Cancer can wreak
havoc on a person mentally and physically. Treatments for cancer are usually
aggressive and take a toll on a person’s body. It is important for cancer
patients to have a nutritious diet to help them stay strong enough to withstand
treatment and to combat the illness and fatigue that the treatment may cause.
As any cancer
survivor would attest, this is easier said than done. There are different types
of treatments for cancer and they all come with side effects. And the kind of
side effects will increase or decrease depending on the intensity of treatment.
Some side effects of cancer treatments, like radiation or chemotherapy, could include
nausea, mouth ulcers, loss of appetite, cracked lips, loss of taste, etc.
patients are usuallyoffered only food that they are fond of since their
appetite is poor. Often, this may not be nutritious. It is important for them
to have the right foods to maintain a healthy body weight and have enough
nutrients to provide energy.
meals should contain a good mix of vegetables and meat whichprovide enough
nutrition, fiber and liquids to build immunity, heal wounds and help avoid
constipation or dehydration.
Foods to include during cancer
like tomato, pumpkin, carrots and peas
provide vitamins. Tomatoes in any form are good especially for prostate cancer.
Vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli help in converting bad estrogen
to good estrogen and are good for ovarian cancer. Any vegetables that
are rich in oxidants like beetroot, spinach and beans should be included in the
diet. Include green leafy vegetables for much needed iron and calcium.
that are rich in vitamins and fiber,like bananas, strawberries, pears and
mangoes should be included. Fruits that provide energy include guava, apricots,
figs prunes and raisins should also be incorporated in the diet.
Dairy products provide calcium, but many cancer patients find that dairy makes
them nauseous. If you can stomach dairy, choose fortified products to ensure
adequate vitamin intake.
get an adequate amount of protein, include
dhals, lentils, chickpeas and cottage cheese while non vegetarians can get
their protein from lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs. Fish and soy food are
good for prostate cancer patients.
Carbohydrates are necessary to provide energy and stamina to withstand the
cancer treatment and its side effects. Eat plenty of foods that contain
carbohydrates like rice, chappathi, wholegrain breads and pasta.
instead of sugar is recommended for cancer patients as it has healing properties
and increases immunity.
is a common side effect of cancer treatment. It is important to have enough fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables,
bran, oatmeal etc.
Foods to avoid
during cancer treatment
High heat creates carcinogenic byproducts (heterocyclic amines).
Therefore, avoid deep fried, baked and barbecued food.
Avoid excess salt and
Steer clear of red
meat and excess alcohol.
Avoid preserved and
canned foods as they contain many kinds of nitrites that are carcinogenic.