Proper Nutrition in Cancer

With cancer and the associated therapy, the body has to cope with a lot. Almost every second person affected loses weight radically, often ten percent or more. Even a weight loss of 30 kilograms within a few weeks is not uncommon. Many sufferers underestimate how dangerous weight loss is. Every fourth cancer patient does not die from the tumor but from malnutrition.

Experts, therefore, recommend targeted nutritional therapy as early as possible at the time of diagnosis, so that the patient can maintain their weight. The chances of beating cancer are better with a heavier weight.

Why cancer leads to weight loss

Weight loss in cancer is known as catabolism: the tumor produces messenger substances that disrupt metabolism and weight regulation. They impair appetite and deprive nutrients for tumor growth.

In addition to catabolism, other problems can also arise: the patients are tired and weakened by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can hardly find the strength to eat, and suffer from swallowing difficulties due to inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth and esophagus, often the mucous membranes throughout the stomach and Intestinal tract attacked.

In addition, chemotherapy and radiotherapy change the intestinal flora and reduce the flow of saliva. Many sufferers can only eat small portions, such as porridge, smoothies, and liquids.

Control vitamins and germs

In order to prevent malnutrition, the blood values ​​of cancer patients must be checked, especially the content of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, and zinc are particularly important for the defense against cancer. In addition, the digestive tract should be checked for germs that could impede the absorption of nutrients.

Lots of vegetables with healthy oil and fat

The most important food for cancer patients is plenty of vegetables – in any form, according to personal taste. Easily digestible vegetables such as broccoli and carrots are ideal. Whether cabbage and onions are tolerated is something everyone has to try for themselves. Zucchini and other organic vegetables contain valuable selenium.

So that the body can absorb all the ingredients, the vegetables should be prepared with good fats and oils, for example with two to three tablespoons of olive oil, linseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, or hemp oil a day. In addition, enough protein from legumes, cheese, yogurt, quark, and often fish. These are the typical ingredients of healthy Mediterranean cuisine, which is particularly recommended for cancer patients.

Rarely eat meat, avoid milk if you have breast cancer

Cancer patients should eat meat no more than twice a week. Because while the vegetables strengthen the immune system and inhibit inflammation, pork and turkey in particular have the opposite effect. The reason is the high content of arachidonic acid. Processed or smoked sausage products should also rarely be on the menu for cancer patients.

If you have cancer, you should preferably eat organic meat to avoid antibiotics and hormones. Because of the hormone content, milk is better avoided in the case of hormone-dependent tumors such as breast cancer.

Fish is better suited than meat as a source of protein with omega-3 fatty acids.

Fruit in moderation

Fruit contains a lot of sugar – and dear tumor cells. Cancer patients should therefore eat a maximum of two portions of fruit a day – because of the lower acidity, the mildest possible varieties such as pears.

Carbohydrates as needed

When it comes to pasta, potatoes, bread, rice, and pastries, nutritionists generally advise restraint. However, the recommendation does not apply to cancer patients who have to gain weight. They depend on carbohydrates and can eat anything, but should avoid sugar and alcohol. If you like potatoes, you can put the peeled tubers in water overnight to extract the fructose.

Tips for loss of appetite

Cancer patients often have no appetite and therefore have difficulty consuming the required amount of calories. In such cases, high-calorie liquid food from the pharmacy often referred to as astronaut food, helps temporarily. Baby food is also suitable.

It is important to distribute many small meals throughout the day and to enjoy them in peace. Rituals such as a beautifully set table can bring back appetite and joie de vivre. If you eat on the side or even while lying down, you may spoil the pleasure of eating.

Those affected, especially those who are sensitive to odors, should not cook everything themselves, prefer mild foods, and not eat too late. Sage tea can help with dry mouth and swallowing difficulties.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top