Complimentary therapy is receiving more emphasis in cancer treatment since preliminary studies have shown several amazing benefits. Doctors once thought there was nothing a patient could do that would have any effect on treatment outcomes, but this is being laid to rest at clinics across the world. Research has definitely shown healthy eating plays a role in management and treatment. Proper nutrition can also reduce the risk of recurrence and help in preventing other diseases, such as osteoporosis.
The University of California San Francisco Medical Center lays out nutritional guidelines for patients entering cancer treatment. They point is to manage side effects, this a primary reason for making healthy dietary choices. Some studies show a diet tailored to the individual's nutritional profile can speed recovery from surgery and significantly reduce hospital stays. The experts at UCSF point to the patient's need to maintain strength, immune function and energy levels.
Despite knowing vegetables are good choices and heavily processed carbohydrates being poor choices, most individuals have received contradictory information. Being familiar with good nutrition is the first step. This understanding will need to be further informed by each individual's nutritional profile. Treatment puts stress on the body and causes damage specific to individuals, and the specificity in damage requires a corresponding need to match the diet to needs.
Eating for Variety
Every type of food contains differing amounts of vitamins, minerals, ancillary compounds, and micronutrients. Some constituents will be easier to absorb in certain foods. A good example is whole grains. Whole wheat naturally contains compounds that inhibit digestion of the nutrients. This is a protective feature of the grain, which is simply a seed. Sprouting the grain destroys the inhibitory compounds and makes the micro-nutrients of the seed readily available to the body.
The general rule is to not avoid any single food group while striving to get a mixture of foods from each group. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits should make the bulk of the diet, and these should not include additives, such as chemical preservatives and flavors. Processing is also an issue because it tends to destroy the more volatile, beneficial constituents, including omega-3 fats and vitamin D. Protein sources should vary a great deal, and fat may play an important role in maintaining optimal function.
Staying Hydrated the Right Way
Water is the best source of hydration, and it is important for patients to drink to thirst. Other common liquids that contain caffeine, sugar, sodium, and alcohol should be avoided. These will either put excessive strain on the body or contribute empty calories.
All patients have different needs. A mesothelioma patient in symptom management may require a high-fat diet to maintain body weight. Breast cancer patients may need to avoid excessive carbohydrates and fat for the same reason. Each individual needs the help of a nutritional profile in order to use food to their advantage during treatment and recovery.
This guest post written by Jillian Mckee