Diet Mythbusting

Healthy Diet for Cancer Survivors: What You Need to Know

After undergoing cancer treatments, following a recommended diet is one unique way to recuperate quicker and prevent a recurrence. A healthy diet for cancer survivors will go a long way to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other types of cancer, which are different from the one you had suffered.

There are also side-effects for patients who are survivors of cancer. They include lack of appetite, anemia, constipation, and many others. If you suffer any of these, it is only right to adjust your diet and follow a healthy diet for cancer survivors to save yourself.

Changing a diet does not have to be at once, since it is already a habit. Therefore, you should start by changing it gradually. Creating a food journal is a sure way of understanding your nutrition habit, as well as working out a good course for achieving healthful eating goals.

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Healthy Diet for Cancer Survivors: Taking Plant Foods to Stop Cancer Recurrence

Plant foods (instances are given below) contain adequate amounts of anti-oxidants that prevent rapid aging in man. These anti-oxidants include lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Phytochemical substances found in peas, beans, fruits, and vegetables can also impede the actions of carcinogen, which is notorious for inducing the development of cancer cells in man. That explains why there is an over-emphasis on the consumption of diverse plant foods.

Red meats, on the other hand, cause inflammation to our tissues. This reportedly contributes to cancer development. Examples of red meat include beef, pork, goat, and lamb. This explains why we only recommend a small amount of red meat in a healthy diet for cancer survivors.

Consume a mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein-rich meals every day.

Plant diets contain several anti-cancer substances, which include fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Plant diets, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and spices, are the natural origin for these anti-cancer substances. To shield cancer away from recurring, then consuming lots of these plants is what to be done.

You can take your food plate for a guide.

  • Eat enough vegetables and sliced fruits at all times. However, vegetables that have no starch are preferable in this case, so as to avoid excessive weight gain. Examples of vegetables without starch are broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens, bok choy, green beans, long beans, carrots, cucumber, celery, onion, garlic, tomato, peppers, et cetera. The starch-filled vegetables you must avoid are yam, plantain, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • One-quarter of the plate can contain whole grains. Whole grain foods include quinoa, barley, whole wheat.
  • The remaining one-quarter of the plate can contain foods rich in protein. These foods are fish, legumes ( example are soybeans, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and dried peas ), tofu, eggs, meat.

Note: Even as protein-rich foods make up a quarter of your plate guide, the amount still needs regulation, due to dangers associated with consuming too much protein. So make the quantities of fish and eggs moderate, while quantities for red meats like pork and beef should be small.

Reduce Your Consumption of Over-Processed Foods

The bad thing about processed foods is they have too much sugar, fats, and sodium, and have little of the nutrients that keep our bodies healthy. More so, their calorie contents are high, so when consumed, they increase your chances of gaining weight and becoming overweight subsequently.

So you are advised to consume these processed foods in little quantities and as rarely as possible, because of the harmful effects of excess sugar in the body.

This is a comprehensive list of processed foods:

  • Packaged soups
  • Instant noodles
  • Baked foods like donuts, cakes, cookies, pies
  • Ice creams
  • Candy
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Sweet cereals
  • French fries
  • Chips and other snacks
  • Sweet drinks like soda, fruit drinks, tea beverages, pop, sweetened coffee

Consume Little Red Meat and Even Lesser Processed Meat

All red meats must be eaten in very little amounts, and less frequently as well. The weekly consumed amount of red meat should be less than 500 grams.

Abstain from consuming processed meats such as sausages, bacon, ham, deli meats, and hot dogs.

Control Your Alcohol Consumption

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When you want to consume alcohol, women should limit the amount to one drink for one day, while men consume two drinks per day. However, there should be several days between the days you consume alcohol.

This is the healthful measurement for drinks:

  • 341 mL of beer, cider, or cooler
  • 142 mL of 12% wine
  • 43 mL of 40% spirits such as rye, vodka, gin, rum

Foods, not Supplements, are Better Ways to Stop Cancer

Consuming minerals, vitamins, and herbs in the form of supplements is useless after cancer medications. There has been no confirmed report suggesting that supplements help prevent cancer recurrence or promote recovery from the disease. Besides, supplements do not provide the same advantages that whole foods offer. They are alternatives, and alternatives simply cannot match first choices when it comes to quality.

You can discuss with your doctor or dieticians about your nutrition intentions before you go on to consume supplements.

Healthy Diet for Cancer Survivors: Watch Your Weight

A healthy diet for cancer survivors should also serve the purpose of assisting them in maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight is harmful and can trigger the occurrence of certain diseases. To regulate weight, avoid sedentary or immobile lifestyle, and also eat healthful foods. Diseases associated with being overweight include obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar level. Diseases related to being underweight include osteoporosis and anemia.

Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute (Unsplash)

Physical activities, such as exercise, are an approved way to regulate overweight. While healthy dieting can help in regulating your weight, your doctor will be in the best position to discuss with you and discover what exercises are ideal for you in order to control your weight. One can not over-emphasize the importance of a healthful diet for cancer survivors and non-cancer survivors alike. A nutritious diet works like a drug that prevents cancer from coming again and also helps your body recuperate quicker from cancer medications.

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