Does assessing and monitoring what you eat assist when you have cancer? There are varying opinions on this. I firmly believe in the old addage, “we are what we eat”.
As soon as I was diagnosed with early breast cancer, I went to see my nutritionist to see whether there was anything I should change in my diet. She recommended a number of things, especially if I was to go onto chemotherapy which affects the immune system and gastrointestinal tract. This is what I did and do.
- gave up dairy except for butter which has different properties. Goats and sheeps cheese occasionally is good. I have replaced dairy with high calcium vegetables such as broccoli and spinach and added an ‘essential greens’ supplement to my daily diet.
- took on making my own muesli adding almonds, flax seeds, chia and sesame seeds to it. I used the ‘Liver Cleansing Diet’ recipe.
- significantly reduced wheat consumption and replaced it with other grains such as quinoa, rice, oats.
- increased colourful fruit and vegetables, especially anti-oxcidants such as blueberries, oranges and leafy greens. Wherever possible I buy organic.
- deleted sugar. She suggested replacing it with stevia. If I need something sweet to eat I choose quality dark chocolate and counteract the sugar with a few raw almonds. A good 4.00pm snack is 3-4 medjool dates and brazil nuts.
- juice each day. I make a carrot, beetroot, celery, orange and ginger detox juice every morning
- reduce meat consumption and only eat grassfed meats. Lamb is good in this regard. My husband and I breed grassfed beef, so we generally eat our own. We know what they’ve eaten. We only eat organic chicken.
- consume more fish. However, I have avoided large deep sea fish and shell fish as they can have a high mercury content which is a hormone receptor and I have needed to reduce the mercury in my body.
- Avoid fried foods. I did this religiously when I was on chemotherapy. I cooked with oils such as organic coconut oil and macademia nut oil when I needed to. These have a lower flash point.
I have supported the above diet with a number of supplements which have aided my immune system and gastrointestinal tract during chemo and in the rejuvenation of my body post it. These supplements were recommended and prescribed by my integrated doctor and, I believe, have made an enormous difference to my feeling of wellbeing and recovery. Don’t self-prescribe. Ask a nutritionist or doctor who knows.