Today’s blog post is from guest blogger, Jillian McKee. She is Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook from this website, and follow her posts at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Thanks again, Jillian!
Proper nutrition is important for feeling good and improving recovery for those coping with cancer. A wholesome diet, with the right vitamins and minerals, will support the immune system, bolster mood and improve resilience against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Here is a list of dietary tips that can help support cancer patients, whether they are suffering from leukemia, mesothelioma or another type of cancer.
Low Sugar: Carbohydrates are an important part of a complete diet, however refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, are best avoided by cancer patients. After eating sugar or white flour, the immune system is strongly suppressed for several hours afterward. Consuming sugar while sick essentially gives disease a window of opportunity to get ahead in its attack on the body. It’s much healthier to stick to whole-grains, fruit and vegetables for sources of carbohydrates while you have cancer.
Vitamin C: Some alternative cancer therapies utilize mega doses of vitamin C, and while conventional medical science may not accept these methods, there is little doubt about the fact that vitamin C is crucial for a healthy immune system. Supplemental ascorbic acid is most effective when it’s combined with natural sources of vitamin C, such as oranges or chili peppers, which contain bioflavonoids and other cofactors that enhance vitamin C’s power in the body. Chili peppers also contain capsaicin, which has been shown in some studies to actually force cancer cells to self-destruct.
Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh produce can help fight cancer in a number of ways. Some vitamins and minerals are better absorbed from produce when it is lightly cooked, but when produce is eaten fresh, the body can take advantage of numerous enzymes that improve digestion and circulate the body to fight inflammation. Some studies have also found that people with higher levels of enzymes in their bodies are less likely to develop cancer. Many fruits contain plenty of soluble fiber, which feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut. These beneficial bacteria enhance nutrient absorption, fight inflammation and actually produce B vitamins on their own.
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter was originally patented as a food for patients who were unable to eat solid meals, but peanut butter’s easy digestibility makes it perfect for anybody, including cancer patients. Peanut butter is very rich in vitamin E, a potent cancer fighter, and is a better source of antioxidants than many fruits. It’s also an excellent source of several minerals and contains plenty of healthy fats and protein. Finally, peanut butter contains plenty of phytic acid, an effective cancer fighter. Natural peanut butters are best because they lack the unhealthy, partially-hydrogenated oils that conventional peanut butters contain.
An ideal diet for cancer patients is enjoyable as well as healthy. Bland foods are bad for emotional well-being, which contributes to immune health. Nutrients from delicious foods are digested well and assimilated easily so they can support the body’s fight against illness. For more information on maintaining a healthy diet during cancer please visit- The National Cancer Institute.