While researching “diet during cancer treatment”, I have come across different points of view regarding what to eat and what not to eat during treatment. I am putting the ‘condensed version’ of information here for you to read but you need to talk to your Oncologist and follow his directions. REMEMBER, everything you are about to read is THAT person’s opinion (and that includes me).
Trying to eat during cancer treatment may be difficult but you must make a concerted effort to do it. It is like a double edged sword. Cancer treatments release chemicals into your body that can seriously decrease your appetite. At the same time, this is when your body requires more nutrition, protein and calories to help you fight the cancer. Instead of trying to eat three large meals a day, eat several small meals throughout the day. Make sure you stay hydrated.
Since your immune system is weak, it is recommended that you eat as much organic foods as possible during your treatments. Non-organic foods may contain pesticides and other chemicals that can further stress your immune system. If you must eat non-organic foods, wash them thoroughly. Fill a large pot with about a gallon of water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Put the fresh fruits and vegetables in the pot. Let them soak for 20-30 minutes then rinse them. The food doesn’t taste like vinegar. This soaking should remove most of the pesticide residue from the food. The water should turn dark.
During treatment your body needs extra ‘essential fatty acids’ and proteins Because red meat is so high in protein, several websites recommend eating small amounts of it as long as it is very lean and cooked well done. Try to buy ORGANIC meat or, at the very least, meat that is antibiotic-free, steroid-free and hormone-free.
Organic quinoa is an excellent choice for a high protein food. A short list of others include: fish, chicken, eggs, low-fat dairy or dairy-free plain yogurt, brown rice, black rice, dried beans, lentils, almonds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, spirulina (dried sea weed) and many more. These choices are very high in protein. If you don’t enjoy plain yogurt, take your favorite ORGANIC fruit, put it in a blender or Bullet and puree it than mix it in the plain yogurt. All websites I have been on highly recommended eating QUINOA. (1) Try to get everything organic.
Also, during treatment, you can become dehydrated. Try to drink plenty of fluid, especially filtered and alkaline water, with an alkaline level NO HIGHER than 8.5. Drinking alkaline water helps eliminate dead cells and toxins from your body. Your body needs to be alkaline to fight off the cancer. Alkaline machines are very expensive but are truly helpful during this time and after. You can buy alkaline water from a health food store but you don’t know what the pH is. The pH should not be higher than 8.5. Also, water only stays alkaline for 24 hours; 48 hours at most. After that it is just filtered water NEVER, EVER TAKE MEDICATIONS WITH ALKALINE WATER as they will be absorbed too quickly into your body.
Other healthy drinks are orange juice and caffeine-free, organic green tea, with a slice of fresh organic lemon or lime, made with filtered or alkaline water. By adding a slice or two of fresh lemon or lime to a glass or pitcher of filtered or alkaline water actually makes it much healthier for you. If you need the tea sweet add organic sugar or for sugar-free, try Kal Pure Stevia with monk fruit packets. Pure Stevia can be bought at a health food store or on Amazon..
Organic green tea, lemon, lime and orange juice are very high in antioxidants (especially the vitamin C in the orange juice). ORGANIC green tea also contains powerful cancer-fighting compounds. It is recommended you drink up to 3 glasses of caffeine-free, organic green tea, with or without lemon, a day. Adding lemon or lime is healthier because all citrus fruits turn alkaline in your body. If you want to prevent your iced green tea from getting diluted, add green tea water to an ice cube tray and freeze. You can also make ice pops.
If you are not quite ready for whole foods and you have a juicer or nutribullet you can buy your favorite organic fruits and vegetables and make your own juice, free of added sugars and preservatives. In my opinion a Nutribullet is a much better idea because you won’t need to peel the fruit. You can eat the skins of the fruits. Between 75% and 90% of the nutrients are found in the skin. I also take this juice and pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. You could use the juice ice cubes in your drink so it doesn’t get diluted like it would with regular ice cubes. You can get ice pop makers and make your own ice pops with this juice. Really delicious and extremely healthy. Since your body needs extra protein, you may want to buy a protein powder and put it in your home-made drink. (Make sure the protein powder is FREE of wheat, gluten, soy, color, dye or preservatives. Try finding protein powder at a health food or vitamin store). If you have a YOnana machine you could make a fabulous dessert that looks & tastes like ice cream but is made of organic frozen banana’s and any organic fresh fruit that has been frozen. Again; free of added sugars and preservatives. Both are VERY healthy for you. I would recommend that you buy fresh, organic fruit, slice it, freeze it and store it in a zippy bag or air-tight container and not buy packaged frozen fruit. These have been processed and contain preservatives and (most times) added sugar.
I bought my YOnana at Target. It is one of the best investments I’ve made. Tom can have an all-natural, very healthy dessert.
Cancer Research UK recommends you NOT eat anything processed. Eat protein grains like organic quinoa, millet or oats. These grains release glucose (natural sugar) into the blood at a steady rate and give you some of the calories you need. Other foods include almonds, organic lean meats, (cooked well done), any kind of WILD CAUGHT (in the US) fish, avocados, grape seed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, eggs, fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables. (2)
According to Diana Dyer, she disagree’s that cancer patients going through treatment should eat any fresh vegetables. She says, “Eating raw vegetables could cause a major health problem for anyone going through chemo treatments since raw vegetables are likely to harbor micro-organisms and bacteria”. She states, “people with low white blood counts can eat fresh vegetables as long as they are washed thoroughly and then microwaved, baked or boiled”. (3) My opinion is…….. she didn’t say organic vegetables. Just ‘raw’ vegetables. Talk to your Oncologist.
On the website for Abramson Cancer Center, nurse Carolyn Vachani says that patients undergoing treatment must not eat soft cheeses that are ripened by mold. You should avoid Brie, Stilton, Gorgonzola and any Blue cheese during treatments. Another food to avoid, according to Abramson, is any raw or under cooked meats. Raw meats, like Sushi, have a very high risk of containing bacteria such as Listeria , which can cause infections. (4)
I just discovered this book “The Cancer–Fighting Kitchen“, second edition, by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. It is filled with all types of awesome recipes all, of which, fight cancer.
I heard a Chinese proverb by Confucius that I had to share. “Don’t be afraid of going slow…….….Just be afraid of stopping“. It loosely translates to……..NEVER GIVE UP. No matter how long or hard the fight is …………………NEVER LOSE HOPE!! NEVER GIVE UP!!