It is estimated that over 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in just the United States this year alone (National Cancer Institute, 2012). Many people are unaware of the prevalence of cancer. Fortunately, despite the haziness that surrounds … Continue reading
Healthy eating is something that comes to the forefront when going through cancer, whether the person has just received the diagnosis, is in treatment, or is in remission. Increasing the consumption of the food that the medical community has determined is best for people provides many benefits, especially for those who must meet the challenge of cancer.
The National Cancer Institute recommends that people in any stage of cancer eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and cereals and less processed food. Limiting the amount of meat and dairy products helps, along eating small amounts of food with high fat, sugar, and salt content.
Although it can be a challenge to change a diet to incorporate more healthy food versus convenient food, it should be done to improve energy levels and overall wellbeing, both mental and physical. Going by the color of fruit and vegetables helps people choose the most rewarding food to eat. Food with dark or bright colors pack more nutrition, ounce for ounce, than lighter-colored food. Sometimes cancer treatment interferes with appetite and digestion. However, almost all fruit and vegetables can be cooked to improve the digestibility in most cases.
Removing the skin from peppers by peeling when raw or roasting in the oven or broiler also increases their digestibility. Peppers contain high amounts of vitamin C, something that the human body requires on a daily basis. Greens like spinach, kale, collard, and romaine lettuce can be cooked to make them easier for the stomach to process.
Increasing whole grains in a diet is not the challenge some think it is. Eating pasta made from whole grains or spinach is a simple way to increase vitamin intake along with fiber. Even white bread lovers can satisfy cravings by choosing bread products made with a specific strain of wheat that is white and has a mild flavor.
Satisfying a sweet tooth can be done in a healthy and natural way. The stevia plant is widely available as a powdered or liquid sweetener. Molasses has nutritional value, as does honey. Olive oil is a healthy food and some mills produce extra-virgin oils with a mild to buttery flavor.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a database useful for determining the nutritional contents of food. This may be helpful for mesothelioma patients or for those suffering from any other kind of cancer. It has thousands of entries for all kinds of food and gives complete information about the nutritional value of fresh, cooked, and commercially prepared food.
Thanks to a greater awareness among food scientists and nutritionists, cancer patients can eat better because more choices are available that contribute to better nutrition. Taking advantage of them has never been easier.
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.
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Exerpts from Cancer From the Kitchen?
“More than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed since World War II, according to the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai. Even of the major chemicals, fewer than 20 percent have been tested for toxicity to children, the center says.”
“I asked these doctors what they do in their own homes to reduce risks. They said that they avoid microwaving food in plastic or putting plastics in the dishwasher, because heat may cause chemicals to leach out.”
Toxins are everywhere. Do your best to minimize your intake of chemical stress wherever possible. We underestimate such environmental hazzards because we are told they are safe. We trust the government to run tests on any commercially available or publically utilized commodity. I don’t suspect conspiracy here but one must ask, “does it make sense that using/ingesting/washing with this product will be safe for me in the long run?” The question that is answered through all the safetey testing is, “will this product cause acute (read: traceable) harm to any individual?” To assume that your body, as complex and mysterious is it is, will know exactly what to do with the foriegn substances we’ve created within the last half century is foolish and dangerous. Don’t become a fanatic, just realize that anything can affect anything and you should do your best to lessen your stress in every possible way. If it means abstaining from the microwave as much as possible, do it.
In a future post, I’ll deal with cholesterol but I must remind you of one of the reasons the body produces cholesterol in the first place. It’s easy to forget that cholesterol is actually good for you and serves a purpose. One such purpose is to sheild toxic chemical compounds found in the blood supply from reacting with other hormones, enzymes, proteins, etc. As you ingest and absorb more toxic chemicals, you increase your need for cholesterol. Now you are overloaded with oxidative stress from the chemical warfare going on in your body and your doctor tells you it’s the cholesterols fault. Next thing you know, you are one of the 25% of Americans spending their retirement money on a statin.