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How Nutrition Can Boost The Healing Process and Energy For Cancer Patients

by Janette de Vries RHN, B.ed, H.BA

For years, too many doctors failed to connect the importance of diet as an ally for cancer therapy and other degenerative diseases. Let's face it, we all eat food. Food has so many different purposes from weight management, energy, growth, repair to remediation of a disease. Now, nutrition specialists are more readily available to give recommendations for your diet as it can interact with medical treatment. For example, antioxidants may be encouraged with your breast cancer treatment, but might cause a huge interference with some pancreatic cancer chemotherapy treatments. The two main studies for breast cancer and nutritional treatment were Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) and Women's Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). These trials provides evidence for the huge nutritional impact has on breast cancer with low fat, high fibre with fruits and vegetables. Within the WINS study, specific foods where significantly more important when approaching hormones and inflammation.

1. Cells get damaged from cancer treatments, therefore potassium levels will lower due to loss, more sodium is absorbed and then swelling will take place from too much water. Lower salt intake and increase potassium with sweet potatoes, dried fruit, cooked spinach, orange squash and salmon. Lemon mimics the flavour of salt, so that can be a great substitute when cooking.

2. Water needs to be free of chlorine, fluroide and other toxins found in tap water. Reverse osmosis is commonly installed in the home to purify city water or bottled spring water. You can consume water through broth soups and watery vegetables like cucumber and celery.

3. Organic is crutial during cancer treatments, as the cells are sensitive and the immune system can become exhausted fighting off everything it considers to be a foreign invader. Adding more toxins from foods can make your immune system struggle more. Local, small farmers can be a great resource as most usually farm without the use of insecticides.

4. Supplements need to be approved by your onocologist because so many can interact with cancer treatments. Supplements with Natural Product Numbers (NPN) are something that I recommend for my clients because the research behind the product helps me understand if it will help or hinder the end goal.

5. Energy comes from our food, so balance is key. Leafy greens absorb energy from the sun and release it after consumption. Although some greens may have too high B vitamins that may be problematic with your threatment. Carbohydrates are another great source for energy, but need to be limited with some cancers like pancreatic. Exercise, especially muscle building will help as muscle cells can store glucose for energy. With weight loss from treatments, energy is lost, so try shorter periods for exercise like 5 minutes at a time at first.

6. How food is cooked is another important part of the diet. For example, a 1294 men study on any association between increased meat consumption and the recurrence or progression of prostate cancer didn't show any correlations. Meat cooked on open flame and charred may pose as a cancer risk fromHCAs and PAH carcinogenic chemicals that are created. Meat protein that may be benefical with prostate cancer are omega 3, selenium, zinc, vitamin D and E from cold water fish, grass fed beef, eggs, salmon, liver and blue crab. Raw food can cause a lot of problems with colon cancer and during treatments for other types of cancer.

It's important to have the right diet for you!

If you are needing diet and nutrition specific to mesothelioma, then check out the experts at where they discuss how side effects of treatments can be reduced with the right diet. Weight, immune system and energy are three other major things that can be affected, but also balanced with their tips for eating. It's important to understand what foods can interfere with specific treatments, cause side effects or hinder the process. There are general guidelines when eating before, during and after treatments but all cancer treatments have a specific focus and really need professional advice to benefit you the most.

If you want to know more about mesothelioma syptoms, then click on this link

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Cope, F.W. "A medical application of the Ling association-induction hypothesis: the high potassium, low sodium diet of the Gerson cancer therapy." Physiological Chemistry and Physics, NMR. 10:465-468, 1978.

Kohlstadt, Ingrid ed., Advancing Medicine with Food and Nurients, 2nd edition. 38:727755 & 39:756-759.


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