What Foods are Beneficial for a Mesothelioma Patient?

  January 28, 2013  |    Blog

What Foods are Beneficial for a Mesothelioma Patient?

If you are what you eat, wouldn’t you prefer to be healthy?

Okay, so it’s not always that simple. But when you’re fighting a serious disease like mesothelioma, it only makes sense to fill your body with plant-based foods that have proven health benefits. And trust me – there are tons!

Plant-based diets are often lauded for their cancer-preventative abilities, and patients who already have a mesothelioma diagnosis can still benefit from their properties. Fruits and vegetables each have a unique nutrient profile that is helpful in preventing – or slowing the spread of – cancer. Some of the most powerful anti-cancer foods include:

  • Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanins, antioxidants that clear cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
  • Yellow and red peppers are high in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and helps tissues strengthen themselves against tumor invasion.
  • Garlic contains chemicals that develop after garlic has been crushed or cut, and they help block carcinogenic activity and promote elimination of cancer cells.
  • Apples are one of the best sources of quercetin, an antioxidant that may be directly toxic to cancer cells.

However, cancer patients stand to benefit from almost any plant-based food – including iron-rich grains and zinc-heavy nuts.

Top Foods to Soothe Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma patients can also use food to help control their symptoms, which can range from chest pain to difficulty breathing. Many oncologists recommend dietary changes to manage side effects of treatment as well.

The five following foods may help mesothelioma patients naturally manage their symptoms:

  • Green tea with honey can help soothe a persistent cough. The drink is also associated with increased overall respiratory health.
  • Fennel, a licorice-flavored herb, can stimulate the appetite. This is especially useful when mesothelioma treatment like chemotherapy causes food aversions.
  • On the same note, avocado, peanut butter and olive oil are great plant-based, calorically-dense sources of healthy fats that can help counteract weight loss from cachexia.
    White potatoes (and other low-fiber foods) can help counteract the diarrhea that many mesothelioma patients experience during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Alternatively, oatmeal (and similar high-fiber foods when consumed with lots of water) can help counteract constipation.
  • Tofu, beans, and other vegetarian proteins can give the body strength to fight fatigue while still reaping additional benefits of plant-based foods. Patients who wish to incorporate animal proteins into their diet benefit most from lean options, like fish and chicken breasts.

While most mesothelioma patients can incorporate these foods into their diet without any issues, it’s important to always check with an oncologist or oncology nutritionist before making any changes to your eating habits!

Author bio: Faith Franz has spent nearly two years researching and writing for The Mesothelioma Center. As an advocate for alternative medicine, she encourages patients to explore all of the treatment options that could potentially save their life.

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