When you're being treated for cancer, it's more important
than ever to eat right and get adequate nutrition -- but it can also be more difficult than ever
to adhere to a balanced cancer
diet. Your body is working overtime to fight the cancer, while it's also
doing extra duty to repair healthy cells that may have been damaged as a side
effect of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. At the same time, many
cancer treatments -- especially chemotherapy -- come with side effects that
drain your strength and sap your appetite. So how can you make sure you're
getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need to keep a
balanced cancer diet?
Limit your calorie intake. Excess calories are bad for
cancer growth. Eat what you need to get to the next meal, not the usual
American style of eating all you can as if you are never going to eat
Get sunshine daily. Darker-skinned people need more
Don't follow these or any guidelines to excess. Moderation
is the key.
Variety in the foods you eat is important. Increase the
Remember supplements are supplements. They are not
intended to replace an intelligent diet; their purpose is to supplement an
intelligent diet. Supplements are a poor alternative to eating foods that are
high in the desired nutrients.
See a doctor regularly for early detection and preventative
care. Be proactive rather than reactive.
The two diets
known to be associated with longevity and reduced risks for prostate cancer are
the traditional Japanese diet and a Southern Mediterranean diet. The Japanese diet is high in green
tea, soy, vegetables, and fish, as well as low in calories and fat. The
Mediterranean diet is high is fresh fruits
and vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil, and fish. Both are
low in red meat.
Specifically, you should incorporate these principles when reevaluating your
Reduce animal fat in your diet. Studies show that excess fat, primarily red
meat and high-fat dairy, stimulates prostate cancer to grow.
Avoid trans fatty acids, which are known to promote cancer growth. These
are high in margarines, and fried and baked foods.
Increase your fresh fish intake, which is high in the very beneficial alpha
omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally eat cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines,
mackerel, and trout, at least two to three times a week. The fish should be
poached, baked, or grilled (not burned or charred). Avoid fried fish.
Significantly increase your fresh fruit, herb, and vegetable consumption
daily. Powerful anticancer nutrients are being discovered regularly in colorful
fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, and
Avoid high-calcium diets, which have been shown to stimulate prostate
Take a multivitamin with B complex and folic acid daily.
Avoid high-dose zinc supplements.
Increase your natural vitamin C consumption -- this includes citrus,
berries, spinach, cantaloupe, sweet peppers, and mango.
Drink green tea several times each week.
Avoid excess preserved, pickled, or salted foods.
Eat red grapes, drink red grape juice, or red wine regularly.
Eat leafy dark-green vegetables frequently.
Cruciferous vegetables are cancer protective. These include cabbage,
broccoli, and cauliflower.
Tomatoes and especially tomato products are very high in lycopene, a
powerful anticancer substance. This includes pizza sauce, tomato paste, and
Avoid flax seed oil. This can stimulate prostate cancer to
grow. You can obtain the very healthy alpha omega-3 fatty acids you need
through fresh fish and nuts.
Use olive oil, which is very healthy and rich in vitamin E and
antioxidants. Avocado oil is also good. Avoid oils high in polyunsaturated fats
such as corn, canola, or soybean.
Take vitamin E, 50 to 100 IU of gamma and d-alpha, only with the
approval of your doctor. Some recent studies have raised concerns over
serious risks with vitamin E intake. Natural sources include nuts, seeds, olive
oil, avocado oil, wheat germ, peas, and nonfat milk.
Selenium is a very powerful antioxidant and the backbone molecule of your
body's immune system. Most studies support a daily selenium supplement of 200
micrograms a day. The benefits appear to be only for those who have low
selenium levels, which is difficult and expensive to measure. Since it only
costs about 7 cents a day and is not toxic at these levels, it is reasonable
for all men to take selenium. Natural sources include Brazil nuts, fresh fish,
grains, mushrooms, wheat germ, bran, whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown