Dealing with mesothelioma can be extremely taxing. The disease itself and the various prescribed treatments can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your battle against cancer can leave you exhausted. You can become frustrated and discouraged. For many, it is a long, uphill battle.
There is good news, though.
Through ongoing research and a deeper understanding of the disease, the various forms of treatment are being refined. Depending on each patient’s specific circumstances, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are still common courses of action, but there are other powerful tools in the arsenal that can produce strong, ongoing, positive results. One of the most prominent of these is a healthy diet.
Why Healthy Eating is Important
For a healthy body, food has two purposes:
First, it provides the necessary nutrients to allow the body to rebuild damaged cells, replace old ones, and heal wounds within the overall systems. The body is in a constant state of rebuilding and repair, keeping the various internal systems in good condition and working together smoothly as a unit.
Second, the nutrition we receive is the sole source of energy for our body. It’s the fuel in our tank, the charge in our battery, and the fire in our engines. It’s the source of all our internal power. If we put in good fuel, the body runs smoothly. If we skip some nutritional necessities or allow impurities or other junk, our system is impaired.
For a mesothelioma patient, these two functions are even more elevated. If your body is deeply mired in the battle against sickness, it needs to take advantage of every positive resource. A strong, healthy diet can equip your body with the weapons it needs to fight, and the strength to maintain its daily energy.
Is it Beneficial to Eat Organic Foods?
Many of the foods available today are tainted with insecticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and many other undesirable elements. If your body is already burdened with a disease, the last thing it needs is another intrusion to battle.
Many common food items also lose nutritional value during the bulk harvesting and processing systems in use today. By switching to all natural, organic food sources, you provide your body with the purest, most powerful resources it can get to employ in its fight against cancer.
Meal Planning Tips for Mesothelioma Patients
As a mesothelioma patient, your dietary needs have changed. You are no longer on any kind of low-calorie, reduced-carb, or any other restrictive diet. Your body needs all the nutrition it can get, and it needs it now. Here are some tips for keeping your body nourished:
- Eat whenever you can. Battling cancer can wear you down, and the treatments can cause you to lose your appetite. You may not be able to eat at specific mealtimes, so eat whenever possible. If you get hungry between meals, take advantage of those moments and eat. Pack in as much nutrition as possible, to help overcome those times when you can’t. Your body needs the nutrients, so give it all you can.
- Eat a Variety of Foods. Try to eat a balanced diet to give your body everything it might need. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, starches, carbohydrates, and proteins. Each type of food has a purpose and is necessary for your body to function.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to cravings and hunger patterns. If your body seems to be wanting something, try to meet that need. Many times it will signal a deficiency through hunger, or let you know when it is capable of digesting a meal. Take advantage of those times and feed it. If it craves a certain type of food or wants to eat at an odd time of day, try to find a way to fulfill that craving and give it all the help you can.
- Don’t worry about overeating. During your battle against cancer, being able to eat and get enough nutrition is a common problem. Eat all you can. As your treatments continue, it may become more difficult to keep yourself nourished, so stay ahead of the game whenever possible.
Foods that Help with Treatment Side Effects
Dealing with chemotherapy and radiation treatments can be a challenge. Here are some common side effects, and the nutritional options that can help alleviate them.
- Nausea. Settle your system with bland foods such as mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice. Mild soda or ginger tea can also help.
- Vomiting. Try eating a little bread or grain cereals to soak up extra acid, and help stabilize your stomach.
- Dehydration. Drink plenty of water, and include fruits and vegetables that are particularly juicy. Soups and broths are also a good way to increase fluids in your meals.
- Exhaustion. Calories are energy, and during treatments, your body will need boosts of energy. The quickest and most efficient way to get calories into your system is through carbohydrates. Bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are good sources of carbohydrates and can quickly restore your body’s energy levels.
- Mouth sores. If chewing becomes difficult due to sores that have developed in your mouth, try to choose softer foods, or drink-based meals such as soups, stews, or milkshakes.
Foods that Help with Recovery
- Fruits and Vegetables. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables adds vitamins and other antioxidants to your system. These are important for cell growth and development, and for the immune system to counter various sicknesses. They also add more water to your diet, helping to offset the dehydration that can accompany treatments.
- Proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of the human body. As your body fights to defeat cancer, it will need plenty of proteins to rebuild. Meats, eggs, cheese, fish, beans, and nuts are great sources of protein.
- Carbohydrates. To help keep your energy up, eat plenty of carbs. If you know you are going to be facing a difficult time ahead, consuming some carbs the day before can help give you the boost you need to push through it.