World Cancer Day 2019: Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal Shares Dietary Guidelines For People With Cancer
World Cancer Day 2019: It is important to incorporate a healthy nutrition regime to kick off cancer once and forever in adjunct with other treatment processes.
World Cancer Day 2019: Cancer treatments can result in change of taste and smell.
- Cancer patients face malnutrition due to depletion of nutrients
- Chemotherapy can sometimes cause mouth sores and sore throat
- Completely avoid foods that contain trans-fats
When someone is undergoing cancer treatment in the form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both, he or she is likely to develop malnutrition due to depletion of nutrients. This happens due to the adverse effects of treatment, poor absorption, decreased food intake, and wasted metabolic process. While eternal nutrition (tube feeding) is essential in many patients during therapeutic cancer nutrition, for people with stage one and stage two cancers, or the ones who have relapse or are survivors, it is important to incorporate a healthy nutrition regime to kick off cancer once and forever in adjunct with other treatment processes. We bring you a guide to incorporate the right nutrition therapy to manage cancer, and its treatment.
Have a look at some dietary guidelines:
1. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can sometimes cause mouth sores, tender gums, or sore throat. Have fruit smoothies with pasteurized milk, or unflavoured yogurt to counter the effect.
2. If swallowing is difficult, puree the cooked foods to a smooth consistency.
3. Avoid foods high in caffeine as they may worsen diarrhoea or bring about dehydration during the course of the treatment.
4. Cancer treatments can also result in change of taste and smell. Sometimes patients can experience bitter or metallic taste or sometimes there is no taste at all. Enhance the flavour of foods by using seasonings like- cilantro, oregano, or garlic.
5. Never consume vegetables in raw state- they may carry dirt, harmful microorganisms or other contaminants.
6. Avoid consuming sushi or sashimi as they may contain raw or undercooked fish. Also avoid the consumption of undercooked eggs like soft boiled or poached. Avoid foods made with raw egg such as homemade mayonnaise.
7. Keep disinfect your kitchen slabs and cutting boards using 1 teaspoon of DIY cleaning liquid, made with unscented bleach mixed into some water.
8. To counteract the effects of diarrhoea, consume bananas, toasts, oatmeal, and avoid foods like corn, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. Also, avoid greasy and fried foods.
9. Include fruits like raspberries, apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, mango, apricots, citrus fruits, plums, and prunes.
10. Eat meals slowly and chew them properly
11. Avoid consuming red meat, whole milk, and butter, as these are the primary source of saturated fats. Completely avoid foods that contain trans-fats.
12. Add nuts and seeds to the diet. Include a handful of walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, and sesame seeds. Add these to your cereal, salads, soups, or other dishes.
13. Include immune boosting spices in the diet like garlic, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, basil, rosemary, and coriander. Add them to soups, salads, casseroles, or any other dish.
14. Eat small portions of food frequently. Have six or more meals throughout the day.
15. Eat lower fat and blander foods. Avoid grilling or using barbecue.
16. Have plenty of fluids in the form of - water, clear soup, apple juice, low- salt broth, and ginger tea.
17. Avoid greasy, fried and strongly spiced foods.
18. Cool and clear beverages are recommended. Drink liquids between meals, rather than having it with the meals.
19. Try relaxing after each meal. Do not immediately lie flat, but watch television, read something you love, or talk to friends/family.
20. Keep a track of foods/ food odours that trigger nausea reactions.
While these are the general guidelines for someone who is battling cancer, the recommendations should be followed under the supervision of the cancer care provider team (doctors, nurses and nutritionists.)
(Nmami Agarwal is a celebrity nutritionist)
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