Diet in oncological pathologies occupies an important place – because it can help in therapy or harm if it is not followed, said dietitian-nutritionist, psychotherapist, oncopsychologist Irina Mansurova.
“The diet may differ depending on what type of cancer you had to deal with, for example, if we are talking about cancer of the esophagus and what the surgical intervention was – stenting (installation of a special cracas), plastic surgery of the esophagus, installation of a gastrostomy (creating an artificial entrance to the stomach),” said Irina Mansurova.
In the postoperative period, certain nutritional features are required. The scheme is usually as follows:
- famine days,
- then you can only drink,
- further grated liquid food,
- food in small pieces.
During this period, tube feeding can be used if necessary. When the condition stabilizes and during the period of further treatment, nutrition is normal. Eat at least three times a day, plus two snacks. The entire diet can also be divided into 6-7 doses in portions of 200 grams.
The main nuances of the diet
Irina Mansurova notes that when drawing up a nutrition plan for a person with oncopathology, the following points must be taken into account:
- Energy value and balance of useful nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates), as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Presence/absence of physical activity.
- Prevention of wasting and degenerative changes in the state of the muscles and skeleton.
“In case of cancer, you should always increase the amount of protein in the diet by adding chicken, fish, meat, eggs, cheese to each meal. In the process of cooking, it is worth adding milk powder or protein powder mixtures, ”advises Irina Mansurova. As a snack, the expert recommends using nut butter with a small cracker, hummus with bread. You can give preference to slices of fruit, fresh vegetables and nut butter.
The diet of a person with cancer can be represented as a pyramid, notes Irina Mansurova. “The higher the products are located in it, the less they should be in the diet. So, at the very top are those that should be used as rarely as possible, or even better to exclude them altogether, ”explains the nutritionist.
There are three groups of important products at once:
- fruits and vegetables – needed to fill the body with vitamins and fiber;
- whole grain products;
- vegetable fats with polyunsaturated acids.
“They should be included in every meal. Every day you need to eat 300 grams of fruit and 400 grams of vegetables,” warns Irina Mansurova.
At the second stage, protein plant products (seeds, nuts, beans) and protein animal products (seafood, meat, fish, eggs). They are allowed to be included in the diet twice a day.
These are dairy products, including yoghurts, cheeses, dairy products. They can be 100-200 grams per day. “In the case when a person has lactose intolerance, he should replace milk with products rich in calcium and vitamin D,” says nutritionist Mansurova.
Fourth step (top)
Here are located red meat, which is rich in animal fats, butter, pastries based on white flour, pasta, sweets and carbonated drinks. “Modern nutritionists have reconsidered their view of the potato, its beneficial and harmful properties, and then included such a product at the top of the pyramid, removing it from the bottom, as it contains a lot of starch,” explains Irina Mansurova.
Drinks for cancer
Particular attention should be paid to what a person drinks. So, Irina Mansurova notes, green tea, for example, matcha, brings certain benefits. Its value in catechins is one of the strongest food molecules, preventing cancer cells from creating new blood vessels required for tumor growth. With the help of such drinks, it is possible to slow down the development of leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, oncopathology of the kidneys and oral cavity, emphasizes Irina Mansurova. In addition, the effectiveness of radiation therapy also increases.
“Green tea also helps to cleanse the body due to the fact that it activates liver enzymes. A greater effect can be achieved if other products with anti-cancer activity, such as turmeric, are added to green tea. It is enough to brew a couple of tablespoons of matcha in a thermo mug and add a little bit of spice, ”advises the specialist.
Green juices, for example, from celery, will be useful. “Celery juice contains crystalline sodium salts that destroy aggressive viruses, it is also able to bind, weaken and remove toxins that feed these viruses,” notes Irina Mansurova.
As for ordinary water, you need to drink at least two and a half liters of it. At the same time, you should not be afraid of edema and ascites (fluid accumulation), because there is no connection between drinking and them, the nutritionist explains.
If there is no appetite?
Is it worth it to force yourself to eat if your appetite is reduced? As Irina Mansurova notes, you can’t completely refuse food, so you should choose fractional meals – let it be often, but through force and little by little. It is also additionally recommended to connect protein shakes, but only in agreement with the doctor. They should be drunk in small sips throughout the day. They will help maintain weight and provide the body’s daily need for nutrients.
“If a person is constantly sick, the question arises that he needs food through a tube. But it’s impossible to live without food,” emphasizes Irina Mansurova.