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Benefits of Healthy Eating After a Cancer Diagnosis

Posted May 22 2012 10:38am
Every healthy adult is recommended to eat nutritious foods throughout every stage of life to promote a longer life and to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis. But eating healthy isn't only for healthy individuals; healthy eating is especially important for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Eating healthy while fighting this disease not only improves your quality of life, but it also boosts your mood and improves digestion and heart health.
Brown rice is an integral
part of a healthy diet!

Regulate Digestion

Certain medications used to treat symptoms of mesothelioma , uterine cancer as well as other forms of cancer can disrupt your digestive system, resulting in constipation or having bowel movements too frequently. Regulate your digestion by eating foods that are high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps to create bulk in your intestines, making for an easier passage for waste from the body. It also helps to prevent hemorrhoids, constipation and reduces the risk of developing colon cancer. If your doctor has asked that you reduce your weight, eating high-fiber foods such as wheat bread, brown rice and oats helps you to feel fuller longer, resulting in you eating less.


Whether you’re receiving treatment for cancer, recovering from treatment or in remission, eating healthy foods can improve your overall well-being and improve your mood. It’s natural for your stress levels to increase after receiving a cancer diagnosis and eating certain foods can make this worse.
Foods and beverages loaded with caffeine or sugar can give you a false sense of euphoria, only to bring your mood down within a few hours after consuming them. Instead go for mood boosting foods such as seaweed, mushrooms and brown rice. Seaweed contains iodine, which can boost your mood if you’re deficient in it. Mushrooms contain the mineral selenium, which fights against depression if you’re deficient in it. Whole grains such as brown rice and wheat products keep your blood sugar steady, resulting in a constant release of energy.

Heart Health

The American Heart Association recommends all healthy adults to consume no more than 7 percent of their caloric intake in saturated fat and no more than 1 percent of their caloric intake in trans-fat. Cutting your sat-fat and trans-fat intake reduces your risk of developing high cholesterol and heart disease. In addition, consuming polyunsaturated and monounsaturated food sources such as olives, almonds and avocados increases your good cholesterol levels and helps prevent cholesterol build-up in your heart. Your doctor may recommend that you cut your saturated fat and trans-fat consumption even more than this if you’re recuperating from surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Foods that are high in saturated and trans-fats are: full-fat dairy, egg yolks, processed meats, candy and fatty red meat.

Guest post by Jillian McKee. Jillian ( @jillianmckee ) has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009 ( ). Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

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