Do you know what are the best diets for cancer survivors? All cancer patients and cancer survivors are struggling to find the right diet for them. We perpetuate the struggle for 2 reasons the first is because we do not believe the posted literature and the second is because we are prejudiced about diets and how they could help to prevent a cancer recurrence. It is true, the topic related to food and cancer is vast and many opinions exist on the ground. In this article, I am combining my experience as a cancer survivor and scientific knowledge as a health professional.
Cancer management has been always a challenge for modern medicine, patients, and their families. The role of modern medicine is to kill cancer cells while using the available treatment and medications. We know, the used method for killing the cancer cells is not selective. What does it mean? The treatment kills healthy cells such as blood cells. Hence, along with the provided cancer therapy, every week, blood work is done to monitor the changes caused by the treatment. Here comes the role of diets and the right nutrition to help to kill and stop cancer cells to proliferate.
In the trial how anti-cancer diets conquer cell proliferation, Sajadi Hezaveh Zohreh, and Vafa Mohammad Reza explain the hypothesis behind diet and cancer Cells. They state that cancer cells to survive need energy. The mode of survival is by anaerobic glycolysis (when glucose is broken without the presence of oxygen). In the experiment, they relied on the Warburg effect (when cancer cells affect the energy factory of the cell), mitochondria. The energy factory is involved in the programmed death of the cells, including cancer cells. In this experiment, they used a variety of diets approach. They investigated the effect of calorie restriction, ketogenic diet, and the Mediterranean diet. The results of the investigation were as follows:
A good diet has to provide adequate nutrition and has to be beneficial for cancer patients. The diet approach must be harmful and toxic to cancer cells. This toxic effect helps killing cancer cells and stops their proliferation.
In this diet, you should rely on the calories guide I have posted in calorie intake and food labeling. Those pages explain your needs for daily calories. Knowing your calories daily need, you can restrict them. When on this type of restriction, consult your physician or health care provider. Restrict your carbs intake to a minimum and always count your calories using online applications.
This type of diet relies on high intakes of fat and a moderate amount of proteins. Since it is a diet low in carbs, it acts as a liver stimulator causing the liver to convert the stored fat into ketones body. Ketones help the apoptosis (death) of cancer cells. The formed ketones bodies and fatty acids become the source of energy in the body. This energy is enough to facilitate various functions in the body. The ketones bodies go to the brain and replace the glucose, which previously was the source of energy. This mechanism helps in reducing and killing cancer cells. These findings are the result of scientific research, and they have pointed out the beneficial results for patients with and after cancer.
This diet has a plant-based approach This pattern focuses on a higher intake of olive, whole grains legumes, vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds, and fish (always be careful of mercury when buying fish). Many researchers link the Mediterranean diet to lowering the risk of cancer. The studies point out the presence of antioxidants and elements which can fight against cancer cells. This characteristic helps to stop the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor (angiogenesis). Preventing new blood vessels to form has a crucial role in decreasing the metastasis of cancer cells (invasion to other places in the body), in addition to stoping the rapid and repeated production of cancer cells.
In future posts, I will be writing on how to manage your diet and still enjoy your food. So stay tuned!
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