Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most devastating times in a person’s life. The shock, denial, the unknown all take its toll alongside the actual cancer and any treatment itself. This life-changing event can understandably leave you neglecting your diet whilst you struggle to come to terms with your diagnosis and any treatments that are to follow. However, cancer treatment places a very high demand on the body and good nutritional health before; during and after cancer treatment is important in your overall road to recovery.
Good nutrition will help:
- Maintain & improve quality of life
- Help recovery
- Fight infection
- Maintain strength & energy
- Boost your mood
- Reduce medication/treatment side effects
- Stabilise hormones
One of the easiest and simple ways to incorporate healthy nutritional foods into your diet is to follow the basic principles of ‘clean eating.’ This simply means:
- Choosing whole, natural foods
- Choosing unrefined foods , unprocessed packaged foods
- Including some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal – a good balanced meal contains everything you need to fuel your body, promote healthy growth & keep the immune system balanced. Try planning your meals around your chosen vegetables, filling half your plate & eating these first
- Watching out for salt and sugar
- Avoid caffeine & even decaffeinated drinks
- Eating five to six small meals throughout the day – aim for two decent sized main meals & a few hefty snacks
- Consider following a more plant-based diet such as Vegetarian or Vegan, which can help lower inflammation in the body.
- Include some saturated fats! For decades we have been told saturated fats are damaging to our health, however more & more research is now disproving this theory. So much so the Swedish Government is now encouraging its people to eat more of it. When you eat saturated fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. When choosing a saturated fat, aim for:
- Coconut oil – this is a key saturated fat to add to your lifestyle as it contains many healthy benefits; such as fighting off infections, improving the skin, decreasing heart disease. It also keeps you feeling fuller for longer & helps aid weight loss!
- Ensure you include only moderately
Ideally we should all aim to eat organically, especially if recovering from cancer. However for anyone on a tight budget this isn’t always possible. Try visiting your local farmer’s market where you will often find fresh produce cheaper than at the supermarket, or purchase meats in bulk and portioning them up for the freezer? Remember, fresh organic produce is FAR more nutritionally dense, meaning not only is it healthier for you, but it takes longer for the body to break down, thus keeping you fuller for longer on smaller portions! If your budget cannot stretch to organic all the time, then remember many of the tougher fruits and vegetables contain much lower levels of pesticides, but do give them a good clean before using. Here are some items which are always best to try & spend your organic budget on:
- Bell peppers
- Peaches & nectarines
Most importantly – BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
Amy Griffiths, Well Being Freedom Services Ltd ©