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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
HOW GOOD NUTRITION HELPS CANCER PATIENTS
Here is an article written by one of our readers, Jillian McKee
Medical experts are constantly learning more about how important it is for cancer patients to eat healthy foods. This can help ease the discomforts ofmesothelioma treatment side effects. According to the American Cancer Society, it is important for cancer patients to maintain a healthy diet throughout their treatment. Certain vitamins and minerals can help the body fight off the disease.Eating the right foods can help patients regain their strength and feel more energetic. A healthy diet can also help with the recovery process. The American Cancer Society notes that cancer patients may need to increase their intake of protein. Protein strengthens the immune system and repairs tissue. This function is crucial for cancer patients since radiation therapy and chemotherapy can take a toll on the body. Protein can help the body recover from side effects and help fight off potential infections. Protein comes from chicken, turkey, lean meat, and fish. Other sources of protein include nuts, eggs, lentils, soy foods, and dried beans. Cancer patients can increase their energy levels by including the good fats in their diet. The body also uses these fats to insulate tissues in the body and carry vitamins through the blood.Good fats come from vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil. The good fats are also found in nuts and fish. Antioxidants are also beneficial for cancer patients. Antioxidants keep normal cells healthy. You can get antioxidants from vitamins A, C, and E. Zinc and selenium are also antioxidants.The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer patients get antioxidants from food because supplements may alter treatment effects. You can get antioxidants by eating a variety vegetables and fruits. It is very important for cancer patients to stay hydrated. For this reason, patients should drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Water helps the cells in the body to function. Treatment side effects often include vomiting and diarrhea, which can rob the body of water and other essential fluids.The body needs an adequate supply of water in order to hold onto certain minerals, which help keep the body in balance. Certain foods can also help hydrate the body. Soups, fruits and vegetables can help contribute to your fluid intake. Some cancer patients can benefit by eating low fiber foods. This gives the bowels a break. As a result, the stools will be fewer and smaller. Patients who are having diarrhea, cramping, or digestion problems can ease their discomfort by reducing their intake of fiber.