On February 5, 2018, was published in the Health supplement of The Reason an interview with Dr Paula Jiménez Fonseca, co-author of Eat to beat cancer, in which the journalist Marta Robles asked various questions relating to the best diet for a patient with cancer that we summarize:
- Specific diet during cancer treatment
During the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy and some patients have difficulty in the intake by the side effects such as nausea, change in taste of food, or diarrhea. For this reason, the diet must adapt to these symptoms. It is recommended to perform some 5-6 light meals and consume purees or smoothies in times of low appetite and bad digestion.
- Foods that can speed up the cancer or slow it down
There are foods, primarily vegetables and fruits which contain components with antioxidant and antitumor.
Others like those salted, cured meats, red meat, food, grilled, processed and bakery products are known carcinogens. Within the red meats, beef and ham would be the most recommended, consumed no more than 1-3 times a week while the rest should be avoided.
- Diet to prevent cancer
The healthy diet, the mediterranean diet, has a major role in the prevention of cancer. The intake of 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, the consumption of legumes and oily fish 2-3 times a week and the consumption of cereals, or wholemeal bread at meals reduces the risk of developing cancer. For the prevention is basic to abolish the alcohol and tobacco, avoid being overweight, follow a healthy diet and perform physical exercise daily.
- Foods that contain estrogen such as soy
The breast cancer is associated with excess estrogen, menarche early, menopause late, delay or absence of maternity, and with the hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives. Its relationship with the contraceptive has been confirmed in a study published in December 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). There is contradictory information regarding the role of phytoestrogens, estrogen contents in foods such as soy, in the development of breast cancer. The amounts of estrogens in foods such as alfalfa sprouts, spinach, soy milk, oil and olives, cereals, certain fruits, eggs, legumes, vegetables such as eggplant, beets, cabbage, tomato, carrot, is scarce and is unlikely to consumed with moderation may have a detrimental effect. The fruits and vegetables that reduce estrogen are citrus fruits, pear, grapes, melon, cabbage, green beans, squash, and the onion among others.
- Foods with anti-tumor properties
Ginger is a plant that enhances the tolerance to the food to reduce nausea and turmeric has anti-tumor properties by acting on several molecular pathways involved in carcinogenesis. The rooibos and green tea to which you can add lemon juice are infusions with antioxidant properties and is also astringent and may help fight diarrhea caused by the treatments.
- Open the appetite in cases of loss of appetite
To whet your appetite, it is recommended to perform physical exercise light such as walking, gymnastics, and its varieties, swimming, before meals. The intake of a slice of pineapple or the juice is not only helps to whet the appetite, but also improves digestions.
- Because it is important to eat well when you have cancer
The immune system “defenses” and lymphocytes, which are our allies against the cancer. To maintain a strong immune system is important an adequate supply of nutrients especially protein in all the meals should be 4-6 each day. Therefore, we must ensure the intake of egg, dairy, fish and white meat. Milk, yogurt, kefir, cheese, many times neglected, are a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D and are also digestive. Smoothies with yogurt, fruit and crackers provide nutrients at the times at which the intake becomes very complicated.
- Shakes to encourage the intake
The smoothies can be prepared by mixing and whisking a cup of fruit, another in vegetables and another of yogurt, almond milk or water. The fruits, which are preferable are strawberries, apples, lemon or banana, and the vegetable spinach. The smoothies can be taken in times of little appetite, but if it is possible to follow a varied diet and consume sufficient quantities, it is preferable to chew food.
- Soft diet during the treatment of cancer
The soft diet or chocolate, has the advantage that it facilitates the digestion and allows, in a smaller volume, or quantity, consume more amount of food. For example, in a puree of vegetables we will include several of these, something that would be complicated for the patient if you had to chew them.
- Fluid intake
In situations of lack of appetite or nausea drink water can be difficult. Given that it is important to ingest 6-8 glasses a day, we can substitute for broths and infusions.
Interview available at: https://www.larazon.es/atusalud/alimentacion/tomar-proteinas-fortalece-el-sistema-inmune-OC17623904