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Cancer has been named among the deadliest diseases known to humankind. It attacks millions of people each year and kills almost 30% of them. Even those that recover from cancer do lose a lot of their health to the cancer treatments. While a person goes through chemotherapy, it often drains them of the essential nutrients required for their fitness. Thus, they need to take good care of their body by eating healthy and working out suitably, to compensate for the loss. In this article, we shall be discussing the kind of meals a cancer patient should prefer and the seven superfoods that can work wonders for them if consumed regularly.
What kind of food should be eaten by cancer patients?
From chemotherapy to radiation therapy, a patient goes through a lot of exhaustion during the treatment of cancer. This drains the patient of their energy and calories. It is also said that for chemotherapy to work suitably, a patient needs to have maintained a healthy body weight. Therefore, a patient must consume a diet rich in calories and proteins to ensure a healthy body weight.
One of the smartest ways to do so is by dividing your three main meals into several small meals so that they can be eaten at different times of the day. Since the patient takes breaks between each meal, they end up consuming more calories than they would be consuming, had they been eating just the three meals. Also, one shouldn’t wait for their hunger to alarm them to have food. They can take a break for two to three hours between each meal. If you are consuming a salad or a dessert that seems to be not very rich in nutritional value or on the calorie front, then chop some nuts on it and mix it well. This will enhance the nutritional and calorie content of the food.
Whenever you feel your hunger at its peak, it is time for you to consume the heaviest meal of your day. If it’s in the morning, make sure your breakfast is heavy. If it is during the evening make sure you have something heavy and not just some light snacks. Most patients often refrain from consuming desserts and sweets and the food they crave for. If you crave a particular food, do not stop yourself. If you are craving desserts, you can consider options like nutritional bars that will suit your taste and nutritional needs at the same time.
The 7 superfoods:
Berries are pleasant in taste and therefore most patients like having them with every meal or snack. Berries contain suitable amounts of phytochemicals and antioxidants that not only protect your cells but also contain some anti-cancer properties and prevent any kind of DNA damage in the body. One can have berries, melons, bananas, pineapple, pears, etc, in between their meals.
All the green leafy vegetables contain fibers and folates. Spinach and Kale are particularly rich in folates. This folate makes them a superfood since it helps the body fight against cancer by helping in the production of new cells and DNA repair. Kale also contains antioxidants that protect the cells and help in the regeneration of the body. Spinach contains zeaxanthin and lutein which drive off the free radicals away from the body.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, phytochemicals, and vitamins. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that protects the cells of the body. The nutritional contents of carrots fight the cancer cells and protect the body against several kinds of cancers. Falcarinol present in carrots is a kind of pesticide which has anti-inflammatory actions on the body. Unlike most other fruits and vegetables carrots must be eaten in their cooked form. Studies suggest that steamed or boiled forms of carrots are richer in antioxidants than their raw form.
- Whole grains:
Whole grains contain a sufficient amount of fiber, carbohydrates, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals which helps them to keep the digestive system healthy and the nutritional quotient maintained. A group of scientists in China researched whole grains and concluded that the high fiber food interferes with the hormonal levels and therefore can fight against some cancers that depend on the hormones.
Meat and poultry are rich sources of protein and fat. Therefore, they help you to replenish the calories that are required to maintain a healthy body weight. One major concern while consuming meat and poultry is that if you consume processed or raw meat, it often contains nitrates and several unhealthy items, which might harm your body. Therefore, make sure you consume properly cooked eggs and unprocessed meat.
- Cruciferous vegetables:
Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc are generally referred to as Cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which stimulate the production of protective enzymes in our bodies. These enzymes protect the cells of our body against any kind of damage like morphology or DNA. For better nutritional value, you can consume steamed broccoli with garlic and olive oil. Garlic will add to its antioxidant content.
Yogurt can work wonders for your digestive system, especially if you consume unsweetened yogurt. You can add nuts for adding flavor to yogurt or even some berries would do. Make sure that the yogurt you’re consuming is rich in its protein content and you can consider going through the nutritional contents of the yogurt mentioned on its packaging.
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases known to humankind. Not just the disease, but its treatment which includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc also imposes a great deal of exhaustion on the human body and drains it of calories and energy. Therefore, cancer patients must make sure they keep a good track of their calorie intake and have nutritional meals to do so. They can replace their three heavy meals with several small meals. This will help them to consume more calories than before. There are several superfoods that can be amalgamated into their diet for their well-being. The superfoods include yogurt, spinach, carrots, berries, whole grain, meat, poultry, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.