Thursday, June 16, 2011

Recovery Nutrition

Good Morning Cancer Survivors;
I recently provided a session for about 40 cancer survivors, patients and caregivers at a Cancer Resource Center. One of the discussions that took place was the nutritional requirements necessary for recovery from cancer treatment. I was amazed to learn not one cancer patient had been advised by their cancer treatment team or oncologist about the nutrition requirements they need, to assist and support recovery. Moreover, most were not aware of the antioxidant and hi-nutritional foods they should be eating to help rebuild their immune system, physical strength, stamina, blood counts and begin to refurbish their bodies from the treatment side effects.

Recovering from treatment and the nutritional requirements should not be underestimated. Just because treatment is finished doesn't mean the journey is finished. I believed when I finished treatment I needed to rebuild my system as quickly as possible for two reasons:
-To ward-off getting sick while my immune system was weak and rebuilding
-To be able to go through the treatment process again if needed, like I had to do earlier in my treatment journey.

When you complete treatment your entire system is depleted and needs appropriate nutritional attention. Your appetite will eventually return but early on you will have to force the issue. More protein,antioxidant-based and good calorie based foods need to be consumed. For protein its meat, fish and protein-based vegetables and nuts. For hi-antioxidants its berries, nuts, green tea, real fruit juice, specific vegetables, grains and spices. The more antioxidants, the greater strength you provide your immune system to ward off cancer. If the treatment didn't make you lactose intolerant, yogurt will help the digestion system and immune system.

When you finish treatment you are on your own for recovery. More protein, antioxidants, good calories,exercise and at least eight hours of sleep will help your recovery. Its your recovery, go for it.