Cessation of smoking and other inappropriate lifestyle habits are often the point of focus while discussing about lung cancer. However, changes in diet control are also an effective way to prevent as well as cure the disease. In fact, it has been reported that eating the right type of food can help the body respond to the lung cancer treatment more effectively. Read on to find out the foods that must be included in the diet of a lung cancer patient.
Fruits and vegetables
Research conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center has established a clear link between antioxidants and its ability to fight and heal lung cancer. While most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of antioxidants in them, a few colorful ones like tomatoes, berries, capsicums and cruciferous vegetables like collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower are particularly antioxidant-rich. Apples contain the antioxidant called flavanoids and a study by Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1999 revealed that regular consumption of apples can lower risk of lung cancer by almost 60%.
Organic eggs, meat, dairy products and vegetable-based protein shakes are all rich in good protein. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience wasting and a protein-rich diet is essential for building the body mass. However, patients must be careful about their choice of protein as certain food items like fried chicken or steak can increase the inflammation. Nutritious alternatives like yoghurt, salmon, lentils and poultry are recommended for the lung cancer patient.
Whole grains are always a healthier option when compared to refined grains. Whole grains fight the risk of lung cancer and mortality in both men and women and the Vitamin and iron from whole grains ease the symptoms of lung cancer too. Lung cancer patients are recommended to reduce the intake of white bread, pasta and other refined grain sources and instead opt for whole grain foods like quinoa, oats and whole wheat.
Like any other individual, a lung cancer patient must also satisfy the fat requirement of his body through his diet. However, choosing vegan fat sources like nuts, vegetables oils, avocados (rich in antioxidants too) and seeds over dairy or animal fat is better. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience diminished appetite more than often. Consuming these natural sources of good fat can help patients follow a nutritious and calorie-rich diet easily.
Beta-carotene rich foods
It has been scientifically proven that beta carotene can reduce the risk of lung cancer (based on the research published by American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007). However, beta carotene must be sourced only from natural food items like carrots and sweet potatoes as supplements can lead to the increased risk of lung cancer.
Patients who are undergoing lung cancer treatment experience severe side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In order to eat a balanced diet while fighting these symptoms, patients are recommended to choose easily digestible and mild foods (like soups, broths, scrambled eggs) throughout their treatment period.