The Benefits of Proper Nutrition for Cancer Patients – Guest Post by Jillian Mckee

Eating a nutritious diet is important to maintain overall health and energy levels. Nutrition is the process by which the body takes in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and calories. Calories provide the fuel that the body requires for movement, and the vitamins, minerals and nutrients are used for cellular repair and new tissue growth. Because breast, prostate and mesothelioma cancer make it hard for many people to eat, it is essential for these patients to consume the right foods. Some cancer treatments affect the way that the body absorbs nutrients. This is especially true for cancer patients who have a tumor in their stomach or esophagus. Fats, protein and carbohydrates are the three main types of food to focus on.

Carbohydrates
The body uses carbohydrates to get its energy. In a healthy diet, the body also needs to take in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and an appropriate amount of calories. Some foods offer lots of calories, but they have little nutritional value. This is true of most sweets and simple carbohydrates. Antioxidants are often found along with most carbohydrates. Antioxidants are common in fruits and vegetables, and are essential in preventing cell damage that is caused by reactions with oxygen. Although antioxidants are thought to help prevent cancer, many doctors recommend against taking such supplements during cancer treatment.

Fiber
Fiber is derived from plant carbohydrates and cannot be digested. There are two main types of fiber. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat bran and lowers the body’s cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran and improves bowel function.

Fats
Fats are essential in the diet since the body uses the substance to make hormones. In addition, fats are rich in energy. Several types of fat are found in most diets, but experts recommend sticking to poly and monounsaturated fats. These are ordinarily found in plants, seeds and fish. Animal fats are generally saturated fats, and they are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Because fats are high in calories, increased consumption is often linked to obesity. Obese adults are at a higher risk for developing a number of different types of cancer so fats should be consumed sparingly.

Protein
Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. Because the body catabolizes muscle tissue in the event of a protein deficiency, it is imperative for cancer patients to ensure adequate consumption of this dietary element. Protein is common in a number of plant foods. Beans, dried peas and lentils are great sources of protein and help the body recover after cancer treatments.

Eating right is essential for overall health, and most experts recommend that cancer patients pay close attention to their diet. Because cancer treatments are hard on the body, many patients feel lethargic. Eating right enhances natural energy levels and is a great way to feel better. Eating a healthy diet may also improve the survival rates of cancer patients. Because many victims suffer from eating disorders and lack of appetite, it is even more important for cancer patients to eat the right foods.

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TO BE or NOT TO BE – A Vegetarian

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” “To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Being a vegetarian simply means abstinence from animal food. It should not however be confused with Veganism which excludes animal – derived products as well. Vegetarianism is catching up. Not just because it is healthier but because of people’s awareness that being vegetarian is something deeper. It carries a deeper philosophy encompassing environmental concerns, compassion for the animal world and a healthier world. It is not about a habit – It is a life style.

Health is a major factor contributing to the conversions. Consumption of animal fat and proteins raise your risk of contracting Cancer, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypertension, Cardio Vascular diseases to name a few. It is common knowledge that vegetarian food has all the ingredients required to maintain a healthy body and Saints of yore are striking examples of this with proof of their health and longetivity.

Another factor is respecting and preserving one’s environment. Experts opine that live stock farming takes up huge chunks of land, water, fertilizers and other resources meant for cultivating food meant to feed humans. Live stock need to be fed and large areas are tilled and farmed with animal feed products. Huge areas of wilderness are converted into grazing areas and farm lands disturbing the balance in the eco system. Ground water pollution due to animal waste is a huge problem to be tackled.

On the ethical side Bernard Shaw’s quote perhaps sums it all.
George Bernard Shaw


“If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth – beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals – would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?”

Some other reasons that propel people towards this diet us economics [Meat is certainly very expensive], religious beliefs, traditional and cultural background.

Below is a list of famous vegans / vegetarians spanning across varied professions and cultures:
Alicia Silverstone (Actress)
Benjamin Franklin (Scientist and diplomat; inventor of the lightning conductor)
Charlotte Bronte (Author)
George Bernard Shaw (Dramatist, novelist)
Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motor Company)
Mahatma Gandhi (Politician, pacifist)
Albert Einstein (Scientist)
H.G. Wells (Author)
Greg Chappell (Australian cricketer)
Hans Christian Andersen (Author of fairy tales)
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian painter, architect and engineer)
Linda Blair (Actress)
Martin Luther (German church reformer; founder of Protestantism)
Martyn Moxon (English cricketer)
Pamela Anderson (Actress)
Paul McCartney (Musician)
Plato (Greek philosopher)
Plutarch (Greek philosopher and biographer)
Prince (Musician)
Pythagoras (Greek mathematician and philosopher)
Ricky Williams (Professional American football player)
Scott Jurek (Ultra marathon runner)
Sir Isaac Newton (English physicist and mathematician)
Vincent Van Gogh (Impressionist painter)
Voltaire (French author)