If the moment ever comes that you receive a cancer diagnosis, your doctor will probably go through a list of your treatment options and what he or she will do in your particular case.
You’ll also find yourself in conversations with family, friends, and co-workers about the future and what help you’ll need in your personal and professional life to deal with this devastating diagnosis.
Now here’s an important question. What can you do to help yourself?
It may be tempting, even easy, to give up control of your life until you’re better.
That’s a mistake. This is your disease now.
It’s your body, your choice and your responsibility. Let the experts do their job (and ask lots of questions) but remember to keep actively working toward your own recovery.
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery deplete your mind, body, and spirit.
Any person who has dealt with cancer personally or in regards to someone they love can attest to the turmoil the disease causes in so many areas. It is easy to become lost in feelings of helplessness and worry.
Diet is a simple yet crucial aspect of your life that you can control. It’s critical to pay close attention to the food you eat during treatment.
How Nutrition and Real Food Can Treat Cancer
Internally you’re waging a war and you need to feed yourself foods that support your fight. Studies have proven that compounds in certain foods may even boost the effectiveness of standard cancer therapies.
Many doctors turn up their collective noses at the use of superfoods during treatment and recovery. They may attempt to mock your questions and some may threaten that healthy, whole foods are detrimental to cancer drug efficacy. Don’t let them.
Foods that prevent cancer (and treat it) contain a wealth of powerful antioxidants. They fight free radicals in your system, slowing and even stopping molecules that cause cellular damage. Since cancer is the result of damaged or mutated cells, it makes sense that you don’t need more!
Oncologists imply that antioxidants interfere with the drugs administered during chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments by neutralizing them. However, patients undergoing these treatments are commonly prescribed amifostine and dexrazoxane – which happen to both be incredibly powerful antioxidants.
This represents the primary division between the “traditionalists” who wish to stick with business as usual from those seeking to “compliment” cancer treatments by boosting your body’s ability to help itself.
In studies begun in the 1970s, patients consumed antioxidant-rich foods during their cancer treatments while researchers logged the results. The outcome proved – as it has time and time again – that antioxidants do not interfere with drug therapy effectiveness. In fact, in many cases, these cancer-fighting foods enhance the power of the drugs for better results for the patient!
Follow up studies found that the patients who maintained these healthier eating regimens after treatment had higher survival rates. Though the American Cancer Society corroborated these findings, they continue to downplay the importance of food in aiding the fight.
Obviously, choosing a healthy diet is a good idea for everyone.
It is especially critical for cancer patients. If chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery are part of your treatment protocol, your body will be fighting the disease as well as the results of the treatment.
Your body needs all the help it can get!
Patients will feel proactive in their own case, try new foods and recipes, and give their bodies a little something extra during their treatment.
One of the biggest issues after cancer therapy is that your immune system is ravaged. It can take years to rebuild it and for some, it may never return to pre-cancer strength.
Food is such a simple addition.
It helps protect you from many of the side effects and might protect some of your cells from destruction by chemo or radiation. Here at Daily Superfood Love, we talk a lot about using food to rebuild your body, as natural remedies, and even give your body antibodies to prevent cancer in the first place.
What To Eat Daily – Five Foods That Prevent Cancer
1. Fatty Fish
Fish oils contain long chain omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are a potent anti-inflammatory and protect the body from negative hormones produced during treatment that inflame and irritate. Oily fish like mackerel, wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring also contain vitamins A and D – known to be forceful fighters in the battle against cancer.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds contain selenium, a strong anti-cancer compound. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are packed with zinc and vitamin E. The vitamin E provides your immune system with a huge boost and zinc aids in the absorption of vitamin C.
3. Red and Yellow Peppers
Red and yellow peppers are packed with vitamin C. This influential antioxidant strengthens your immune system and neutralizes toxins. Peppers contain even more vitamin C than is commonly found in oranges. They also contain carotenoids that convert to vitamin A. Other sources of these are carrots, sweet potatoes, and dried apricots.
Chinese medicine has used medicinal mushrooms for hundreds of years as blood purifiers, immune system balancers, and to aid in the performance of internal organs.
Shiitake, Miatake, Portobello and even button mushrooms all contain natural medicines. They’ve been shown to reduce some of the worst side effects of treatment such as hair loss and nausea. They boost immunity, increase survival rates, and studies reported that they shrank certain cancerous tumors by as much as 70%.
5. Purple Foods
No one talks about purple foods and we should!
Purple eggplant, dark purple grapes, beets, blueberries, plums, and cherries all contain massive amounts of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have been proven in countless studies to kill cancer cells. Other benefits include supporting internal organs and boosting immunity.
Recent studies show anthocyanins compounds are easily absorbed by the body and immediately begin defending the body against diseases that result from poor diet and negative lifestyle habits.
Add These Easy Cancer Prevention Food Habits to Your Routine
- Drink a cup or two of fresh brewed green tea per day (hot or iced)
- Use good oils and fats such as butter, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and extra-virgin olive oil
- Limit refined sugar, grains, and flour
- Buy organic where you can
- Increase your consumption of probiotic foods
- Search the site for more fantastic information about the cancer-fighting foods that might already be in your kitchen!
A healthy diet might seem hard to accomplish but you’ll be shocked how quickly you feel the effects on your entire body. Enlist friends or family for suggestions on recipes or menus. If you have a friend who loves to cook, ask for help with meals that can be made ahead of time and stock your freezer for days when you have no energy.
No matter how tempting or easy, do everything you can to stick with your new healthier, cancer-fighting food nutrition plan.
12 Foods to Fight Cancer. (n.d.). CANCERactive.
Konczak, I., & Zhang, W. (2004). Anthocyanins—More Than Nature’s Colours. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology,(5), 239-240.
Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment. (n.d.). American Cancer Society, Inc.
Simone, C., Simone, N., & Simone, V. (2007). Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, part 1. Altern Ther Health Med, 13(1), 22-8.
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