Posted on Sep 09, 2019, 5 p.m.
Diet has been shown to affect your risk of cancer, in a similar manner consuming healthy foods is important while being treated or recovering from cancer treatment. Certain foods contain health promoting compounds which may help to slow tumor growth and reduce certain side effects of treatment to help ease the recovery process.
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause side effects which can be worsened or improved by what is consumed; side effects can include but are not limited to anemia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, change in appetite, dry mouth, mouth sores, painful swallowing, impaired focus, and mood changes.
Making sure your diet is full of nutritious foods will help to provide the body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals it needs throughout your cancer treatment. You may even be able to tailor choices such as fruits to help manage specific symptoms.
Pureed fruits and smoothies may be a good choice if you are experiencing difficulty swallowing. Fiber rich fruits can also help to promote regularity if you are experiencing constipation. However certain fruits such as citrus fruits may irritate mouth sores and worsen dry mouth, and hard whole fruits such as apricots, apples and pears may be hard to eat for those with mouth sores, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, or nausea.
Blueberries may be small but they are nutritional powerhouses loaded with fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Blueberries are great choices for antioxidants which have been studied for their anticancer effects and may help to alleviate chemo brain experienced by some during cancer treatment and recovery.
Just one medium orange contains the daily requirements for vitamin C while also being a great source of thiamine, folate, and potassium. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system and can help to reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells, while boosting the absorption of iron which will help protect against anemia.
Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C. They also contain pectin which can help with diarrhea as well as protect against growth and development of colon cancer cells, and potassium that can help to replenish electrolytes.
Grapefruit is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, provitamin A, potassium, and lycopene which is a carotenoid with potent anticancer properties. Drinking 17 ounces from citrus fruits including grapefruit has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain which may help mitigate chemo brain. Keep in mind this fruit can interact with certain medications, so check with your doctor.
Each serving of apples is rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C which will be of benefit to cancer recovery. The antioxidants will support the immune system and fight cancer cell growth, while potassium will help with fluid balance, and fiber will promote regularity to keep things moving smoothly.
Lemons will help to deliver vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, and potassium. Lemon extract may help to prevent growth of some cancer cells, and help to boost moods to combat stress, depression, and anxiety associated with battling cancer.
Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, folate, potassium, and vitamin K. They may help to improve memory, focus, and concentration which may be impaired by chemotherapy. Additionally some studies suggest that may help to reduce joint pain.
Mulberries have been used to treat cancer in many traditional forms of medicine, they are rich in vitamin C and iron and lignins plant fiber which has been shown to enhance immune function and kill cancer cells in some studies.
Pears contain cancer fighting compounds such as fiber, copper, vitamin K, and vitamin C. They also contain anthocyanins that have been linked to decreased cancer growth and tumor formation.
Strawberries have an impressive nutrient profile which may offer several benefits to specific cancer recovery. Not only are they easy to swallow but they have been shown to help reduce tumor formation in animal studies, and help to kill breast cancer cells while blocking tumor growth.
Cherries contain potassium, copper, vitamin C, and antioxidants such as lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin, which can help to slow the growth of cancer cells; the antioxidants in cherries have been shown to slow the growth and spread of some cancer cells.
Blackberries are rich in vitamins C and K as well as manganese and an impressive array of antioxidants such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and ellagic acid. Blueberries may help to protect against DNA damage, neutralize free radicals, slow the growth and spread of some cancer cells, preserve brain health, enhance memory, and help to prevent some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
Certain fruits can affect health, which is especially true during as well as after cancer treatment. Many fruits will provide antioxidants which will help to fight the growth and spread of cancer cells, as well as help to ease certain side effects of treatment.
Including more fruits in your diet works best in combination with a balanced diet can help to keep you feeling at your best and help to get you on the road to recovery. Please keep in mind that certain foods and fruits can interact with medications, be sure to ask your doctor which food(s) you should avoid if any.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.