Empowering Your Cancer Journey
When navigating through breast cancer treatment, maintaining a nutrient-rich diet can play a significant role in supporting your body's strength and resilience. Research has shown that diet is a key factor in battling cancer, with up to 45% of cancer deaths being linked to modifiable risk factors such as diet and physical activity 1.
To support this journey, consider partnering with a licensed nutritionist or dietician. They can provide a personalized meal plan that caters to your nutritional needs during this critical time and sets the stage for a healthier lifestyle going forward. This could involve incorporating foods rich in anti-cancer properties, like cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) and berries 2. Also, consider foods high in fiber like whole grains and legumes, which are known to support gut health and immunity 3.
Stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet, avoiding processed foods and sugars as much as possible. Regular exercise and adequate sleep, alongside these dietary changes, can contribute significantly to your overall wellbeing and recovery.
Friends and family can also provide crucial support in various ways:
1. Assisting with Grocery Shopping and Meal Preparation:
They can help manage a nutrient-rich diet by doing grocery shopping, focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains 4. They can also assist in cooking meals, ensuring you have access to healthy food options at all times 5.
2. Encouraging Hydration:
Staying hydrated is vital during cancer treatment. Loved ones can encourage you to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, including water, fruit juices, or even soups 6.
3. Providing Emotional Support:
The emotional support provided by loved ones can significantly influence nutritional health. Encouraging words, a listening ear, and patience can go a long way in helping maintain a positive mindset towards nutrition and overall health 9.
4. Keeping Track of Nutritional Intake:
Maintaining a food diary can be helpful in monitoring nutritional intake and identifying any dietary gaps 8. Friends and family can assist in this process, noting down what and how much you eat and drink each day.
5. Supporting Dietary Changes:
Cancer treatments can sometimes alter a person's sense of taste, making some foods less appealing 7. In such cases, loved ones can help by exploring new recipes or trying different seasoning options to make meals more enjoyable.
1. Mendes. (2017). More than 4 in 10 Cancers and Cancer Deaths Linked to Modifiable Risk Factors. American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-news/more-than-4-in-10-cancers-and-cancer-deaths-linked-to-modifiable-risk-factors.html
2. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). The Best Foods To Eat When You Have Breast Cancer. Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-foods-to-eat-when-you-have-breast-cancer/
3. Harvard T.H. Chan. (n.d.). Nutrition and Immunity. Harvard T.H. Chan, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
4. Lammersfeld. (2021). Nutrition for cancer patients: How to fuel your body for the fight. Cancer Center, https://www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2021/02/nutrition-for-cancer-patients
5. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Nutrition for People With Cancer. American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/6711.00.pdf
6. National Cancer Insitute. (n.d.). Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®)–Patient Version. National Cancer Institute, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-pdq
7. Ratini. (2023). How to Eat When You Have Cancer. WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/cancer/cancer-diet
8. UCSF Health. (n.d.). Diet for Cancer Treatment Side Effects. UCSF Health, https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/diet-for-cancer-treatment-side-effects
9. Cancer.Net. (2022). Supporting a Friend Who Has Cancer. Cancer.Net, https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/talking-with-family-and-friends/supporting-friend-who-has-cancer