When you or a loved work are first diagnosed with breast cancer, you will undoubtedly be referred to a bevy of specialists that will provide you with detailed information on the disease, its progression, and the variety of treatment options that lay available to you or your loved one. There may be talk of surgery, chemotherapy, or even radiation treatment. However, one of the most important, yet consistently overlooked, aspects of breast cancer treatment is the utilization of a healthy and nutritious diet.
In general, patients diagnosed with breast cancer, in addition to cancer survivors, are best served by eating a varied and organic whole foods diet, including small amounts of meats and grains, along with generous amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sugar and other simple carbohydrates should be greatly restricted. A plant-based, whole foods diet provides your body with the nutrients and fuel that it needs to operate correctly, and can provide your body and immune system with the tools necessary to fight cancer along with your medical treatments.
In addition to eating a whole foods diet, it is important that you remain well-hydrated and that you consume at least eight cups of water a day. Furthermore, a regular and challenging exercise program is an integral part of a cancer-fighting diet. Aim for 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, or for 30-60 minutes of low-impact cardio if you are not in great shape.
The Importance of a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet is the healthiest and most effective diet that you can follow when undergoing treatment for cancer. A plant-based diet consists largely of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains, and is limited in meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as processed foods and sugars. Plant-based diets have been shown to produce a reduced risk of cancer. Additionally, a Mediterranean diet, which is primarily made up of vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, and olive oil, has also been shown to decrease your risk of cancer.
Always Vary Your Plate
The importance of variety in your diet cannot be overstated. Different fruits and vegetables, even those that are closely related to each other, have completely different nutrient profiles and micronutrient concentrations, and you can help to ensure that you get adequate amounts of all necessary nutrients and antioxidants by eating a varied diet. In addition to consuming different types of fruits and vegetables, aim for each of your meals to contain a rainbow of colors. Different color fruits tend to have different concentrations of various nutrients and micronutrients.
A Sample Diet Plan
A sample diet for breast cancer treatment would consist of three, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Each of these meals should contain a small serving of meat, if any, along with generous portions of both fruits and vegetables, along with an optional small portion of grains. For snacks, focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which are both low in calories and high in nutrients.