Increasing Fruits & Veggies During Cancer Treatment

Contributed By Jillian McKee

Anyone who is undergoing cancer treatment is experiencing life changes. Some of those changes can result in a compromised quality of life. However, in some cases, dietary adjustments can elevate that quality and restore it. Eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can be helpful in maintaining a higher quality of life. Whether experiencing mesothelioma side effects or those from another type of cancer, a common complaint among patients is a decrease in energy levels. Fruits and vegetables have been is to eat a wide variety of plant based foods to reap the best nutritional benefits. According to a Cornell University doctor, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, not only the quality and quantity count, but also the variety counts as well. It is important to “eat a rainbow,” meaning that eating fruits and vegetables of different colors can help add the necessary nutrients that are found throughout vegetables. There are specific phytonutrients provided by specific plants that perform specific functions in the human body, so one must focus on variety in order to get everything needed.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, certain medications cause weight gain during cancer treatment. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep one’s weight under control by satisfying an appetite with low calorie foods with a high nutritional value. Other medications cause diarrhea, which can alter one’s quality of life considerably. The soluble fiber found in bananas, pears, and apples can help lessen the symptoms. Some people experience constipation and this also makes life more difficult. Ingestion of fresh, high fiber fruits and vegetables can help alleviate the problem. Drinking sufficient quantities of water and eating foods like beans, peas, lentils, berries, carrots, prunes or potatoes can help one regain regular digestive characteristics.

The American Cancer Society lists dried beans, peas, lentils and soy foods as being good sources for protein. Eating sufficient amounts of protein helps cancer patients heal faster and recover from surgery sooner.  Vegetable oils that contain monounsaturated fats have positive effects as well. Benefits of carbohydrates include being an energy booster. To look and feel one’s best during cancer treatment, load up on the fruits and veggies.

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