Maintaining a proper diet before, during and after treatment for mesothelioma patients is a critical step of the treatment plan. Whether you are a mesothelioma patient yourself or supporting a loved one through their diagnosis, it’s essential to know about the important role nutrition and a healthy diet play in an individual mesothelioma diet plan.
Why Does Nutrition Matter?
Nutrition always plays a contributing factor to our overall health. However, diet for mesothelioma patients is especially important in order to help with maintaining a healthy weight, supplying energy while undergoing treatment and controlling side effects. It’s necessary to give the body the fuel it needs while it undergoes a stressful time and is working overtime during treatment.
When it comes to mesothelioma treatment, there are numerous side effects that can occur, especially with chemotherapy. Proper diet and nutrition can help prevent some side effects. For example, some patients may experience dry mouth, constipation or fatigue as a result of treatment. With the right nutrition plan, food can aid in maintaining these symptoms and making the patient more comfortable.
Cancer-Fighting Foods For Mesothelioma
Food contains nutrients that the body uses to replace tissue and repair itself. There are several key nutrients that the body requires including water, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and protein. Without these nutrients, the immune system can weaken. That’s why it’s a priority for cancer patients to maintain a nutritious diet that supports their immune system.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-rich foods that are great to add to a mesothelioma diet. Some fruits and vegetables to consider include:
High Protein Foods
Foods that are high in protein and calories are crucial to supplement the effects of cancer treatment. Some suggested foods include:
- Cooked eggs
- Peanut butter
Food Preparation Safety
Because mesothelioma treatments may weaken a patient’s immune system, it’s best to use extra caution when preparing meals to avoid food-borne illness. Consider the following steps when preparing food:
- Rinse produce with running water before preparing it.
- Scrub foods, such as potatoes, to remove dirt and grime.
- Do not consume spoiled produce.
Another tip is to only eat foods from trustworthy sources. While undergoing treatment, it may be wise to not eat at a restaurant or order takeout as you don’t know how the food is being prepared. Try to stick with home-cooked meals if possible.
Speak With Your Doctor
The number one thing to do when it comes to planning your diet before, during and after mesothelioma cancer treatment is to speak with your mesothelioma doctor and team of health professionals. They will have the individualized answers that you need in order to make the right dietary decisions for yourself.
Your team of health professionals will work with you to create a mesothelioma nutrition plan to decrease the side effects of treatment and help keep your body weight and energy supply healthy.