The diet you follow is very crucial , if you have cancer. Some foods may help to fight against cancer and some are worse the condition. It is true that No foods protect people against cancer completely. The term cancer-fighting foods refers to foods that may lower the risk of developing cancer if a person adds them to their diet.
Here we list some foods which should include in your diet as a cancer patient and foods which you should avoid.
Foods to include in your diet as a cancer patient:
Vegetables are very nutritious, including these following vegetables help to stay healthy and fight against cancer aslo;
- Tomatoes, carrots, peas, pumpkin and turnips for vitamins and fibre
- Tomatoes, tomato puree and parsley (especially good for prostate cancer patients)
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain plant chemicals that can convert bad estrogen into good oestrogen, and hence reduce cancer risk as well as the risk of a relapse
- Asparagus and Brussel sprouts for their rich antioxidants
- Bitter gourd for lowering blood sugar levels
- Green leafy vegetables for calcium and iron
Fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in certain fruits and vegetables are showing promising results towards preventing free radicals or cancer-causing agents from damaging cells. These are best fruits for cancer patients.
- Oranges provide vitamin C
- Bananas, kiwi, peaches, mangoes, pears and strawberries for vitamins and fibre
- Avocadoes, guava, apricots, figs, prunes and raisins for energy
Each individual’s calorie and protein needs will vary depending on a number of factors, such as age, gender, body weight, and activity level. The current recommended daily allowance for protein for most adults is 46 to 56 grams per day. People with cancer may need more.
Some people on chemotherapy may not tolerate some of the foods below or may not find them appealing. Choose the foods that you like. Foods that are high in protein include:
- Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, tauhu and taukwa
- Dairy products, nuts, dried beans, dhals and chickpeas
- Fish and soy foods (especially good for prostate cancer patients)
Carbohydrates, fat and protein are the three principal types of nutrients used as a source of energy for the body. Higher carbohydrate intake could provide the glucose necessary to support the unique metabolism of cancer cells. Higher carbohydrate intake may also stimulate insulin secretion, which not only accelerates glucose uptake by cancer cells, but also stimulates the rapid reproduction of cancer cells.
Carbohydrates for cancer patients are;
- Rice, noodles, chapatti, wholegrain bread and pasta
- Wholegrain crackers, oats, corn, potatoes, beans and dairy products
- Honey, consumed in moderation for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which may help in preventing infections
Foods to avoid as a cancer patient
There are some foods that no matter how good they sound are probably best avoided if you have cancer. Because some cancer treatments can weaken your immune system until at least a few weeks after they’ve ended (longer if you had a stem cell/bone marrow transplant), food poisoning is not something to tempt. The results of developing a foodborne illness can be serious.
Eating raw or undercooked foods is a common cause of food poisoning. Proper cooking destroys bacteria, but they can start to grow on cooked food if it is left out or in the refrigerator for too long.
Paying attention to food safety rules and being extra careful when handling, preparing, and storing food is definitely important. However, some people who are receiving or have recently finished cancer treatment should avoid some foods entirely, even if they may have eaten them with no problems in the past. These include:
- Deep fried, grilled, barbequed, baked meats since subjecting animal protein to high heat creates carcinogenic byproducts.
- Excessive intake of salt, sugar, and oily foods
- Red meat and processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages
- Preserved foods like pickles, jams, kiam chye (salted mustard green), and century eggs as they contain nitrites which are carcinogenic
- Minimize alcohol
Additionally, cancer patients should avoid excessive intake of vitamin supplements, as they act as antioxidants and can interfere with chemotherapy when taken in large doses.