As many as 35 percent of cancer cases can be connected to poor nutrition. Developing mesothelioma is not attributable to bad nutrition, but patients who have healthy dietary habits often have a better prognosis than patients who do not.
A diet that is balanced and healthy can aid in preventing cancer and other health issues. There is always an argument regarding which foods and the quantities in which they should be eaten are best, but there are some basic guidelines that can be agreed upon — practice moderation, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and pay attention to how certain foods affect the body.
Setting Your Nutritional Guidelines
Nutritional guidelines are different for everyone. The best diet for any one individual depends on factors like age, weight, height, overall health, and genetics. All calories taken in should be heavy with nutrients. Things like fast food, sweets, and processed foods slow down the immune system and metabolism and block the lymphatic system. Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein are the healthiest. Dairy products and healthy carbohydrates (potatoes and whole wheat pasta, for instance) can be added to this.
Cancer can develop for any number of reasons, no matter how healthy the individual’s diet. Even when a healthy person gets cancer, sticking to that healthy diet can be extremely helpful during treatment and healing. Things like vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates have important roles in the workings of a healthy body. If nutrients are not in balance it is difficult for the body to fight cancer and malnutrition can make a cancer patient vulnerable to infections. Cancer patients often die from the conditions caused by their weakened state rather than the cancer itself.
Nutrition as a Treatment
Anyone who is diagnosed with cancer should immediately work up a nutritional plan with his or her doctor. Nutrition can be as important as chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments because it can increase the chances of survival. Good nutrition can also help relieve some of cancer’s symptoms, improving quality of life at the same time.
Nausea is one of the most frequently reported side effects of both cancer and some cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Certain changes in diet can address this issue. Bland foods and dry foods like crackers and toast that are made from grains can ease nausea.
Aiding the Immune System
It is also common for the white blood cell count of cancer patients to be low. This, just as with malnutrition, can make it an easier to contract an infection. There are a variety of things people with cancer can do that can help avoid this scenario:
- Stay away from buffets when going out to eat
- Avoid sushi and raw meat
- Discard old, bruised, or otherwise damaged food
- Always thoroughly wash hands before preparing food
Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
Cancer is a very complicated condition and no matter how diligently some people stick to a nutritious diet, they may not be able to avoid developing cancer. But most cancer patients will probably benefit in some way from a balanced diet. Combine that with these tips and the body will be stronger and more able to fight the disease.
- Don’t drink alcohol in excess
- Keep track of your weight, making sure you do not gain or lose too much
- Learn how to safely prepare food
- Be sure that fruits and vegetables make up at least 50 percent of your diet
- Stay away from processed foods
- Buy organic whenever possible
- Cut out all forms of tobacco
- Eat plenty of fiber
Your doctor can help you learn all the ways to lower your risk of cancer, like exercise as well as a balanced diet. If you do develop cancer, changes like this will help you be better able to fight cancer.