30 Jun The importance of diet in cancer treatment
Diet in cancer treatment is very important as it can help patients feel better. In recent years, several foods and diets have been found to potentially favour cancer treatment and improve patient quality of life. In general, people undergoing cancer treatment are advised to follow a low-sugar, high-fibre diet with all the right vitamins, calcium levels and probiotics. It is also advisable to get enough fruit and vegetables. How much does diet affect cancer? We’ll tell you more about it.
Pomegranate diet in cancer treatment: antioxidant power
Pomegranate has been used for decades to prevent and treat many diseases. It is packed with antioxidants, as well as being high in anthocyanin and tannins.
Several studies have shown that this fruit has anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-tumorigenic properties, so it is a promising option to prevent and treat skin, breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.
Is ketogenic diet good for cancer patients?
The ketogenic diet consists in consuming a very high percentage of fat (90%), low percentage of proteins (8%) and very low percentage of carbohydrates (2%). This proportion of macronutrients causes the liver to transform fat into ketones, which is where the diet gets its name. Limiting carbohydrate intake leads to lower blood glucose levels and better glycaemic control.
But is ketogenic diet a good idea for fighting cancer? Cancer cells have been proven to have more glucose receptors. This means they “consume” much more glucose than normal cells. So, by decreasing circulating glucose levels, we take away the “food” for these cells.
However, there are also risks associated with this diet so we recommend checking with your doctor before starting, and monitoring your health very closely.
Probiotics, our greatest allies in cancer treatment
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can survive in our digestive system and help us rebuild the normal microbiota of our intestines. The most commonly used strains are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Several studies have shown that probiotics favour the immune system by stimulating production of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic molecules. That’s why they’re effective in preventing and treating many intestinal diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, irritable bowel disease, gluten intolerance, gastroenteritis, Helicobacter pylori infection and colon cancer.
Melatonin, the sleep hormone
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that is involved in regulating our body clock, secreting growth hormone and other essential functions.
Plus, it has a powerful antioxidant effect and boosts the immune system, helping prevent some infections. The anti-carcinogenic effect of this hormone has been tested in combination with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, finding results favourable compared to treatment alone. It has also been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, making it a very attractive supplement for patients undergoing this type of treatment.
It is important to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, as it is an essential part of your health.