A balanced diet plays a crucial role for a cancer patient.
The moment in which your doctor diagnoses Cancer for a family member, a close friend or even you yourself, can be disheartening and life-changing. It takes time to come to terms with what life has pushed your way. However, a surfeit of Cancer Survival stories restores hope and it is better to be positive in this situation too, rather than thinking negatively and further hampering the function of your brain, body, and soul.
A balanced diet plays a crucial role for a cancer patient. While undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment, the appetite of the patient takes a toll and taste buds can be badly affected. Eating a well-balanced diet can keep you energetic to deal with the treatment and stay strong. As per Pharmacy Practice Manager – Ms. Chang Yok Ying of National Cancer Centre Singapore, “It is important for someone undergoing cancer therapy to eat well to maintain a good blood profile, which includes platelets, neutrophils, and albumin, in order to receive therapy with minimal breaks.”
Let us take you through 10 foods-changes that you must consider for a Cancer patient:
i. Cancer patients must avoid excessive salt, sugar, and oil. Pickles and jam must be restrained. Besides staying clear of foods cooked via deep frying, grilling, barbeque, and baking. The best methods to cook food for a cancer patient are steaming, boiling, and stir-frying.
ii. Include vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, peas, parsley, turnip to source vitamins and fibre.
iii. The patient must take plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration due to therapy. Coconut water, lemonade, buttermilk, fruits infused water, green tea…. the options are plenty and the caretaker must ensure that the patient receives these fluids with a gap of two hours on a daily basis.
iv. The patient must be provided leafy greens like spinach, fenugreek (methi), mustard greens (sarson ka saag), Amaranth (chaulai ka saag)… these dark leafy vegetables protect your body from free radical damage. Leafy greens like Amaranth or Chaulai or Raamdana (amaranth seeds) are known for their anti-cancer properties besides fortifying nutrition in your diet.
v. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are loaded with phytochemicals that convert bad estrogen into good estrogen besides vitamins and minerals and must be a part of the patient’s weekly menu.
vi. Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene(carotenoids) and help fighting cancer as well as keeping you away from a relapse. Include them in salads or get a bowl of tomato soup to enjoy it on a chilling winter evening.
vii. Fruits like oranges, bananas, guava, strawberries, kiwi, apricots must be consumed on a daily basis to get an uninterrupted supply of vitamins and fibre.
viii. Munch on nuts and fruits for healthy snacking and stay clear of any fried and processed snacks.
ix. Your go-to source for protein should be pulses, beans, egg, fish, and soy.
x. For carbohydrates, the patient must avoid refined carbs like maida and needs to ensure a healthy intake of whole-grains, whole-wheat, oats, rice, potatoes (preferably sweet potato) and dairy products.