Today my friends, I would like to share with you an article that was written by Jillian Mckee, who has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.
From the initial diagnosis to remission, nutrition plays an important part in helping the body fight cancers like mesothelioma. Cancer and cancer treatments stress the body and affect the way individuals tolerate foods. By working with health care providers, patients can maintain beneficial nutrition goals. Nutritious food helps patients remain strong and give them energy throughout treatment. With the body properly fueled, patients have a lower chance of infection. Sufficient nutrition also assists the body in healing and recovery.
The National Cancer Society discusses the need for maintaining a proper diet and helpful hints for improving treatments and its side effects. Nutritionists suggest stocking pantries and freezers with food before treatment to eliminate the need for shopping. Preparing meals in advance and freezing meal-sized portions also makes life easier. Family and friends can also help accomplish these tasks for patients.
Dieticians recommend consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In addition, whole grains from cereals and pasta and equally as vital. These foods contain essential minerals, vitamins, and much needed fiber, minimizing the chance of constipation. Increasing fluid intake may also help, but physicians warn that consuming fluids with meals may reduce one’s appetite.
Patients must also ensure that they eat enough protein rich foods in the form of meats, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. Beans, boiled eggs, and nuts are great choices for these. Meals should be nutritious and healthy by containing fewer fats, usually done by baking or broiling.
During treatment large meals are often difficult to tolerate. Nutritionists suggest reducing the size of meal, but increasing their frequency to every three to four hours. If a patient only desires a salad or soup in lieu of a meal, try increasing their nutrition by adding cooked meats, nuts, or seeds. Including favorite or even new foods may also increase the desire to eat.
When cancer treatment alters taste and smell of food, herbs and spices can often make foods more appealing. Poor appetite often leads to undernourishment. Eating healthy snacks can also aid in maintaining a nutritious diet. Hard-boiled eggs add protein to salads, but they can also be enjoyed as a snack. Try protein shakes or milk shakes with low fat dairy products and fresh fruits. Liquid protein supplements can come in a variety of flavors and prove helpful in maintaining nutrition levels. Snack on cheese and crackers, ice cream, yogurt, or peanut butter on toast for other alternatives.
After treatments, patients often experience effects that diminish the desire for food. By continuing the diet regimen used during treatment, patients continue receiving adequate nutrition. Increasingly physicians suggest an active lifestyle throughout the treatment process. Exercise provides many benefits including an increased appetite.
Because cancer is increasing at such epidemic rates I thank Jillian for allowing me to post this article and to share it with all of you. We all need to be aware of the affects our environment and foods we eat whether we have cancer or just trying to stay healthy in a polluted world.
Quote of the Day: You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step! –– Martin Luther King