Choosing the right food is the key to one’s good health condition. And when it comes to a patient with breast cancer, ensuring quality food and drinks is a must. Proper maintenance of the diet can boost the curing process of breast cancer. Also, you can add a lot of food items that will work as preventive sources for others.
In this article, we’ve tried to cover everything to remain healthy no matter whether you’re already diagnosed with cancer or not. Of course, you can skip a few items from our suggestion to adjust your routine. From this diet plan, you’ll experience both physical and emotional improvements.
Table of Contents
Diet Tips for Those Undergoing Cancer treatments
Keep yourself hydrated with at least 2 to 3 liters of water each day. To be exact, the quantity should be 66 to 99 ounces. Interestingly, you can use other fluids as an alternative to water. You must avoid caffeine-induced liquid though!
A certain amount of calorie intake is important. It’s not necessary to scale every food item you consume. Just follow a routine weighing of yourself one or two times each week, and adjust your eating habits accordingly. Don’t skip your meals and maintain 5 to 6 short meals each day. If anything out of track happens, you better consult a dietitian to bring the needed changes.
While we recommend emphasizing on sufficient calorie intake, including nutrients in them is highly appreciated. Apart from fruits and vegetables, complement your diet chart with soy, seeds, eggs, nuts, beans and some dairy items.
A balanced diet should contain protein to keep up the quality of lean body mass, aka your muscle. Though seafood, meat and fish are considered to be the prime source of protein, we suggest taking whole grains & vegetables as secondary elements to rely on for protein. All these will listen to your body’s needs and save it from getting weaker during the treatment period.
Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer
For individuals with no side effects involved regarding the nutrition- enriched foods, the following diet will be a fine choice –
Fruits and vegetables
From a study conducted involving 91,779 women, it’s observed that plants can effectively reduce breast cancer development in the human body.
Fruits & veggies also contain flavonoids & carotenoids – two of the most beneficial substances that actively work as a medical cure.
Here’s the list to escape breast cancer:
|Vegetables||Leafy, dark green vegetables, including broccoli & kale|
|Fruits||Peaches and berries|
|Others||Eggs, fish, meat along with beans and pulses|
Besides, vegetables like carrots contain beta carotene – an important element having the power to decrease the possibility of breast cancer. The reason behind such miraculous happening may be the efficiency of beta carotene to obstruct the development of cancer cells.
According to USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture), keeping fresh vegetables and fruit in your daily small meals, that you take between 5 to 9 servings, would be a great benefit to your health.
Antioxidants and fiber
Antioxidants come handy in lessening free radicals (a kind of waste that is produced in the body by default), which results in suppressing a lot of diseases. It’s also observed during a 2013 meta-analysis that consuming more whole grains decrease the chance of breast cancer development.
Dietary fiber is reported to have active force inherent to fight breast cancer. As found through research, the presence of estrogen in excessive amount accelerates the growth process and later the spread of breast cancer. And by consuming fiber-enriched dietary, it becomes easier to exclude estrogen at a rapid pace.
Usually, fiber acts favorably in elevating the digestive system while processing the body wastes to be removed from the bowel. While doing so, it also terminates additional estrogen along with toxins, and consequently, cuts off the damages that might happen afterward. Together, all these factors help to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
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Not all fats we get from our foods are good for our health. While bad fats are the primary source of obesity, leading to cancer, particularly breast cancer, healthful fats can provide you with a great experience throughout your daily life.
Avocado is the most favorite item in terms of good fat. Other types of mediocre fats, namely polyunsaturated (omega-3) & monounsaturated can be got in foods including olive oil, seeds, nuts, fish that belonged to cold water (i.e. salmon and herring) and such.
In order to decrease the chance of breast cancer development, soy can be a great source. It’s replete with vitamins, minerals, healthful fat and protein. Another substance included in it is antioxidants, namely isoflavones.
From a study conducted in 2017, if isoflavone intake is higher in one’s daily diet, the mortality rate decreases at a certain level. Throughout the process, a total of 6,235 women took part and the primary aim of the researchers was to find out if soy consumption performs favorably on human bodies affected with breast cancer.
Soy has another beneficial side – it lowers bad cholesterol, that is, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) level. So, the risk like obesity, leading then to metabolic syndrome, and then inflammation and finally, breast cancer diminishes.
Foods you can take to consume soy with –
- Soy nuts
- Soy milk
In case you are worried about the negative impact of soy due to the presence of isoflavones in it, keep in mind that isoflavones are different in nature than estrogen, therefore, there is the least chance of reinforcing the risk of breast cancer, says the author from North American Menopause Society.
Foods that Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer
A lot of foods and drink varieties we consume in our daily life may increase the risk of breast cancer. By avoiding them, we can easily keep ourselves safe from this dangerous disease.
Regular alcohol drinkers are at high risk of developing breast cancer in their bodies.
A report made by Breastcancer.org says that alcohol can cause harmful effects on DNA by increasing estrogen levels. Alcohol addicted women who maintain the habit of 3 beverages each week are prone to be affected by breast cancer by 15%. One more drink and the percentage increases by 10% more.
Another research conducted on mice in 2016 revealed the fact that eating more sugar causes them to develop mammary gland tumors. To compare the situation with humans, sugar contained a typical U.S. diet that leads to breast cancer development.
As we mentioned earlier, fats can be of two types – good and bad. While bad fat (Trans fats) that comes from premade and processed foods escalate the risk of breast cancer, eating a certain type of fats based on plant minimize the amount. So, limiting the consumption of crackers, fried foods, pastries, donuts, or cookies can save you from growing trans fats.
Red meat cooked at high temperatures magnifies the risk of breast cancer. Because it boosts toxin release.
Besides, salt and preservatives remain in high amounts in processed meats. So, less consuming of such items will help you stay healthier.
Other Breast Cancer Preventive Components
- Vitamin D: Apart from exposing to sunlight, eating eggs, fish of cold water, and fortified products may fight against breast cancer.
- Green tea: Among bunches of health benefits, green tea mainly strengthens the immune system, thanks to its antioxidant substance that alleviates the risk of breast cancer!
- Turmeric: Contains anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the development of breast cancer cells.
- Healthy body weight: Since obesity increases the chance of breast cancer, keeping a sustainable bodyweight should be a prominent factor to consider.
- Exercise: According to the National Cancer Institute, by exercising 4 hours a week, a woman can prevent the breast cancer issue.
Possible Side Effects and its Consequence
Nausea. For individuals feeling nausea, food at cool or room temperature are the best options so that they can skip the strong odor that evokes the feeling of vomiting. Adding ginger roots on recipes can also work like magic.
Constipation. Foods rich in fiber work effectively fighting constipation issues. You can also add more fluids to your daily meals. Try to maintain constant bowel movements by consuming warm beverages. A low-intensity walking on a regular basis can help to smooth the digestion process.
Fatigue. While large meals bring a lethargic feel, we recommend small meals intermittently coupled with protein-enriched snacks. Not eating on a timely basis can also cause fatigue and while someone is undergoing the treatment, it’s normal to get a tired feeling.
To Wrap Up
Setting a healthy diet and then following it properly may decrease the possibility of breast cancer. Primarily, the diet should be loaded with fruits & vegetables while the number of trans fats & sugar should be the least. The less, the better.
Taking control over obesity is another tip to keep yourself away from accumulating cholesterol. And less cholesterol means less chance of getting affected with breast cancer. Also, one can keep her body free from additional fat for physical beautification. Health with beauty – pretty good deal, right?
Janice Thompson is a nutritionist. She loves to share her healthy lifestyle and diet tips.