Almost one in eight women develop breast cancer in the course of her lifetime. If you or someone near you is surviving with breast cancer, and are going through chemotherapy or radiation therapy, then you must be aware of some of the unpleasant side effects that come along with it like fatigue, nausea, weight issues or hair loss.
When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, eating healthy keeps you stronger and provides essential nutrients to your body it needs. By following a balanced and healthy diet during, pre and post breast cancer treatment, you can make your immune system stronger and speed up your recovery.
A healthy diet that should be followed during Breast Cancer Treatment:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: If you have undergone a surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or another kind of treatment, you may gain or lose weight. A strict diet is not recommended during your treatment journey as many patients gain or loss weight during such treatments. However, one must aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle during treatment and avoid weight issues.
- Include rich-protein foods: A healthy diet gives you reserves of essential nutrients that help rebuild your body tissues and strengthen your immune system while you’re being treated. Hence, intake of protein should be proper in your diet like eggs, lean meat – chicken, fish, turkey, low-fat dairy products – soya drinks or yogurts, beans, nuts and soy foods.
- Eat a lot of fruits and veggies every day: Fruits and vegetables provide needy antioxidants that help fight against cancer. Therefore, eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables to grab maximum benefit. It should be taken care that fruits and veggies must be cooked keeping in mind the patient’s health condition.
- Whole grain foods: Whole grain foods are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber that keep you energetic. It includes brown rice, whole grain pasta, oatmeal and whole wheat bread.
- Choose sources of healthy fat: Strictly avoid fried, fatty, greasy and oily foods. Opt for baked, grilled and broiled foods instead. It includes nuts, seeds, avocados and food cooked in olive oil.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Intake of purified water is important to avoid dehydration. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. Also, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in large amounts as it can lead to dehydration.
- Limit artificial sweeteners and sweets: Avoid foods like sweets and candies with artificial sweeteners in it. You can substitute it with fruits and vegetables containing natural sugar, which is also termed as fructose.
- Oral health care: One area that mostly gets affected by chemo and radiation is a mouth. Though oral complication could be compromised, it gets difficult in swallowing food. Hence, brush your teeth with a gentle toothpaste and floss daily.
In order to follow the above-mentioned diet regimen, one must consult a dietician or breast cancer specialist to avoid any health issues. Because only a concerned physician can plan your diet as per your body requirements.