I enjoyed reading this post about how important eating well is for cancer patients and survivors:
Fighting Cancer with Good NutritionThe battle against cancer is a long, hard road for many people. Often times, the therapies that are used to treat cancer, and even the cancer itself, can affect your ability to take in adequate nutrition. This makes cancer even harder to deal with, because the mind and body both suffer from a poor diet. Not getting the nutrition you need could also hinder your body’s ability to resist cancer.Starting a nutritious diet is essential regardless of your health status, but it can make a particularly significant impact when you have cancer. Studies have found that cancer patients who maintained a healthy diet have more energy and enjoy improved moods, better overall health and fewer side effects. Good nutrition has also been shown to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment–even treatments for mesothelioma. Here are some of the ways that you can enhance your nutrition to improve your quality of life.Limit Processed FoodsWhile there’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in less-than-healthy foods, they are far from ideal as a part of your regular diet. They contain little in the way of meaningful nutrition and are instead loaded with chemicals, sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats. You’re better off rebuilding your diet to only include fresh foods and meals you’ve made from scratch. This way, you can control what goes into your food as well as what you get out of it.Use More SpicesWithout spices; most foods would be quite bland. However, spices do more than just make food palatable. Many possess the ability to enhance digestion, which has the added benefit of increasing nutrient absorption. Numerous spices also contain high levels of certain vitamins and minerals, making them even better for you. Adding more spices to your diet could even help your body win the fight against cancer, according to some studies. Common seasonings like turmeric, cayenne, basil, oregano and cumin have been shown to kill cancerous cells and stimulate the immune system.Fermented FoodsFermentation is one of the original methods of preserving food for later use. Within the last several years, people have begun rediscovering the joys of home fermentation. Vegetables like radishes, cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers are placed into brine and left to ferment naturally. After a few days to a few weeks depending on the vegetables, methods and conditions used, you will have fresh and healthy fermented food. The good bacteria, also called probiotics, colonize your digestive system where they fulfill several important roles:– Aid digestion and the secretion of digestive juices– Improve nutrient absorption– Convert dietary fiber into usable vitamins– Produce serotonin in the gut– Keep populations of harmful bacteria in check– Train the immune system to better recognize threatsEating fermented foods at least once per day can make a dramatic impact on your health and well-being. If you don’t want to wait for the fermentation process, taking a quality probiotic supplement is recommended.Avoid Refined SugarEating refined sugars is one of the worst things that someone with cancer can do to their health. Sugar not only causes blood sugar problems and weight gain but also inflammation and immune suppression. Researchers have discovered that consuming sugar results in a weakening of the immune system that can last as long as five hours. Sugar also depletes the nutrients from your body much the same way alcohol does. Some good alternatives to sugar include apple juice concentrate, stevia, fresh fruit or raw honey.Reorganize MealtimeA lot of people like to have something to drink with their meals, but this may not be a good idea if you’re battling cancer. People with cancer often suffer a lack of appetite due to their illness or its treatments. If this is a problem for you, then the nutritional content of everything you eat matters. Try to avoid liquids with meals, as they take up room in your stomach that could be used for more substantial nourishment.Avoid Excessive AlcoholWhile occasional drinking is normally okay, those suffering from cancer should keep their consumption to a minimum. Even in healthy people, alcohol strains the body by slowing down metabolism, hindering thyroid production and raising cortisol levels. It also depletes your body of vitamins and minerals, most notably magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc and the B vitamins.Nutritional SupplementsStudies have confirmed that commercially grown food isn’t as nutritious as it was 60 years ago, mostly because of modern agriculture and farming practices that put profits over people. Sadly, this means that it’s not as easy to get enough nutrition purely from food sources. This is especially true for people who have increased nutritional needs, such as cancer patients. In order to make sure you’re staying as healthy as possible, it may be helpful to begin a supplement regimen.
This was written by Jillian McKee, Outreach Coordinator at Mesothelima Cancer Alliance in New York, and appeared on a new blog called Real Food Rocks!
The article itself is basic, but well written. But that’s not why I ran it.
This is an example of how individuals and groups are exchanging information on the internet, in part to push their own agendas.
The host’s site, Real Food Rocks!, was created by a woman named Bridget. I have never met her or spoken to her. But by reading her profile, I see that Bridget is a certified nutritionist with a Masters of Science in Nutrition in Washington State.
For whatever reason–possibly because she has just started the site–Bridget chose to run an article written by someone who is paid by a company with a professional interest in mesothelioma.
I don’t think that this is necessarily bad. But what about Bridget’s interests? Like most professionals these days, she is interested in attracting new clients. By including interesting features about nutrition on her site, she helps achieve that goal. Again, no problem there.
As someone who carefully writes and crafts my own posts, especially on my other daily blog, MultipleMyelomaBlog.com, I might shake my head a bit over Bridget taking the easy way out and using content contributed by a special interest group…
But what about my interests? YES! I want to help my fellow cancer patients and caregivers. But I feature a large link on the left side of my homepage, encouraging you to enter our My Cancer Store to purchase books about cancer that I and others have written.
You may be surprised to learn what I really think about all of this. Tune in tomorrow and let me explain.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat