Highly recommended foods for cancer patients include cereals and whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish and dairy products. It is essential for cancer patients to avoid an extreme meal plan that may cause nutrient deficiency, claims Dr. Veronica McLymont, head nutritionist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
A healthy, balanced diet is a crucial weapon in fighting cancer and its associated side effects. Proper nourishment is also key to maintaining a healthy body weight, which can drastically decline due to the lack of appetite during the course of the disease, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Certain foods may also reduce the likelihood of cancer from reoccurring, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Whole grains, such as rye, barley, wheat, oats, bulgur, rice and corn are rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and fiber, which is known to trigger hormone-altering mechanisms that may prove beneficial for breast cancer patients. Around 25 to 35 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber should be incorporated into the daily caloric intake of cancer patients.
Broccoli sprouts, lettuce, spinach, endives, romaine, cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, avocado, eggplant, tomatoes and watermelon are also high in phytonutrients, which actively fight against cancer. These compounds, which are abundant in most fruits and vegetables, include flavonoids, isoflavones, indoles, carotenoids, organo-sulfides, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates.
Some foods may also help alleviate the physical discomfort due to chemotherapy and other forms of treatment, states WebMD. These include fresh and dried fruits, lentils and beans for constipation; bananas, apples and rice for loose bowel movements; pureed foods for mouth sores and bland and odorless foods for nausea.