Thursday, November 05, 2009
Nutritive foods for cancer patients
Cancer can take a tremendous tole on the body. Maintaining optimal nutrition during cancer treatment is essential to enhacing the effectiveness of the treatment and can be helpful in decreasing side effects of the treatments.
When I meet with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, I help them to design a menu plan which supports immnune function, helps to preserve body stores of lean muscle, helps to repair and rebuild tissue, helps to improve energy, helps to improve tolerance of cancer treatments, and most importantly, helps to improve overall health and quality of life.
Here are some tips I often recommend for my patients:
Protein Powder Smoothie:
- Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain energy and conquer decreased appetite..
- Make certain you are well hydrated: drink green tea, plenty of water, vegetable broth, diluted fruit juices, fresh vegetable juices. Try juicing cabbage, beets, carrots, broccoli, celery, cilantrol, asparagus, wheat grass, and leafy greens.
- Maintain adequate fiber intake to avoid constipation but add high fiber foods slowly and progressively as they can cause gas and bloating if added too quickly.
- Maintain adequate protein intake. Increase plant-based protein and fish in your diet. See the smoothie recipe below for an easy, digestible, nutrient-dense way to add protein when you're having a hard time eating.Decrease sugar and refined foods as much as possible. Choose nutrient-dense whole foods.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeineEat soups, broths, and congee if you're having a hard time with solids.
- Drink green tea throughout the day- at least three cups a day.
- Incorporate the following foods: mushrooms (especially shiitake, maitake), onions, garlic, tomato dishes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts)
- If you're experiencing nausea, try ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea.
- Avoid large amounts of grapefruit if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
- Cook and freeze large batches of food so that difficulty of food preparation on a daily basis does not prevent you from getting the nutrients you need. Do not warm foods in plastic containers.
You may want to add the following to your smoothie:
- 2 Scoops Protein Powder (I prefer rice or whey protein, avoid powders which have added sugar/ artificial sweeteners, coloring or flavoring)
- ½ cup nuts or seeds or 3 tablespoons nut or seed butter (not peanuts)
- 1 cup of plain whole fat yogurt (organic preferred)- if not sensitive to dairy1 cup fresh fruit
- 1 tablespoon of honey, molasses, or agave
- 1 tablespoon of high quality flax seed oil
- Thin with rice/almond milk or pure fruit juice to make 24 fluid ounces.
- Drink up to 8oz three times a day
- Probiotic powder
- Greens powder
- Ground flax seeds
- Ground walnuts
Most importantly, nurture yourself. Eat good, clean, health foods. Rest as much as you need to. Find ways to relax. Seek support. Bring laughter and family into your life.
Please Note: This information is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a licensed health care practitioner is recommended for anyone suffering from a health ailment.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact Dr. Leat Kuzniar, ND at 201-757-5558 or, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please visit us on the web at www.njnaturopath.com