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Nourishing your body

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but understanding the importance of proper nutrition can be a powerful tool in managing the disease and its treatment. By making informed food choices, you can support your overall well-being and combat cancer-related challenges.

Essential foods to introduce into your diet

PROTEIN: BUILDING STRENGTH AND PRESERVING MUSCLES

Protein is a vital nutrient during cancer treatment, as it helps prevent muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. Include protein-rich foods such as beans, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, lentils, seafood and yoghurt. These sources will provide the amino acids to support the preservation and aid your recovery process.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: FIGHTING MUSCLE LOSS

Emerging studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, flaxseed, and walnuts, may help reduce muscle loss associated with cancer and its treatment. Consider adding these nutritious foods to your meals as they offer potential benefits in maintaining muscle mass and overall well-being.

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES: NUTRIENT POWERHOUSES

Embrace the goodness of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, cabbage, and arugula. These vibrant greens contain essential nutrients like carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), vitamins C, E, and K, folate, minerals, and dietary fibre. Their unique compounds, glucosinolates, have been extensively studied for their potential anticancer effects.

ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: CELLULAR PROTECTION

Include a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet to protect your body’s cells from free radical damage. Delight in the vibrant colours of blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, red peppers, papaya, plums and watermelon. These nourishing foods provide a wealth of antioxidants, supporting your body’s defence against oxidative stress and promoting overall well-being.

You don’t need a complete diet overhaul. Incorporate a few simple tricks to make nutritious foods more tasty and accessible. Try adding herbs and spices to enhance flavours, experiment with different cooking methods, and explore new recipes to make your meals enjoyable. These minor adjustments can positively impact your nutrition and overall well-being during your cancer journey.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. 

References

What to Eat After You’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer, 2023, Keck Medicine of USC, viewed 22 June 2023,
<https://hie.keckmedicine.org/blog/what-to-eat-after-youve-been-diagnosed-with-cancer/>

Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention, 2012, National Cancer Institute, viewed 23 June 2023,
<https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet>

Antioxidant Rich Foods – Benefits, Types, and Precautions, 2023, HealthifyMe, viewed 23 June 2023,
<https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/antioxidants-foods/>

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