For those who have been diagnosed with Kidney cancer, it is an extremely difficult time not only for the patient but for their loved ones. Coming to terms with having a disease such as cancer is challenging both physically and emotionally. In addition to receiving treatment, it is important for the patient to try and live the healthiest life possible to ensure a strong immune system. With a weakened immune system, cancer patients become more susceptible to infection which can lead to bigger health risks which may even result in becoming too weak to receive cancer treatment. By following a healthy and balanced diet, kidney cancer patients can potentially boost their immune systems and increase their chance of responding to treatment. Here are some suggestions on how to follow a health-enhancing diet.
Plan Your Meals
Planning out your meals is a great way to stay organised and keep on top of eating healthy. This may seem like a chore at first, but you will become a pro in no time. This does not have to be a strict regime that you don’t enjoy. Plan a week ahead of what you will be eating so you are not stumped on what to make for dinner each night and even prep some meals in advance to make things even easier. Sticking to a healthy diet is an excellent way to keep your body as healthy and strong as possible while undergoing cancer treatment. Reputable oncology centre, the LOC provide helpful information to further your knowledge of kidney cancer treatments.
What You Should Be Eating
Following a typically healthy and balanced diet is just what you need to boost your immune system. However, there are certain foods you can eat that are claimed to benefit people diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Do Not Cut Calories
This is not a diet to lose weight so don’t get confused. As a cancer patient, one of the most important things to remember is that you can’t afford to lose weight. As side effects to cancer treatment can often result in loss of appetite and weight loss, it is vital to ensure that you are getting lots of calories and this doesn’t necessarily have to be done by eating chocolate and cheeseburgers, there are plenty of calorific healthy foods and good fats that can be incorporated into your diet.
Fruit and Veg
Fruit and vegetables are extremely important as they are high in fibre and provide an excellent dose of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. It is advised to try to consume about 5 to 10 portions of fruit or veg a day. That seems like an awful lot? You can add a side of veg with each meal, make smoothies for breakfast or drink unsweetened fruit juice throughout the day. If you have undergone a nephrectomy, avoid eating bananas as the potassium can have a negative effect on kidney function.
Get your Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great source of fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as providing your body with energy. Receiving a good amount of fibre is especially important for those with kidney cancer as it aids the digestive system to absorb nutrients. Delve into some brown rice or wholemeal bread – both filling yet tasty additions to any meal. Have some oatmeal with fruit for breakfast or a vegetable stir fry with brown rice for dinner. There are so many variations when making a meal that includes all the foods required for a cancer-fighting diet.
What to Cut Down On
You don’t want to feel as though you are on a strict diet that doesn’t allow you to eat any of the things you like. It is ok to treat yourself every now and again but just remember – everything in moderation. There are certain foods that you should consider cutting out of your diet such as anything containing saturated fats and trans fats. These types of fats are often found in meat, dairy products and processed foods. Try to focus on saturated fats (also known as ‘good fats’) which can be found in the likes of nuts, olive oil, oily fish and avocados.
It is important to reduce your salt intake if necessary as a high intake of this can lead to high blood pressure as well as other negative health effects. The NHS recommends adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day. To find out more about daily salt intake click here.
When it comes to the sugary sweets a lot of us love, it is best to try and avoid them altogether as there are claims that sugar feeds cancer cells. However, don’t deprive yourself of that piece of birthday cake or the chocolate bar you have been craving, but try to keep these to a minimum or just during special occasions as you want to try and eat as clean as possible.
Things to Consider
Although different for everyone, the side effects of treatment can often cause nausea and loss of appetite. It is so important to eat when you have an appetite in order to keep your body strong and to avoid losing weight. If you notice your appetite depleting, try to eat small meals or snacks instead of a few large meals. When you are hungry, try to fill yourself up and avoid foods that may upset the stomach such as anything spicy. Cook when you are feeling well to avoid being turned off by the smells of cooking and double check all sell-by dates as you cannot risk eating something bad and becoming ill from it. If you are struggling to come up with ideas of what to cook, visit the Macmillan recipe page which offers a variety of recipes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Author: Abbie Owens