Quick Guide To Proper Cancer Nutrition

Guide To Proper Nutrition For Cancer Treament Side EffectsFor cancer patients undergoing treatment, nutritional problems are an inevitable consequence. Even with strict dietary procedures carried out to achieve proper cancer nutrition, some problems persist. The aggressive chemotherapeutic indications are often too strong for the digestive system to offset.

Proper nutrition during your cancer treatment can boost your immune system and help your body fight the disease. Outlined below are the symptoms that a typical cancer patient has to face, followed by nutritional recommendations to battle each problem:

Cancer nutrition: Low protein and calorie intake

As a cancer patient, you may feel that you have no appetite. The disease itself eats up all your nutritional reserves. Hence, you need to have plenty of proteins and calories to stay energized and strong and to ward off infections. Also, studies have suggested that keeping yourself nourished will increase your chances of recovering from the disease because your body is better equipped to handle all the medications given to you.

Specifically, the following are high-calorie and high-protein foods that you should include in your diet:

  • Avocado and beans
  • Seeds, nuts, and dried fruit
  • Olives and canola oil

Moreover, it is important to cut back on low-calorie drinks and opt for:

  • Smoothie Shakes
  • High-protein drink supplements
  • Fruit juices.

However, you should limit the amount of milk you drink because the medications may make you lactose intolerant, causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping.

Nausea and Vomiting

These symptoms are usually the adverse effects of chemotherapy. To decrease the sensation of nausea and to prevent it from occurring, it is wise to:

  • Drink at least ten glasses of water a day, since dehydration makes you feel nauseous.
  • Add lemon extract to warm water and drink this twice a day to get rid of vomiting sensations.
  • Try taking encapsulated ginger, ginger candy or fresh ginger to counter nausea.
  • Eat small frequent meals every few hours, whether or not you are hungry.
Mouth Sores

It is another common side effect that you may get from cancer treatments, especially when taking oral medications. To alleviate the discomfort associated with mouth sores, it is advisable to:

  • Avoid salty, spicy and acidic foods because these will aggravate your oral pain.
  • Try to eat more soft and blended food like pudding, milk, porridge, custard rice and soups.
Loss of Appetite (Anorexia) and Depression

It is normal to have an altered preference for food due to cancer treatment medications. You may also feel weak and tired most of the day. To combat these problems, you may try to:

  • Exercise lightly through swimming, yoga, cycling and brisk walking.
  • Eat with friends and family, and improve the mood of your surroundings with music, good food and plenty of light.
  • Cancer may be a very difficult illness to deal with, but by following these practical dietary tips, proper nutrition can be achieved. In the long run, even the adverse effects of chemotherapy can be countered.
Vanquish Constipation and Drive-away Diarrhea:

Constipation and diarrhea are another discomforting side effects of cancer treatment that can overcome with proper nutrition.

Patients with constipation should:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat high fiber food like beans, lentils, vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Dried fruit

Similarly, patients with diarrhea should:

  • Eat bland foods like banana, rice, and apples
  • Drink lots of water and other liquids to stay hydrated
Modified Diets:

The proper diet plan is the ultimate reply to chemotherapy complications that worsen due to improper diet and side effects of cancer treatments. Here is a summary of what should be followed by a properly modified diet in cancer treatment:

  • Clear liquids: It may include, fruit juices, gelatin, broth, fruit ice coffee, tea, and popsicles. It is normally recommended for bowel rest with diarrhea and vomiting
  • Full Liquids: It clearly includes plenty of water, milk, ice creams, yogurt, milk shakes, cereal, creamed soups, commercial supplements, custard, pudding and commercial supplements. It is a progression from clear liquids. It is a recommended diet plan for those who have difficulty eating or their esophagus is narrow or suffering with mouth pain.
  • Soft/ Low Fibre Diet: As the name suggests it avoids raw veggies, fruits and foods with skins, seeds, and nuts, etc. It includes white potatoes and fruit juices. It is meant for all those patients with mild to severe bowel obstruction.
  • Low Lactose: Lactose is a naturally occurring milk sugar. It is indicated in patients experiencing bloating, lactose intolerance or diarrhea after eating any food containing lactose or following cancer treatment.

Cancer patients should take at least five meals of fruits and vegetables a day. It may include dark leafy greens and also berries. Eat whole grains foods that involve high fiber bread and cereals, brown rice, barley, oats, etc. And avoid refined foods like muffins, donuts, white bread or all those food high in sugar content as we know that cancer cells feed on sugar.

