Best nutrients for survivors
A healthy diet plays a crucial role in the overall well-being of cancer survivors. Consuming nutrient-rich foods can support recovery, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of certain complications. Here are some essential nutrients that you should focus on:
Fruits and vegetables: Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet. These provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that promote healing and support overall health.
Lean proteins: Include lean sources of protein, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and tofu. Protein aids in tissue repair and helps maintain muscle strength.
Whole grains: Choose whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and oats. These provide essential nutrients and fiber, supporting digestive health and overall well-being.
Healthy fats: Opt for sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These provide omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support heart health.
Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Proper hydration is essential for overall health and helps maintain optimal bodily functions.
What you should avoid
While focusing on nutrient-rich foods, it's also important to be mindful of certain dietary choices. Here are some items to limit or avoid:
Processed foods: Minimize the consumption of processed and packaged foods that are often high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium. These can contribute to inflammation and negatively impact overall health.
Sugary beverages: Reduce or eliminate sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sweetened juices. These provide empty calories and can increase the risk of weight gain and other health issues.
Excessive alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption as it can have adverse effects on overall health, including increasing the risk of certain cancers.
Sodium and added sugars: Be cautious of hidden sources of sodium and added sugars in packaged foods. Check food labels and opt for low-sodium and low-sugar alternatives.
Manage your health with experts
Consulting with healthcare professionals and registered dietitians who specialize in oncology nutrition can provide personalized guidance and support. They can develop an individualized nutrition plan based on your specific needs, cancer type, treatments received, and overall health goals. These experts can also address any concerns, provide recommendations for supplements if necessary, and help you navigate dietary changes during and after cancer treatment.
Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle as a cancer survivor. Incorporate regular physical activity, manage stress, get enough sleep, and prioritize self-care. Taking a comprehensive approach to your health, with the guidance of experts, will contribute to your overall well-being as you continue on your journey as a cancer survivor.