practitioners, these are powerful antioxidants. They help treat various inflammations, improve immune function and reduce the risk of cancer and relapses. Therefore, include colorful berries, fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Including:

• Purple, blue and red fruits: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, beets, tomatoes, watermelons, cherries, apples.

• Orange and yellow plant foods such as cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, oranges and peaches.

• Green edible plant parts: kale, spinach, kale, asparagus, green beans, kiwi, avocado.

• White and brown foods: mushrooms, garlic, onions, potatoes, cauliflower.

To prevent cancer and reduce the risk of recurrence, try to eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day, according to American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines published in the January 2012 issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Whole grain meals and products

The number of scientific studies related to the study of the antitumor properties of specific products is very small. But even despite these whole grains are usually perceived by ordinary people as a good protection against oncology. In December 2016, the journal Nutrients published a summary of 117 research papers involving more than 200,000 cancer patients. Based on the results of large-scale work, scientists found that things were best in the group of people who adhered to a high-quality diet, in which meat consumption was reduced to a minimum, but increased to a maximum number of dishes made from  whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and  nuts.

So, what are whole grains?! These are grains that have not been processed to remove the bran and germ, which contain most of the fiber and phytochemical components.

Let's list the whole grain products that can be found in any store:

bulgur (broken wheat);
brown, black or wild rice;
whole cornmeal;
whole wheat bread;

Experts recommend designing a diet for cancer patients so that whole grains make up at least half of the daily healthy diet.
Of course, you shouldn't feel guilty if you eat some white bread or semolina instead of healthy foods. During treatment, high-calorie foods are necessary, so to create an optimal diet, consult a nutritionist or your doctor.

Protein foods low in fat

  1. Experts recommend consuming protein-rich foods, such as:
  2. fish;
  3. beans, lentils and peas;
  4. chicken and turkey;
  5. lean beef;
  6. nuts, seeds and peanut butter;
  7. eggs;
  8. soy products (tofu, soy milk);
  9. milk, yogurt and cheese.
  10. According to the ACS, our bodies need protein to build and repair tissue and maintain a healthy immune system. Most healthy people can easily meet their protein needs, but people undergoing cancer treatment may need to increase their protein intake. To do this, it is recommended to include any foods high in protein in your diet. But try to choose lean, low-fat products. Also limit your consumption of red meat and processed meat products (sausage, ham, jellied meat). It is better to add vegetable proteins such as beans, peas, nuts, and soy.

Healthy fats

Fats in food provide energy and essential nutrients. However, many people adhere to the so-called healthy lifestyle and try to fill the need for calories and various compounds with the help of special diets with limited consumption of fats and oils. When it comes to patients with oncology, then conventional diets are absolutely not suitable. The fact is that during antitumor treatment, calorie intake needs to be increased multiple times. Therefore, it is necessary to add foods with an abundance of healthy fats to your diet. This:

  • fatty fish such as salmon, lake trout and sardines;
  • nuts, including walnuts, almonds and pistachios;
  • seeds of plants such as flax, edible hemp and chia;
  • avocado;
  • peanut butter or other nut butters;
  • olive or rapeseed oil.
According to the ACS Diet and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Patients, obesity may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer and others. Therefore, overweight people should try to reduce their own weight and limit their intake of unhealthy fats and sugar. For example, chips, snacks, sweetened drinks, etc. Contact a specialist to create an individual weight loss plan.

Your safety is in your hands

During antitumor treatment, the immune system is suppressed, so it is necessary to take all possible precautions. In particular, only consume foods that have been properly prepared, processed or stored. For this:

1) Store hot foods at temperatures above +60 ºС, and chilled foods at temperatures up to +4 ºС. And limit the time that cooked foods are outside the acceptable temperature range.

2) Wash fruits, greens and vegetables well before eating.

3) Ensure that utensils, knives and cutting boards used for preparing raw meat, chicken or fish are thoroughly washed with detergent before using for other foods.

4) Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or seafood.

Why proper nutrition is an important component of treatment

Search the Internet for information on how to eat when you have cancer. You will simply be buried by a wave of various advice and the only correct decisions, diets and other things. They will tell you the importance of eating organic, going vegan, following the keto diet, and avoiding sugar and anything processed. The incredible amount of information is confusing and does not provide an accurate picture of what a patient undergoing cancer therapy really needs.

Don’t forget – professionals occasionally write articles, but only for specialized magazines or their own websites. Therefore, before you decide to change your diet, review your treatment plan, potential side effects, and talk to your doctor or dietitian about an appropriate nutrition plan.

Treating early stage cancer may not require you to switch to a healthy diet. But the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery may interfere with your diet plans. After therapy, as a rule, patients experience poor appetite, changes in taste, nausea, formation of mouth ulcers, and impaired digestion or absorption of food. To avoid weight loss and get enough nutrients and fluids, you will need to completely change your approach to your diet. According to a report published in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, poor nutrition may weaken immunity and response to cancer treatment. Therefore, look for help not on the Internet, but from your doctor. And for professional help, contact OncoCare Clinic 308. Our specialists will not only help you develop the optimal treatment plan, but will also help you create the right diet.

Take care of yourself - contact the OncoCare 308 clinic for preventive examination and treatment of oncology of internal organs. Call the numbers listed above.

Author of the article:

Aleksanyan Aleksan Zavenovich

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