This story I wrote for the Miami Herald addresses nutritional needs before, during and after cancer treatment. If you’ve ever had a loved one, or have one now, going through chemo or other treatments, you know that it’s not always easy for that loved one to get enough food, or the right food, and hydration. Also, food safety becomes even more important. I hope this information helps, and I like to thing there is also a lot of generic nutritional advice that can help all of us eat better, prevent illness and be vigilant about best practices in restaurants and supermarkets, even in our homes.
Here are some tips below. More info at: https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-ne ws/article230278114.html
WHAT TO EAT
“I love the rainbow,” said Sylvester’s Klein. “Foods in different colors have different nutrition.” Dietitians recommend adding these foods to your diet.
▪ Green foods: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, green tea, edamame, cucumbers and lettuce are good sources. They’re anti-inflammatory, a vitamin powerhouse, and help with heart and liver health, brain cognition.
▪ Blue and purple foods: Eggplant, grapes, blueberries, purple onions and purple carrots are also anti-inflammatory and good for cognition.
▪ Red foods: Tomatoes, watermelon, red bell peppers, shrimp and kidney beans have lycopene, a powerful antioxidant associated with a reduced rate of cancer and they help vascular health.
▪ Yellow: Yellow bell peppers, corn, pineapple and carambola are anti-inflammatory and good for the eyes and skin. Yellow or green kiwis are good sources of Vitamin C.
▪ White and tan foods: Nuts, pistachios, legumes, quinoa, cinnamon, garlic and ginger are good for the digestive system, hormone health, liver and heart health. Try ginger tea or a smoothie with ginger root. Whatever color, lentils are high in iron.
EATING TIPS FOR CANCER TREATMENT
▪ Get plenty of protein: Sources include nuts, nut butters, eggs, hummus and high-protein yogurt as well as lean meats, said Cleveland Clinic’s Amigo.
▪ Drink lots of water: Patients are generally advised to drink about eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day, though “some chemo requires more,” said Amigo.
▪ Trouble drinking all that fluid? “A cup of applesauce is equivalent to a cup of water,” said Sylvester’s Klein. “A cup of fruit nectar is equal to a half-cup of water.” Try mixing green tea and water, said Ferri. Also consider soup broth, Popsicles made from fruit juice or puréed fruit and crushed ice.
▪ Organic doesn’t hurt: Avoiding chemicals and pesticides is a good thing, but can be costly. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s lists of “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” foods (not organic) with the highest and lowest levels of pesticides to better pick priorities. Strawberries currently top the Dirty Dozen, while avocados lead the Clean 15.