One of the leading causes of death from all over the world is cancer. Loss of muscles and malnutrition puts a negative impact on the health and survival of cancer patients. Cancer cells grow rapidly that disturbs the normal functioning of healthy cells and also affects the system of the body. We all know that Cancer not only disturbs you physically but also makes you emotionally very weak. This stress makes them eat less but it is important to face it strongly. As the studies have shown that simple changes in lifestyle and maintaining good health helps in preventing 30-50 percent of all types of cancers. Nutrition plays an important role in coping and treating cancer and this article will cover the link between cancer and a healthy diet
Healthy Food Items for Cancer Patients
There are many benefits of eating healthy food but it is proven that a plant-based diet is very helpful in maintaining good health in cancer patients.
This includes food items like
It is proven that consumption of vegetables in higher quantities helps in reducing the risk of cancer. There are vegetables that contain phytochemicals and cancer-fighting antioxidants that are very beneficial.
This includes vegetables such as Tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, turnips that are full of Vitamins and fibers.
Drinking Tomato puree and parsley is especially very good for patients with prostate cancer.
Brussel and Asparagus are rich in antioxidant properties.
Cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are the plants that help in converting the bad estrogen into good estrogen. This helps in reducing the risk of relapsing of cancer.
The bitter gourd will help in lowering the levels of blood sugar.
The green leafy vegetable is very good for providing iron and calcium.
Citrus fruits especially oranges are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants that help in preventing cancer.
Blueberries are the powerhouse of nutrition that is rich in Vitamin C, manganese, and fibers along with that it also contains antioxidants as well as cancer-fighting material. It helps in improving the overall health of the patient.
Bananas are rich in nutrients like manganese, Vitamin C and B6 It contains pectin which is a type of protein and is proven very beneficial in the cancer patient. They are rich in potassium that helps in treating ailments like vomiting or diarrhea seen in a cancer patient.
Grapefruits which is high in Vitamin C, potassium, provitamin A and also a compound known as lycopene. This compound is known for containing anticancer properties and reduces the side effects of chemotherapy.
Lemons are high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants along with some iron as well potassium. This helps in slowing the growth of cancer cells and also fighting anxiety.
Apples have proven to be the most nutritious fruit which is beneficial for cancer recovery. The consumption of this fruit helps in balancing fluid and preventing fluid retention which is one of the common side effects noted during the time of chemotherapy.
Pomegranates are high in Vitamin C, fibers, Vitamin K, folate, and potassium which reduces joint pain noted in cancer patients.
Mulberries are traditionally known for containing anti-cancer properties and also help in protecting the body from Anemia.
Strawberries are a type of fruit that is rich in potassium, manganese, folate, and Vitamin C along with antioxidants known as pelargonidin. This helps in reducing the growth of cancerous tumors, especially in oral cancer patients.
Cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums are high in potassium, copper, vitamin C along with antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotene. These fruits help in slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
Bay leaf specifically helps in slowing down the growth of colorectal cancer cells and also breast cancer cells.
Black pepper is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerous properties. It is found very useful in cancers of the prostate, breast, and colon.
Caper is useful in preventing the body from colon cancer.
Cumin reduces the ability of cancer cells to multiply and is one of the excellent anticarcinogenic plants.
Rosemary stops the proliferation of cancer cells and is beneficial in patients with leukemia.
Turmeric is the best herbal compound found in every Indian home and is packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and swelling. It is also found very effective in slowing down the spreading of cancer in the body.
Curry leaf is very good for breast cancer patient
Cinnamon helps in killing the cancer cells and is beneficial in colon cancer.
Garlic and Ginger both are also excellent for fighting cancer and also reduces the risk of developing stomach and prostate cancer.
Patients who suffer from cancer should include grains like wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, millet (Foxtail Millets, Barnyard millets, little millets, Browntop millets, and Kodo millets), and rye are free from gluten and are rich sources of fibers that help in reducing the risk of suffering from malnutrition. It provides the body with strength as it is packed with proteins, Vitamins B, and other micronutrients providing the body with needed energy.
Beans, Legumes, and Lentils have antioxidant, antimutagenic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory properties making them one of the best pulses for patients with cancer.
Almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds are the best type of nuts that should be consumed by cancer patients other than that peanuts, pistachios, and cashews should be strictly avoided by cancer patients.
There are a couple of oils provided in the market which are not at all healthy like refined oil or sunflower oil instead the person should include Clarified butter (Cow), Sesame oil, Flaxseed oil, or Olive oil. These oils are packed with healthy nutrients and won’t cause any effect on the patient.
8. Flesh foods
If the person wants to consume non-veg food then they can take fish especially Salmon or Rohu, Chicken soup, and eggs but only the white part. Red meat, mutton, and pork should be strictly avoided by cancer patients
Cancer-Fighting Juices recipes
There are many beneficial effects on patients with cancer and it can be made simply by mixing fruits or vegetables.
Here are few recommended juices
1. Anti-oxidant Booster
Take 3 apricots and grind them with 6 strawberries.
2. Veggie juice
Take 2 carrots, 2 tomatoes, 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 leaves of kale, 1/4th of cabbage, 1 large celery, half red bell pepper, 1/2garlic clove, 1/2parsley and you can also add spices like turmeric powder.
3. Juice giving strength
Take 3 stems of broccoli, 3 large carrots, and half a clove of garlic. Grind them together and you are ready with the juice.
Consume green tea on a daily basis
Ajwain (Carom seeds)
Take one teaspoonful of each ingredient and boil it with 4 cups of water. Boil it until the water has reduced to 2 cups and drink this twice a day.
There are certain products that may increase the risk of cancer and this includes
It is proven that there are certain food items that are responsible for causing cancer and this should be avoided
1. Refined and Sugar Carbs
Especially processed foods are very high in sugar and do not contain nutrients or fibers which is directly linked to the risk of cancer. According to studies a diet high in refined carbs and sugar causes their blood sugar levels to spike up. This increases the risk of causing cancers like stomach, colorectal, and breast cancer. One study has even shown that over 47,000 adults diagnosed with colon cancer used to consume a diet high in refined carbs.
2. Processed Meat
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the processed meat is a carcinogen meaning it can cause cancer. Processed meat means preserving them by curing, smoking, and salting for flavor. This includes food items like ham, bacon, salami, deli meats, hot dogs, and chorizo. It is observed that consuming processed meat increases the risk of cancer.
3. Overcooked foods
They are certain types that are cooked at high temperatures like frying, grilling, broiling, barbequing, and sauteing. This can produce harmful compounds like advanced glycation end-products and heterocyclic amines. This results in the accumulation of harmful compounds that causes inflammation and plays a major role in the development of cancer.
4. Dairy products
There are several studies that have concluded that high consumption of dairy products increases the risk of prostate cancer. Around 4,000 men were suffering from prostate cancer because of the high intake of whole milk. There are better options like almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Yogurt, cheese, butter, curd, and buttermilk should be strictly avoided.
Healthy lifestyle for Cancer patients
By a healthy lifestyle, I mean making positive changes in life. It is the time where a person should be strong and some simple changes in their life can help. This includes
Avoid getting exposed to environmental toxins and this includes smoking tobacco or toxins like styrene, asbestos, tetrachloroethylene, and formaldehyde. All these harmful chemicals increase the risk of cancer.
Consume healthy foods and include foods that are rich in fibers, antioxidants, proteins as discussed above will help in making you healthy.
Strictly avoid drinking alcohol at any cost as it may worsen the condition.
Try to exercise daily as it is important for cancer patients and this will give them strength. Include aerobic activities and avoid sitting for a longer period of time.
Try to sleep for 7 to 8 hours which is very important and it helps in improving your health and avoid spending time on TV or smartphones.
Try doing yoga or meditation to calm your mind and 20minutes daily will be enough.
Make yourself mentally stronger and connect with everyone. Discuss your problem with your parents, friends, and spouse. Try to be socially active. This will make you happy and tension-free.
The human spirit is stronger than anything and once we decide we want to fight it, we will fight it. Cancer is a dangerous disease but not being mentally strong makes it more dangerous. Including some changes in food habits and lifestyle as mentioned above will help you to cope up with this disease. The key to fight cancer is
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