Dietary tips to reduce the side-effects of prostate cancer treatments

Comfort food can lift the mood but eating right can keep your body and mind healthy for years to come. When you have prostate cancer, your body needs strength to fight the cancer and repair healthy cells that may have been damaged by treatments like chemotherapy. Taking the right nutrients can boost your immune system and diminish some of the side-effects of prostate cancer treatments.

The impact of food types on prostate cancer is actively researched. While conclusive research is needed, studies suggest that a plant-based diet might slow down cancer growth and can reduce some side effects of treatments. Two diets associated with longevity and reduced prostate cancer risk are the Southern Mediterranean Diet, filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil and fish, as well as the Traditional Japanese Diet, which is packed with vegetables, fish and green tea.

When considering your diet, think balance and diversity. It is advised to increase your intake of fish, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Cut down on red meat, sugar, high-fat dairy and trans fatty acids commonly found in margarines and fried or baked goods. By eating a variety of different food types every day, you are more likely to consume all the nutrients essential to your overall recovery and quality of life.

Fruits and vegetables
Build up your immune system with natural sources of vitamin C such as oranges, berries, spinach, sweet peppers and mangoes. Immune-boosting nutrients can also be found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and spinach. Studies show that lycopene – an antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelons, guavas and papayas – is good for prostate health. Your body absorbs this antioxidant more effectively when it’s cooked or processed into sauces, soups, purees or pastes.

Proteins and healthy fats
To keep your body from losing muscle and help your body repair and fight infection, make good sources of protein such as fish, lean poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds part of your diet. Fish is high in Omega-3 and is the best proven dietary source for brain health. It is recommended by dieticians to eat baked or grilled cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel or trout at least two to three times a week. Healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and nuts can boost your energy levels and help prevent weight-loss.

Green tea
Antioxidants may reduce the immediate side-effects of treatments but it’s important to consume it in its natural form. Green tea is a natural antioxidant and is considered the healthiest beverage on the planet. Green tea contains caffeine which can irritate the bladder. If you’re experiencing urinary problems, rather go for decaf.

It’s important to keep your body healthy and nourished so that you can continue your treatment. Consult with your medical professional and dietitian for specific dietary recommendations that suit your preferences and treatment plan.

Four nutritional tips to reduce common treatment side-effects

  • Nausea: Eat a light meal before each treatment to settle your stomach – preferably bland foods such as dry crackers and toast or lower-fat items as they take longer to digest.
  • Diarrhoea: Avoid coffee, tea, milk products, alcohol, sweets and foods that are high in fibre. Increase your fluid intake and replace the loss of important minerals with foods high in sodium and potassium, such as bananas.
  • Constipation: Increase your daily fluid intake and eat fibre-rich foods such as raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Poor appetite: Eat small, frequent meals containing foods high in protein and calories, such as peanut butter, boiled eggs and crackers.

Eating right can give your body the best chance of making a full recover so that you can live a full and healthy life. Visit Here4You for essential information and hope at every stage of prostate cancer.

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