If you are undergoing or recovering from breast cancer treatments, be it surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, your main focus is on getting rid of the cancer. Nutrition can play a vital role in your treatment recovery, prevention of cancer recurrence, and overall health and well-being. Eating well will help you stay strong by providing your body the nutrients it needs. We parterned with the RadComp Trial to provide some guidance on how to eat right in this critical treatment and recovery time. The information in this article is derived from SHARE's webinar "Every Bite Counts!" featuring registered dieticians from God's Love We Deliver.
Eat Better to Feel Better
Incorporating foods that are plant-based may reduce the resurgence of cancer cell growth. This includes:
- Grains and starchy vegetables such as brown rice, oatmeal, and potatoes provides fiber
- Bean and lentils such as black beans and green lentils provides calcium and antioxidants
- Fruits such as grapes, watermelon, pears, and peaches provides antioxidants
- Seeds and nuts such as flaxseed, almonds, cashews, and walnuts provides fiber and protein
- Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower provides protein
All the plant food items listed above are recommended because they have cancer fighting properties, such as antioxidants and phytochemicals that helps to reduce the recurrence of cancer.
Learning to Balance Your Plate
People with cancer are often motivated to make dietary changes, but it’s also important to know what foods to consume in order to stay balanced. There are some foods that will hinder your overall health. Nutritionists decrease consumption of these foods in order to reduce treatment side effects:
- Saturated fat and trans fat such as dairy products including whole milk, cheese, and ice cream
- Red meat including beef and pork to less than twice per week
- Commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, and pies
Although it is impossible to eliminate all unhealthy fats and sugars from a diet, it is recommended to eat these items in moderation in order to increase optimal health and reduce the risk of breast cancer reoccurrence. Setting achievable goals, such as striving for portion controlled meals, can be a great starting point.
Putting It All Together
Creating healthy eating habits throughout cancer treatment is an important part of surviving breast cancer. Changes in your nutrition can greatly influence treatment outcomes and overall health.
Here are a couple more resources for developing healthier habits:
- Seek out support such as SHARE breast cancer support groups
- Speak with someone who has expertise in nutrition such as a registered dietitian nutritionist
The RadComp Trial is delighted to partner with organizations such as SHARE to work alongside us to provide insight on the design of the trial and educational resources to breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families. To learn more about the RadComp Trial, please visit this website.
(c)2017 l ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02603341