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Learning About Nutrition and Cancer

Jillian contacted me and asked if she could guest blog here on A Healthy Life.  I couldn’t have been more honored that she asked and was thrilled and quite excited to include her thoughts.

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.

As Jillian said in an email to me “each different cancer has its limitations, but if one can keep a healthy body, they can have a better chance to overcome this awful disease.”  What an inspiration to us all to keep fighting for our health, no matter what our health and situation may be, because it matters!

Learning About Nutrition and Cancer

By: Jillian Mckee

Learning about nutrition and cancer can make a huge difference in how they feel. Even if you have just been diagnosed, there are things you can do to improve your current state of health. While these will not be a cure, they will be able to increase your energy levels and help you generally feel better. Depending on the type of cancer you have, you may be looking at specific topics, such as treatments for mesothelioma. Finding out how nutrition plays into this will help you make progress faster because your diet is something you can control.

One part of your diet change that will make a big difference is the amount of sugar you consume. Cancer feeds on sugar in every form, so if you can eat or drink less, you’re going to lessen its strength. There are plenty of alternative food items that don’t contain sugar and yet still taste just as great. By incorporating these into your diet, you’ll be making big steps towards feeling better. It will also give you a higher quality of energy because you won’t have the feeling of “falling off the cliff” later on.

As far as specific foods that you can start eating more of, you’re looking for items that are rich in antioxidants. These help your body fight off the effects of free radicals and also let your body heal much faster. The free radicals do a lot of damage to your cells every day, but if your system is equipped to fight them off, you’ll fight off sickness and have a stronger immune system. A good example of food items like this includes avocados.

Other vegetables that can be very helpful actually offer what is known as cancer-fighting estrogen. That’s because they interact with the chemicals in such a way as to protect your cells even more efficiently. Although it’s not everyone’s favorite, broccoli accomplishes this very well. You can also add more cabbage and cauliflower, as both of these can be eaten either hot or cold, whatever you like the best.

You may have heard that spicy food is great for losing weight. The heat of the food and your body’s digestion of it cause you to burn twice as many calories as you would with non-spicy foods. However, spicy foods are also great for fighting cancer invasions. They naturally have a chemical inside them that not just helps you feel better, but prevents cancer in the first place. If you like things like jalapenos and chili peppers and don’t get heartburn from eating them, they make excellent additions to almost any dish. You’re also giving yourself the benefit of a diet that will help you potentially recover.

For those who like fruits, you’ll find that figs and grapes are wonderful to enjoy. Not only do they taste good, they have natural disease-fighting characteristics to take advantage of. The figs have been shown to actually shrink tumors, along with being a vital source of vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium. The grapes have reservatrol that indirectly slows down the growth of cancer cells. It also slows the growth of tumors and gives your immune system a boost.

When you take advantage of these very easy-to-make changes, you’ll find that your physical state may not be as weak or tired as before. Not only will you be eating healthy, you’ll be boosting the effects of whatever medication you have been prescribed. By combining these two methods, you have a better chance of recovery and will feel like being more active. There are plenty of resources available to help you put together a cancer-fighting diet and professionals to help you as well. Use this in your grocery shopping and everyone in your family will benefit as well.

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