Nutrition Tips for Fighting Cancer
Content by: NCES, Inc.
The combination of a healthy diet and physical activity strengthens the body’s immune system, lessens fatigue and helps prevent weight changes...LEARN MORE!
Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight helps protect against chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and keeps hormone levels in balance, which discourages cancer growth and progression. Fruits, vegetables and other plant foods provide good sources of phytochemicals, nutrients that help defend the body against cancer and other diseases.
Adequate protein intake is essential to build and preserve muscle mass. Choose fish, chicken and turkey more often than red meat, and try meatless meals using beans, lentils and quinoa in place of meat.
When you are fighting or recovering from cancer, nutrition can be one of the most important parts of your journey. Eating a well-balanced diet before, during and after treatment will help you feel better, maintain your strength and help with your recovery.
Eat small, frequent Meals throughout the day. Eating five to six smaller meals per day can help to reduce treatment related side effects such as nausea.
Choose protein rich foods and healthy fats. Lean meats, peanut butter, beans, eggs and cottage cheese to help maintain and repair muscular tissue. Avoid fried greasy fatty foods and choose baked, broiled or grilled foods instead.
Include whole grain foods. These may include oatmeal, whole wheat breads, brown rice or whole grain pastas.
Stay hydrated. Aim to drink 64 ounces of water daily and avoid a lot of caffeine.
Limit sweets and added sugar. Foods high in added sugars provide little nutritional benefits and often take the place of other foods that are better for you.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables offer your body antioxidants, which help fight against cancer. Aim to eat a minimum of five servings daily.
Practice good food safety. Wash your hands often while preparing food and use different knives and cutting boards for raw meats and vegetables. Be sure to cook all foods to their proper temperature and refrigerate leftovers right away.
Always choose food first as the main source for nutrients. Talk to your healthcare team before taking any vitamins or supplements. Some medications and cancer treatments may interact negatively with certain supplements.
Limit Alcohol consumption. IF consumed, drink in moderation, as alcohol can contribute to dehydration, lower the abilities of your immune system and provided no beneficial nutrients.
Know that your cancer journey is unique to you and your treatment. You may experience side effects that affect your ability to follow these suggestions. If you are struggling with any side effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or any other nutrition concerns, talk to your doctor.
Use good mouth care. Chemo and radiation can irritate the lining of the mouth, throat and esophagus. Remember to brush your teeth with a soft gently brush after eating.