PROPER NUTRITION IS KEY
Hearing the words “You have cancer” is an overwhelming and scary experience. During this time, you and your loved ones will work closely with your health care team to figure out the best plan for you. Regardless of the treatment, be it surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or alternative therapies, supporting your body through your diet is essential. Proper nutrition can help keep your body strong as it undergoes intense therapies to kill cancer cells, and what you eat can mitigate common side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Colorful vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and good fats possess antitumor, antiangiogenesis, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties. This means that many of the foods you can eat have powerful anticancer nutrients that work to support your health and recovery. These foods act synergistically with each other and with treatments to help speed up recovery time and make some therapies more effective.
SAFE, SUPPORTIVE, AND NOURISHING RECIPES
The recipes in this book are designed to be easy to prepare, wholesome, and delicious. They are meant to be enjoyed by you, your loved ones, and caregivers. We have created this book to feed everyone. What you eat right now, following your diagnosis or during treatment, is important for your health and recovery. But we believe that eating should not be an added stress on top of everything else you’re going through, so we want to make it as simple and as tasty as possible. Our recipes work with all types of treatments and are intended to lessen side effects, as well as guide you on what to eat before, during and after cancer.
Medical treatments can be effective at killing cancer cells; however, they also harm normal cells in the process. This harm is what leads to side effects (hair loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, taste changes, suppressed immunity, low white and red blood cell counts, and fatigue) in the areas of the body where there is constant and normal cell division, growth, and repair, like the digestive tract, mouth, hair, skin, and bone marrow. Please remember that everyone experiences symptoms differently and at different stages during treatment, so what happens to one person may not happen to you.
WHAT DO I EAT NOW?
The big question we get asked by our clients is “What do I eat now?” There is a lot of concern before and during treatment about what to eat, and many people are also concerned about what their families will eat while they’re off receiving treatment. We always encourage our clients to eat a plant-based diet that includes whole, unrefined foods made from scratch. And while we’ve seen different diets (such as vegetarian, ketogenic, and gluten-free) work for different people, as nutritionists, we don’t feel there’s one “best” diet. But we do know one thing: The common thread between all these different diets is the importance of eating an abundance of fresh produce. You’ll learn much more about what to eat during treatment in Chapter 2.
Copyright © 2019 by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.