Limit red and processed meat. Stick to poultry, fish, and tofu. Food other than supplements are the best sources of minerals and vitamins. As there is no fine proof that they give same anti-cancer benefit as the fruits and vegetables.

Conclusion:

To maintain a proper healthy diet is a very important step towards healthy living in a cancer treatment. The guide mentioned in this article would help the cancer patients towards a livelihood. In a nutshell, stay hydrated and eat nutritious food. Avoid processed foods and supplements.

References:

  1.  Nutrition for cancer survivors
  2. Modified Diets of cancer patients undergoing treatment
  3. Nutrition for people with cancer
  4. Eating well during cancer treatment
  5. Combating the Side Effects of Cancer with Proper Nutrition

Featured Photo Source: LiveStrong.Com

Dr. Adem GunesDr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Peppermint Aromatherapy for Nausea

Peppermint Essential Oil For Nausea During Breast Cancer TreatmentBy: Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues.

One of the most common fears patients express when facing surgery is postoperative nausea and/or vomiting (PONV), which ranges from minor queasiness to protracted periods of vomiting. Feeling sick to ones stomach and throwing up after surgery is a common problem, affecting between a quarter and a half of those placed under general anesthesia, and more than half of those at high risk, meaning women who don’t smoke and have a history of motion sickness.

I’ve explored the science behind treating nausea with ginger, but if you’re too nauseous to eat, what do you do?
Well, people are often sent home with anti-nausea rectal suppositories, however surveys show that cultural and sexual attitudes may make a number of people sensitive to anything involving the rectum, but the wording of the question they asked was, are you happy to have a drug put in your back passage… And I can imagine many of the respondents thinking well, maybe I wouldn’t so much mind, but wouldn’t exactly be happy about it… especially when you’re feeling sick and throwing up.

And for women after a C-section, they might not want to take drugs regardless of the orifice if they’re breastfeeding, so researchers decided to put aromatherapy to the test.

Research has shown that essential oils of both spearmint and peppermint are effective in reducing nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy, but this was after taking them internally, swallowing them.

Would just the smell of peppermint help with nausea?
They had women take deep whiffs of peppermint extract, like you’d buy at a store, and it seemed to work. While none sniffing plain water with green food coloring—the placebo—or the control group who didn’t sniff anything felt better, 80% of the mint sniffers felt better within just a few minutes.

The study was criticized for being small, and for not using pure peppermint oil. Peppermint extract is peppermint oil plus alcohol—maybe it was the smell of alcohol that made people better! And that’s actually not much of a stretch. In 1997, researchers reported a simple, innocuous, and inexpensive treatment for postoperative nausea and vomiting—the smell of isopropyl alcohol, which is what’s found in those alcohol wipes, the little prep pads that nurses swab you with before shots.

They found out that they could just effectively tear one open and wave it under someone’s nose and relieve nausea and vomiting in more than 80% of folks after surgery. It’s been since shown to work as well as a leading anti-nausea drug, and may even work faster, cutting nausea in half within 10 to 15 minutes, rather than 20 or 25.

So was it the alcohol, the peppermint, or both?
We didn’t know, until it was put to the test. Patients were instructed to take three slow, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, smelling alcohol, peppermint, or nothing. The smell of peppermint cut nausea in half within 5 minutes. And so did the alcohol. But so did smelling nothing.

So maybe it had nothing to do with the scent; maybe it was just the instruction to take slow deep breaths. That would make it a really cost-effective intervention. Maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising, given the proximity of the vomiting and breathing centers within the brain.

And indeed controlled breathing was effective with or without any scent. So next time you feel nauseous, inhale deeply through your nose to the count of three, hold your breath to the count of three, and exhale out the mouth to the count of three. And do that three times.

Ironically the researchers continued to advocate using that nasty smelling alcohol pad even though they showed it wasn’t any more effective than breathing alone.

Why? Because since isopropyl alcohol has a readily detectable odor, patients are more likely to think that their post-operation nausea and vomiting is being actively treated when they inhale alcohol vapors rather than just engaging in breathing exercises.

Doctor’s Note

What do you think of them still using the alcohol pads even though they were shown to offer no additional benefit? I have a whole video on such questions: The Lie That Heals: Should Doctors Give Placebos?

Here’s a link to my Natural Nausea Remedy Recipe. Powdered ginger may be easier though (see Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees).

More on aromatherapy here:

What about actually eating the peppermint? See:

Of course the best way to avoid postsurgical nausea is to try to avoid surgery in the first place. Those that eat healthy may be less likely to go under the knife. See Say No to Drugs by Saying Yes to More Plants.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

%d bloggers like this: