Dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis can be pretty difficult. You might be at your wit’s end, thinking that this is the end of the world, but it isn’t. When you are faced with a lung cancer diagnosis, nutrition is an important part of your journey.
Diet and cancer prevention
Eating a well-balanced diet during your cancer treatment can make you feel better mentally and physically, giving you the strength you need to fight cancer. All in all, it can lead to a speedy recovery.
It might be confusing to think about how eating certain foods may fight cancer. However, research related to lung cancer has proven that lung cancer diets can help fight the battle.
You should also keep in mind that your lung cancer journey is unique to you. Some remedies that work for others may not work for you. Besides, if you struggle with any side effects, for example, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, etc. you should contact your doctor immediately. Every lung cancer patients’ needs are different.
In the article, we’ve explored the best diets for lung cancer. Read on to find a lung cancer diet suitable for you!
Also, read Arbonne Diet 101: All That You Should Know
How does the food we eat affect cancer growth?
First things first, how does the food we eat affect cancer cells in our body? There are several processes related to cancer that may be affected by what we eat. These mechanisms include:
- Cell metabolism: The food we consume every day plays a role in the day-to-day-functioning of cancer cells.
- Inflammation: Inflammation can lead to the growth and development of cancer cells in the body. Some foods have anti-inflammatory properties that could reverse this process.
- Angiogenesis: Tumors need new blood vessels to grow and expand. Some nutrients interfere with the ability of cancer cells to grow these blood vessels.
- Cell-cycle control: Cancer cells grow in cycles and phases. Some foods can help in inhibiting these steps.
- Metastasis: There are molecular pathways that direct the ability of cancer cells to leave their original site and travel to other regions of the body. Some foods can interfere with steps in these signaling pathways.
- Apoptosis: When cells in our bodies become damaged or age, there is a process in our immune system which eliminates these cells. Thus, some foods help in eliminating these abnormal cancer cells.
Also, read 11 Foods & 2 Drinks That Will Help You Poop
Best diets for lung cancer
If you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer, follow this sample lung cancer diet to fight cancer cells.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
All lung cancer diet plans will tell you the same thing. It is very important to maintain a healthy weight. Unintentional and drastic weight loss is common during cancer treatments. Therefore, monitor your weight closely and if you feel helpless, consult a nutritionist.
- Eat frequent meals throughout the day
An important aspect of a lung cancer diet is to eat small meals frequently throughout the day. Eating frequent meals will ensure that your body is getting enough calories, protein, and the necessary nutrients. The goal is to eat 5-6 meals a day.
- Protein-rich foods
Protein helps the body and immune system to recover from illness by repairing cells and tissues. Therefore, you should be eating enough protein and lean meats. Vitamin D that is found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, etc. can help to fight cancer cells. Other sources of protein that can help in fighting cancer cells include chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.
- Whole grains
Whole grains contain good sources of fiber and carbohydrates. Therefore, a lung cancer diet should definitely be rich in whole grains. Consuming whole grains will also help you keep your energy levels up. Sources of whole grains in a lung cancer diet include:
- Brown rice
- Whole grain plates of pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Healthy sources of fat
You should avoid greasy and fried fats in a lung cancer diet. Instead, go for baked, grilled, or broiled fatty foods instead. Sources of healthy fats include:
- Olive oil
- Nuts, and
- Seeds like chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
6. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is key to any diet, even if it’s a lung cancer diet. You should drink enough fluids during cancer treatment. Stay away from canned beverages or sweet aerated drinks like Sprite, and Coca Cola, etc. The best source of hydration is water. However, if you get bored of drinking water, you can make fruit-infused water by cutting up a few slices of your desired fruits and immersing them in water.
Lemon water and green tea are good fluids that are safe to consume in a lung cancer diet. Ideally, you should consume around 3 to 4 liters of water every day. Make sure that you avoid caffeinated beverages as they lead to dehydration. If you can’t do without caffeine, then consume it in moderation.
7. Avoid added sugars and sweets
No matter how tempting it is, you should avoid sweets and added sugars in a lung cancer diet. Food sources that are high in added sugars, for example, desserts and sweets have little to no nutritional benefits. Therefore, you should avoid them at all costs.
This was an example of a sample lung cancer diet. Medications and supplements may help in cancer treatment by supplying the body with minerals and vitamins. However, you should consult a healthcare team or medical professional before taking such supplements. However, you should always try to get nutrients from sources of food.
If you are faced with a lung cancer diagnosis, you should avoid alcohol and smoking at all costs. Consuming alcohol and smoking may interrupt your immune system’s ability to recover from illness.
The last thing you should keep in mind is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Be active and get some movement. At night make sure that you get around eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.