Nutrition after Cancer Treatment
The cancer treatment is done and now what? How do I protect myself from the recurrence? What kind of lifestyle do I follow? Should I still be eating healthy? These are a few questions that might hover in one’s mind post treatment and if you are one among them, then this article is just for you.
Your very first goal should be to rebuild your immune system and overall health. Therefore, focus on your nutrition first by managing all the nutrient deficiencies that might have occurred due to cancer and the cancer treatment. Such as, normalising your lab parameters (like hemoglobin), gaining weight if you had ended up losing a lot, combating fatigue and building your strength, improving your gut health and immunity, etc.
In short, you need to eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, get good sleep, exercise regularly, reduce stress and avoid tobacco and alcohol.
What is a balanced diet?
It’s the diet that consists of a variety of different types of healthy food, in certain quantities and proportions, in order to avail all possible nutrients from the same. One easy way to make sure you’re consuming a balanced diet is to ensure that your daily intake of food looks something like this. Of course the same can be customized further for every individual.
Few nutrition tips:
● Make sure that you eat at least 3-4 cups of fresh, seasonal, low glycemic index fruits and vegetables every day. Research shows that a diet rich in fruits and veggies helps in keeping diseases at bay. Including cancer!
● Choose healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish, avocado and walnuts, other nuts and seeds.
● Select proteins such as fish, grass fed lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.
● Opt for healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes and fruits and vegetables. Make sure you keep this to a minimum as we Indians tend to binge eat the same.
● Use different and plenty of herbs and spices in your diet wherever possible. Like ginger, garlic, turmeric, oregano, thyme etc.
This combination of foods will ensure that you’re eating plenty of the vitamins and nutrients you need to help make your body strong. Not only that, but it will also help in building your immunity.
● Avoid sugar, refined or processed foods at all times.
● Anything with food additives like preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and colours is a big no no!
● Keep yourself away from processed meat.
● Do not consume a lot of cow milk on a regular basis. If you do, make sure it’s purely organic. If you are hormone sensitive, please avoid dairy (to know more about this please read the article on organic foods and brands, women and hormones).
Something else that I would like to add here is the importance of keeping yourself motivated. While you may worry that it will take too much effort towards making these changes in your lifestyle to achieve all these goals, do what you can and make changes slowly. Easing into a healthy diet or regular exercise routine can make it more likely that you’ll stick with these changes for the rest of your life. All the best!
Tags: Nutrition, post cancer treatment, balanced diet, pegan food pyramid, nutrition tips, immunity, health fat, herbs and spices, cancer, cancer treatment