This month we’re talking about the role of nutrition in lung cancer management. This is a place to share your experiences with the impact of nutrition in your life with lung cancer, any challenges you may face, or any questions you may have!
As a caregiver, I know it’s difficult figuring out what is the “right” thing to do when fixing meals for someone fighting cancer. I spent a lot of time researching and finding what are the best cancer-fighting foods, but really, this is only one aspect of what to consider. Because food does so much more than just fight a disease – it fuels our body, affects our moods, it can be a comfort, give us energy, or it can make us feel like crap. And of course, people in cancer treatment are often dealing with nausea, loss of appetite, mouth sores and a changing palate; foods just don’t taste like they used to. It often becomes a real struggle just trying to get enough calories into them. In the end, for me, it seemed like the answer was to find a balance. I worried less about which foods supposedly fight cancer, and instead just focused on offering lots of nutritional options – fresh fruits and veggies (when fresh is allowed; it isn’t always!) and healthy, whole foods, as minimally processed as possible. And then, because finding comfort is often difficult when dealing with cancer and its treatment, I would encourage my loved one to eat the foods they want, things that bring them joy – no matter what it is. Cake, ice cream, whatever. Because their body needs calories, and their soul needs comfort. And let’s face it, ice cream is better at inspiring the will to live than beets and brussels sprouts are 😉
After my diagnosis, I completely changed my eating habits (thankfully I tolerated treatment and was able to eat without a problem) and started taking nutraceuticals and chinese mushrooms. All the supplements I take are evidenced based and studies can be found on pubmed. I also cut down on sugar (I wish I could eliminate, but I have such a sweet tooth). Sugar leads to inflammation in the body and studies show a link between cancer and inflammation.
Usually I am very conscious of what I eat, but if you see me at Hope Summit 2017, I’ll be the one with the HUGE dessert plate (it’s a special occasion, after all!).
As my Integrative Care doctor reminds me … everything in balance. Eat healthily whenever you are able, but treat yourself now and then too!
I’ve always been one to have a full vegetable bin and fruit bowl, and I cook from scratch, not from boxes. There’s always something to improve, however. I’ve been reading and cooking from Rebecca Katz’s excellent books lately.
Alisa, I’d like to learn more about your supplements.
Organo STAT (r-alpha lipoic acid & hydroxycitrate formula)
IP-6 + inositol (I take this on and off)
Green Tea Extracts
Vit. D3/K2 -high dose of D3
Chinese RSBZ herb w/huanglian – custom blended TCM,mushrooms, etc.
PSP (Coriolus versicolor)
NAC (I take this on and off)
OPC-3 A(Pycnogenol & grape seed extracts Super Antioxidant)
ORAC – Berry Extracts
Aloe Juice (Pure Whole Leaf)
Digestive Enzymes w/Probiotics
Artemisinin (I take this on and off)