4 Foods to Eat When Going Through Breast Cancer Treatments
Breast cancer affects millions of people worldwide. While many advances have been made regarding treating breast cancer, the effects of them can leave people feeling ill and weak. Luckily, studies have shown that there are some foods that survivors can eat to reduce unfavourable symptoms, boost immune symptoms, and help fight cancer cells. The following are the best foods to eat when going through breast cancer treatments.
1. Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients called phytochemicals. These are used by plants to fight off disease and studies have shown that they do the same for humans as well. Phytochemicals have also proven to be effective in reducing inflammation in the immune system and slow the growth of cancer cells.
When enduring breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and/or radiation, it is recommended to include a daily intake of fruits and vegetables. To enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables as best as you can, aim to eat 5 servings per day. The ones that are especially high in phytochemicals are blueberries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and kale. Remember to use different knives and cutting surfaces when preparing meals involving raw vegetables.
Protein can build and repair tissues in your body that have been damaged. It is also crucial in keeping bones and muscles strong. Protein intake is crucial at a time where your body may have been weakened by the effects of breast cancer treatments.
The human body does not store protein and therefore it has no reserves to draw from when needed. However, caution needs to be taken as too much protein can cause the body to burn its own fat. For someone going through breast cancer treatment, this could lead to weight loss in addition to reductions already experienced as the result of chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Foods that can provide the protein needed for someone undergoing breast cancer treatments include skinless chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and soy. Like preparing vegetables, remember to use different knives and cutting surfaces when preparing meals involving raw meats. Also make sure they are cooked enough before serving.
3. Healthy fats
Eating healthy fats during breast cancer treatment, similar to fruits and vegetables, allows your body to reduce inflammation that may be caused during the process. They also keep cells healthy and play a role in fighting cancerous ones.
When it comes to healthy fat intake, the amount you have is not as important as the type. It is also important to steer clear of omega-6 fats that promote inflammation and activate genes that cause cancer. Instead, choose omega-3 fats found in foods such as flaxseed, fish, and nuts. Chicken, avocados, and olive oil contain fatty acid that have proven to play a role in shrinking breast cancer tumours.
4. Whole grains
Whole grains are a great source of fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, and phytochemicals. In many studies diets high in fibre have shown to have positive benefits on breast cancer by altering the actions of hormones. They can also allow for better bowel movements which is important for overall wellness as cancer treatments can cause constipation.
It is recommended that you eat 25 to 3o grams of fiber per day when undergoing breast cancer treatment. Good sources of fibre include whole oatmeal, quinoa, rice, and foods containing wheat, rye, barley, and oats. The fiber and carbohydrates found in such foods will also keep your energy levels up, allowing you to be able to endure treatments and feel better than usual afterwards.