The Best Diets for Fighting Mesothelioma
Nicole Winch | March 24, 2020
As a mesothelioma patient, it’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet before, during and after your treatment. Getting the proper nutrition not only helps you feel better but also aids in the healing process.
Your body will go through changes during treatment. Adjusting your diet to accompany these shifts is beneficial in helping fight against your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Here are some of the best foods patients should include in their diet to get the most nutrients possible.
You can find a variety of cancer-fighting superfoods at your local grocery store. Look for veggies such as kale, cabbage or collard greens. These dark, leafy greens are filled with vitamins A, C and K, all helpful in fighting mesothelioma.
Sweet potatoes and squash also contain some of the same benefits of leafy greens, plus they are both great sources of fiber. Berries are naturally sweet and are high in antioxidants and other cancer-fighting nutrients.
You should include a variety of fresh fruits and veggies in most of your meals. They not only contain vitamins and minerals but are full of water that can also keep you hydrated.
You want to focus on eating foods that are filled with protein so you can stay strong throughout your cancer treatment. According to Stanford Health Care, a person’s recommended protein allowance is 45-60 grams per day.
Every patient reacts to treatment differently and some may need to increase their protein and calorie intake. Check with your doctor or dietician to see what fits best for you.
Lean meats, such as chicken and fish, are all great sources of protein. Other protein-rich items include milk, cheese, beans, nuts and eggs. These can be eaten as meals or snacks and contain healthy calories to keep you full for long periods of time.
Find breads and crackers that are 100% whole grain. These high-fiber foods can aid in promoting healthy and regular digestion. Certain cereals, dried fruits, and cooked beans and peas also contain valuable fiber.
Try to avoid processed or refined grains like white breads, pasta and canned fruits, all of which are lower in fiber. These foods go through a process where the outer layer of the grain is stripped, which lowers the fiber content.
Nutritious fats are heart-healthy and a great addition to your diet. Saturated fats, which are found in most animal products like dairy and lean meats, can be eaten in moderation.
You should maximize your intake of unsaturated fats, as this type of fat has more heart-protective properties. Avocados, extra virgin olive oil, almonds and salmon contain fatty acids that are essential for your body.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential in staying hydrated throughout the day. Water and fresh-squeezed juices are great options. The added vitamins in juice gives your body the extra nutrients you need.
The National Cancer Institute recommends adults drink between 8 and 12 cups of water per day. Some days are tougher than others, and it’s important that patients stay hydrated (especially on days when they have difficulty eating).
While there is not a single “cancer” diet to follow, there are different combinations of the suggestions listed above. Eating wholesome foods can help you feel better and stay strong throughout your mesothelioma treatment journey.
- Nutrition Services for Cancer PatientsStanford Health Care Retrieved from: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/cancer-nutrition-services/during-cancer-treatment/high-protein-foods.html. Accessed: 03/23/20.
- Eating Hints: Before, during and after Cancer TreatmentNational Cancer Institute Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/eatinghints.pdf. Accessed: 03/23/20.
- Are You Eating Good Fats or Bad Fats? Understanding saturated, unsaturated and trans fatsCleveland Clinic Retrieved from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-you-eating-good-fats-or-bad-fats-infographic/. Accessed: 03/23/20.