* Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.
Eating Well with Cancer
Good nutrition is an important tool in dealing with a cancer diagnosis, no matter which phase of the process you are in. Giving your body nutrients and calories will provide the fuel necessary to give your body energy and stamina. These guidelines apply to nutrition for many cancer types, including nutrition for mesothelioma.
Before your treatment starts, eat a healthy diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and modest amounts of dairy. Consume sugar, salt, fats, and alcohol sparingly. A well-balanced diet can boost your immune system to help you be better prepared for the stresses of treatment.
The goal of cancer treatment is to get rid of the harmful cells; unfortunately, good cells get damaged along the way and you might experience side effects that affect your ability to eat or enjoy food. Each person responds to treatment differently. Certain foods might taste different than they used to, or you might not be able to swallow some foods as easily as you did before treatment. Other possible symptoms are dry mouth, nausea, or loss of appetite. Small adjustments to the foods you like can make them easier to eat. Cook foods a little longer so they become softer, or add sauces so food will go down easier.
When you are able, consume plenty of protein and calories to rebuild cells. If you don’t seem to have much of an appetite, try having small snacks available to eat so you can continue to take in calories. Cut-up fruit or vegetables, pudding cups, or applesauce cups are convenient choices.
Be sure to take in lots of liquids on days when you don’t feel up to eating much. Your body requires plenty of liquid to function efficiently, so take in plenty of the following choices: clear fruit juices, clear broth, sports drinks, weak tea (no caffeine). Water is the most valuable liquid for your body, so keep a water bottle handy. Meal replacement drinks are a good source of protein and calories.
To guard against infection while your immune system is compromised, be sure that you or those who prepare your food take precautions. Wash hands thoroughly, wash all vegetables and fruits, do not use foods past the freshness date, and be sure to drink only pasteurized juices and milk.
Good nutrition can improve your quality of life before, during, and after cancer treatment.
Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Read more about Jillian here: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/bio.htm#ixzz1wkHyJXEn
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From my kitchen to your – Happy & Healthy Eating. enJOY life.