Cancer & Nutrition
All living things – ourselves included- are made up of cells. Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things and our body is composed of trillions of them. They take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialized functions. Normally ,human cells grow and divide slowly to form new cells when the body needs them.
Cancer develops when this slow and orderly system of cell division gets disturbed. One cell divides to give two cells, then four, eight and so on setting an avalanche of cells growing when they should not. These extra cells which divide without stopping are called tumours.
In some tumours, the cell stays in the same place and stops growing, example the benign warts and moles. However, in other tumours the cells are able to invade the surrounding tissues and spread into nearby organs where they can cause serious damage. These malignant tumours cause cancer.
While hereditary, environmental effects and genetics determine the propensity of developing cancer, diet and lifestyle also play a significant role in disturbing the cell balance in the body. Since the cell division needs the energy from the food it is important to give the body a nutritious diet to prevent, and recover from cancer.
A cancer diet is an important element in determining the treatment and recovery process because the body needs enough calories and nutrients to stay strong. Though needing more calories, a cancer diet should be carefully planned to avoid high fat or high calorie foods as they may aid cell division by providing excess energy rather than inhibit it.
The American Cancer Society recommends that a cancer diet must include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily to reduce the risks and speed up recovery. The researchers also suggest that a cancer diet should have a high composition of plant based protein to suppress tumour development.
A cancer diet should mandatorily include foods like tomatoes, watermelon, grapes, prunes, oranges, papaya, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, avocado, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and garlic. This makes the cancer diet rich in photochemicals and antioxidants which act as dietary cancer inhibitors.
A cancer diet is a specialized food plan which helps in fighting infections and the ensuing physical exhaustion, lack of appetite, fatigue, nausea and weakness.
Medicines, therapy, emotional support along with a fit body and a cancer diet can speed recovery and the healing.