How Good Nutrition Can Support Your Breast Cancer Treatment
When undergoing breast cancer treatment, ensuring that your body is well equipped to fight and handle the side-effects of treatment is essential. An individualized nutrition plan can be particularly helpful in supporting and complementing your breast cancer treatment plan. Of particular importance to this is developing a clear understanding of the food types which can offer the most benefit.
The Benefits Of A Healthy Diet
Eating the correct types of foods can help to mitigate some of the negative side-effects of treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation. Additionally, a good nutrition plan will allow you to keep up your strength and energy, provide your body with essential nutrients to help you heal and recover more quickly, allow you to maintain a healthy weight, as well as help to reduce your risk of infection. Above all, eating well will help you to feel better.
Protein is important for developing a healthy immune system, for growth and helping to repair body tissue. Making sure that you are eating sufficient amounts of protein is therefore especially important in helping your body to fight infections and to heal damaged tissue. Ideally, you should aim to eat lean protein, most of which is derived from plants such as beans and legumes, nut and seed butters, lean red meats, poultry and fish and low-fat dairy products (such as yoghurt, milk and cheese).
Fat is important because it helps to provide the body with a key source of energy. However, there are different types of fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the best choice and include foods such as olive, peanut and canola oils. Foods which are high in Omega3 fatty acids are also a good choice, including ‘oily’ fish, such as sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and avocados. Eating foods rich in Omega3 has been shown to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Fruit And Vegetables
Research suggests that eating between 5 to 9 servings per day of fruit and vegetables can offer support to those undergoing breast cancer treatment. Some good choices include broccoli, carrots, kale, berries, kiwi, pomegranate, grapes and raisins. These foods are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to help reverse the damaging effects of oxidative stress and as such, as considered a very important part of your diet. Additionally, research has also found that garlic and cruciferous vegetables should also be encouraged as part of a healthy and nutritious diet.
“Make sure that you include whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta into your diet,” says Ann Havener, a health writer at Australia 2 write and Write my x. “As far as possible, try to eat organic fruit and veg to help reduce the chances of exposure to pesticides, but frozen or canned ones are good too.”
Antioxidants are particularly important as they help to absorb free radicals, thereby helping to stop them from attacking normal, healthy cells. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Selenium, beta carotene and other carotenoids are also helpful in helping to alleviate some of the side-effects experienced during radiation and chemotherapy treatments, as well as potentially helping to reduce the possibility of breast cancer reoccurring in the future.
“Whilst many antioxidants are available as supplements, it can be dangerous and counter-productive to take high dosages of them, even making cancer treatments less effective. Therefore, if you are considering taking supplements, make sure that you discuss this with your doctor first and make sure that you only take the dosage prescribed,” says Andre Hubbard, a lifestyle blogger at Brit student and Next coursework.
Foods To Avoid
Avoid eating processed or cured meats, as well as foods which have been charred, smoked, pickled or grilled as these methods of preparation can actually produce carcinogens which are unhelpful towards your treatment. Also avoid foods containing added sugars and limit your alcohol consumption.
An individualized nutrition plan can prove beneficial as an addition to cancer treatment. It can support your body to have the necessary resources to repair damaged tissue, provide you with energy and promote a healthy immune system. However, you should always discuss any changes to your diet with your doctor first to ensure that it is the correct choice for your individual needs.
Michael Dehoyos is an accomplished health writer and professional editor at Phd Kingdom and Dissertation writing service. He also regularly writes articles for Origin Writings, as well as having contributed to numerous other websites and publications. Michael is passionate about sharing research-backed health advice with readers, encouraging and supporting them to lead healthier lifestyles. In his spare time, he can often be found running and learning new recipes.