mhn news & blog

October 14, 2013

Proper Nutrition During Breast Cancer Treatment

Realize Everyone Is Different

One of the most important steps in overcoming breast cancer is realizing your battle is your own. In other words, what happens to you will be unique to you. Even the best doctors cannot predict with accuracy what you will feel and experience through the process. Generally, your health and overall wellness will change throughout treatment. Things like your appetite, cravings, and nutritional needs will change, too. That's okay. The best way to manage these unknown changes is to simply give your body the nutrition it needs. A healthy diet is the route to take to achieve this.

What Goes Into a Healthy Diet?

If you are fighting breast cancer, nutrition is the one tool you can take control over the most. Think of nutrition as the fuel for your body's organs. Those organs are battling a toxic combination of drugs and treatments. If you adjust your diet to ensure it is as healthy as possible, chances are good you will see a significant improvement in the way your organs are able to function. Nutrition is not a cure for cancer, but it can help your body to continue its fight against it. That is exactly what you need.

Antioxidants Are Important

As you look at the food available to you, consider the color of your produce. The color of food is the direct reflection of the nutrients within it. As you pick items to buy and eat, look for a rainbow mixture of vegetables and fruits. The more vibrancy, depth of color, and overall difference in color, the more nutrients your body is getting.

The darker the color, the more antioxidants are within that fruit or vegetable. For example, deep greens and reds are often important antioxidants. These nutrients work hard to rid your body of toxins, including free radicals. Free radicals are small components of minute debris that can clog pores, arteries, and cells. By working to wash these out of your body, antioxidants help to push fluids and healthy nutrients into your cells. Though antioxidants cannot cure cancer, it can help to get rid of the free radicals that can sometimes cause it. That's an important tool in your fight against cancer.

Eat the Right Types of Fats

There are some studies that link the consumption of fat with cancer. There is no scientifically proven evidence that any type of fat can cause cancer. However, eating the right types of fat can actually improve organ function and may, in some cases, help to reduce cancer risks. Instead of eating saturated fats (which have been linked to certain types of cancers) in the foods you eat, it is best to look for heart friendly fats instead. This includes foods with omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. These are commonly found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and nuts.

What Else to Eat

There are other foods that can help give your body important nutrition during this battle against cancer. This includes foods that are loaded with nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Flaxseed, for example, is full of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been linked to slowing cancer growth in some people. Also look for organic foods. These are foods not treated with chemicals during the growing process. These foods can help to reduce your exposure to chemicals and, as a result, reduce the risk of cancer.

Eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining an ideal weight, and working to exercise at least 20 minutes a day can also help individuals in the fight against cancer. Giving your body nutrition is essential. However, before you drastically adjust your diet, be sure to consult with your doctors. Ensure they know what steps you are taking to improve your health and well being. You may find that the right diet can give you nutrition, energy, and improved overall health while you fight this battle.