It is no secret that a healthy diet plays a major role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing, not to mention preventing conditions such as obesity and chronic illness. However, for people living with cancer and their caregivers, food takes on an entirely new meaning.
Alarmingly, 20 to 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition-related causes, which is why eating the proper foods is a critical element in cancer care. The right foods and ingredients can help alleviate some of the most powerful symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment, allowing patients to better fight and manage their disease. And the good news is that eating right does not have to mean being limited to bland or boring options.
The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 foods identified by the Environmental Working Group include healthful fruits, veggies and other ingredients that are integral to everyones diet, and have added benefits for cancer patients.
Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 basic tips include:
- Cook with Superfoods to add flavor and beneficial phytochemicals
- Use herb & spices like ginger, turmeric and Chile peppers
- Don't avoid all high calorie foods - they're not always bad for you, especially if they're high in protein
The authors of Cancer Nutrition and Recipes for Dummies, Maurie Markman, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and National Director of Medical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), and Carolyn Lammersfeld, MS, RD, CSO, LD, CNSC, CTCA Vice President of Integrative Medicine discuss how the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists, as well as other foods and recipes from the book, contribute to overall health and wellness. They offer advice on menu planning and nutritional analysis; highlighting recipes/ingredients that can help cancer patients (and people with other chronic illnesses) combat the side effects of treatment.