After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in women. Here are some dietary recommendations to live better with this disease.
People with cancer usually have to eat a different diet than what is considered healthy. Indeed, the diet of women who have breast cancer must be sufficient so that they can conserve their energy to overcome the side effects of the treatment.
When health is good, eating enough is usually not a problem. However, faced with cancer and its treatment, for some women, this can be a real challenge. This is why, in this article, we explain to you what the diet of breast cancer patients should look like.
Breast Cancer And Diet
Breast cancer is a condition that occurs in the cells of the breast. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in women in the United States. This disease can occur in both men and women, but it is much more common in women.
Significant support for raising awareness and funding research has helped advance the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Thus, survival rates for this disease have increased. And the number of deaths linked to this disease is also continually decreasing.
The Importance of Eating Well During Breast Cancer Treatment
Eating well during breast cancer treatment can help:
- To stay healthy
- Save energy
- Getting the right nutrients
- Avoid sudden weight gain
Therefore, if you are receiving chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both, we recommend that you follow these recommendations:
- Drink at least eight glasses of low-calorie (i.e., water or tea) or low-calorie drinks every day. Insufficient intake of fluids can cause dizziness, vertigo, nausea, constipation, fatigue, and urinary tract infection.
- Avoid skipping meals: try to take small amounts more regularly throughout the day. However, there are some experimental treatments with intermittent fasting during chemotherapy. Results are promising according to research published in the journal Clinics.
- Limit alcohol intake or stop altogether. If you have any questions about this, ask a healthcare professional.
What are the quantities and what to eat?
The balance of food in a dish is essential when talking about healthy eating. Keep in mind the photo of the plate above. This can help you choose the right portions of different foods.
The protein can be of vegetable or animal origin.
Vegetable proteins are obtained from quinoa, sprouted seeds, wheat, mixed vegetables, etc. Regarding animal proteins, we recommend white meats such as turkey or chicken, as well as fish. It is possible to eat red meats, but only once or twice a week.
Also, it is essential to guarantee protein intake to prevent the loss of muscle mass. A factor associated with increased mortality. This is confirmed by this study published in the journal Maturitas.
Fruits and vegetables of all colors are welcome
If patients are not undergoing chemotherapy, they can eat raw fruits and vegetables. However, in the case of chemotherapy or neutropenia (weakened defenses), they should only consume cooked food.
What are the foods to avoid?
In the long run, you hear a lot of “no” votes can end up being discouraging. We, therefore, advise you not to think about “no” but rather to pay attention to the reasons why you should avoid this type of food.
- A cancer patient should avoid canned foods, smoked foods, and fried foods. Cold meats are also not a good option since they contain nitrite and nitrate, carcinogens according to the indications of the World Health Organization. Also, smoked, grilled, or fried foods contain unhealthy saturated fats.
- In the case of breast cancer, it is best to restrict the consumption of soy and grapefruit. Even if in the case of certain other types of cancer, soy can be beneficial because of the proteins it contains, for an individual receiving chemotherapy, the consumption of this food must be limited because it could cause a form of interaction with treatment.
- Indeed, grapefruit produces an enzyme that promotes the elimination of drugs in the body and also generates an interaction with other drugs used in chemotherapy.
- In the case of weak defenses or neutropenia, it is best to avoid probiotics. These are excellent regenerators, but in the case of patients with weak arguments, this can have the opposite effect. For example, instead of defending the intestinal flora, they can cause infection.
Healthy Food For Women With Breast Cancer
Finally, as well as a healthy diet in the case of breast cancer, physical activity is also recommended. Moderate walking, yoga, or dancing also help generate endorphins.
Currently, a series of promising dietetic treatments are being developed to treat this type of pathology. Intermittent fasting and antioxidants can be of great help, although more research is needed to document their use.