Cancer treatments that include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc, can be really hard on your body. Nevertheless, there are few healthy food choices that can help cancer patients feel better during, before and after such treatment. Focusing on balanced eating and avoiding extreme diet plans for cancer patients can help you in the making up for short of key nutrients.
Healthy Food Choices
In case you are feeling well and have not been prescribed by your physical caretaker to restrict your diet plan for any medical reason, you should aim at such food and beverage that align with your current dietary guidelines. The exact number of servings or the diet plan for each food group varies based on the individual’s energy needs. For most adults, the general ranges of daily servings of approximately 1600-2200 calorie diet include:
- 2-3 cups of fresh vegetables
- 1-2 cups of seasonal fruits
- 5-7 servings based on grains mostly whole grains
- 2-3 servings of fat-free milk, yoghurt or cheese
- 3-4 servings of proteins either from seafood, eggs, legumes or nuts
- 40-65 gm of fat, choose oil instead of solid fats
Choosing foods low in sodium and drinking water instead of sugary drinks are a few things you must keep in your mind.
Eating the right and healthy food before, during and after is quite crucial.Veggies and fruits that must be included in the diet plan for cancer patient are:
- Tomatoes, peas, pumpkin and turnips provides vitamins and fibre
- Parsley, tomatoes and its puree is good for patients suffering from prostate cancer.
- Fresh cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli contain plant nutrients that convert bad oestrogen into good oestrogen thereby reducing cancer risk.
- Asparagus and Brussel sprouts are quite rich in antioxidants
- Bitter gourd helps in lowering blood sugar levels
- Green leafy vegetables are not just healthy but rich sources of calcium and iron
- Oranges are rich in vitamin C
- Bananas, peaches, pears, kiwi, strawberries and mangoes provide vitamins and fibre
- Avocados, prunes, raisins, apricots, guava and figs provide energy
- Fish, poultry, eggs, lean meat are very rich sources of proteins
- Dairy products like nuts, dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are also good protein sources
- Fish and soy foods are extremely good for prostate cancer patients
- Rice, Chapati, Whole Grain bread provide abundant carbohydrates required by the body
- Whole Grain like oats, corn, potatoes, beans also contain carbohydrate
- Honey, when consumed in moderate amounts, may help in preventing infections owing to its ant-bacterial and antifungal properties.
Foods that should never be in the weekly diet plan for cancer patients:
- Deep fried, baked or grilled meat because when animal protein is subjected to high heat it creates carcinogenic byproducts.
- Excessive consumption of salt, sugar and oily foods
- Processed and red meats like ham, sausages and bacon
- Preserved foods mostly pickles, jams and salted mustard as they contain nitrites which are again carcinogenic.
- Cut down alcohol consumption
- Must avoid excessive consumption of vitamin supplements because the chemotherapy can be interrupted by antioxidants if taken in large doses.
What are the key benefits of a Healthy Diet?
The nutrient requirements of cancer patients greatly vary from one person to another. And keeping up with the dietary requirement can actually be tiring especially in case of senior citizens. You can always take help of clinical dietitians or senior care centres like Anvayaa to identify your nutrition goals and plan a diet that helps you in meeting them.