Cancer treatment and therapies have come a long way in the past few decades, but there are still things you can do from home that make a big difference.
Diet is key to the effectiveness of cancer treatment, according to studies.
Diet Linked To Cancer Treatment And Prevention
Study after study places a clear link between cancer treatment and your diet. The better you eat, the better your treatments will work, according to science.
“An organic plant-based wholefood diet creates a cancer-unfriendly alkaline environment in the body and supports the body’s natural healing process,” explains an article from The Gawler Cancer Foundation. “Clinical experience indicates that appropriate nutrition can create a disease-fighting environment in the body and support healing.”
There’s also a clear link between healthy eating and prevention of cancer. Reducing obesity through the intake of healthy foods packed with vitamins and minerals can decrease a person’s risk for developing cancer, even when other risk factors are present.
Dietary Choices To Make
Although diet alone isn’t a satisfactory treatment for your cancer, it can aid in physician-led treatments to make you feel better and increase the effectiveness of medications and therapies.
Here are some science-backed dietary tricks to try:
Follow The Ketogenic Diet
Some studies on ketogenic diets indicate that they can improve cancer treatments and reduce your risk of developing cancer. This is based on the reduction in carbs and sugar as well as the boost of effectiveness in chemotherapy and radiation.
These findings come from studies that showed a reduction of tumor growth by a third for those on a ketogenic diet.
Other studies indicated that cancer patients felt better and reduced the adverse side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“Ketogenic diets against cancer are worth further exploration, both in the laboratory and clinically,” says a report published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. “Patients wishing to undertake a ketogenic diet during therapy should receive dietary counselling to avoid common mistakes and optimize compliance.”
Reduce Carbs And Refined Sugar
Several studies have linked refined sugars and excess carbs to an increased risk for cancer. They lead to obesity, which is also a known proponent of cancer.
Carbs and sugar also raise insulin levels, which is a known cancer risk.
Sugar has been recognized as the food of cancer since nearly a century ago when a German scientist discovered that cancer cells feed on glucose.
Omitting sugar from your diet once you have cancer won’t make a difference, but it can reduce your chances of developing cancer.
“Eat a balanced diet that avoids too many carbohydrates — especially refined carbohydrates that lack fiber and other foods with added sugars — and do your best to keep your weight down,” says Craig Thompson, an expert in cancer metabolism and the president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “That’s my best advice.”
Eat Fresh Meat
Muscle atrophy is common in cancer patients who are often unable to get adequate exercise due to their illness. This atrophy contributes to an overall sense of weakness and feeling unwell, which limits your immune system’s ability to fight cancer.
Increase Intake Of Certain Foods
“There is no single superfood that can prevent cancer,” says Mary Jane Brown, Ph.D., RD in a Healthline article. “Rather, a holistic dietary approach is likely to be most beneficial. Scientists estimate that eating the optimal diet for cancer may reduce your risk by up to 70% and would likely help recovery from cancer as well.”
She suggests that certain foods have anti-cancer properties that fight free radicals. They include:
- Vegetables, particularly broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and carrots;
- Fruit such as citrus;
- Beans and legumes;
- Olive oil;
- High-quality dairy products.
Essentially, a healthy diet with an appropriate amount of nutrients each day will help to keep cancer away.