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.

Amrakhand or Mango Shrikhand

Shrikhand is a very popular sweet dish made of thick Yogurt, that is an intrinsic part of Gujarathi & Maharastrian Cuisine. It is a very popular dessert which is a must at all festivities. It is also served as an accompaniment for main dishes like poori & roti.There are variations to this dish. When mango pulp is added it is called Amrakhand. Some prefer to add fresh fruits to the yogurt and it is popularly know as Matho.

Ingredients:
Thick Yogurt or home made curds – 2 cups
Mango Pulp – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp

To garnish
Sliced Pistachios – 1 tblsp

Method:

Strain the yogurt or curds till all the water is drained. This is traditionally done by straining it through a clean muslin cloth by tying it up and leaving it to hang over night.
Similarly ensure that the mango pulp is also thick devoid of any water.
Blend all ingredients in a blender till thick in consistency.
Pour in individual cups and garnish with chopped pistachio slices.
Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours
Serve Chilled.

Tips:

A few strands of saffron soaked in warm milk can also be added to the mix.
Some like to add a few pieces of mango to the shrikhand.
After blending you can add the mango pieces and then chill in individual bowls.

By Mrs. Mira Balachandran; mira.balachandran@gmail.com

Raw or Ripe – Mangoes Rock!!!

Summer season spells Mangoes – King of Fruits. India is said to be home to close to 1000 varieties of mango but only a specific few are grown for commercial purposes. Mangoes come in various asahpes, sizes, colors, taste and aroma. India exports close to Rs.160 Crore of mangoes world wide and Andhra Pradesh ranks first among the Indian states for its produce. Some of the varieties specific to certain regions are given below – courtesy APEDA

Andhra Pradesh – Banganapalli, Suvarnarekha, Neelum and Totapuri
Bihar – Bombay Green, Chausa, Dashehari, Fazli, Gulabkhas, Kishen Bhog, Himsagar, Zardalu and Langra
Gujarat – Kesar, Alphonso, Rajapuri, Jamadar, Totapuri, Neelum, Dashehari and Langra
Haryana – Chausa, Dashehari, Langra and Fazli
Himachal Pradesh – Chausa, Dashehari and Langra
Karnataka – Alphonso, Totapuri, Banganapalli, Pairi, Neelum and Mulgoa
Madhya Pradesh – Alphonso, Bombay Green, Dashehari, Fazli, Langra and Neelum
Maharashtra – Alphonso, Kesar and Pairi
Punjab – Chausa, Dashehari and Malda
Rajasthan – Bombay Green, Chausa, Dashehari and Langra
Tamil Nadu -Alphonso, Totapuri, Banganapalli and Neelum
Uttar Pradesh -Bombay Green, Chausa, Dashehari and Langra
West Bengal – Fazli, Gulabkhas, Himsagar, Kishenbhog, Langra and Bombay Green

Raw mangoes are the first to hit the market and are put to a wide variety of culinary uses.

Pickles are hot favorites. The tiny [ marble sized ones] ones are in great demand in the Southern states especially TamilNadu where they are consumed in huge numbers as a pickle called ‘Kadugu Mangai ‘ or ‘ Vadu Maangai’. Here mustard is ground and mixed with salt and chilli powder and the tiny raw mangoes are left to soak in this liquid for weeks together till thery shrink in size.
Slightly bigger ones called the ‘Kili Mooku Mangai’ [ perhaps named so since they resemble the parrot’s beak] are sliced and made into a pickle marinated in salt, chilli powder, asafoetida & oil.
Raw Mangoes of a different variety, distinct for their extremely sour taste, are chopped into chunks and made into a pickle called ‘ Aavakkai’ that is very popular in Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh, especially for their high spice- levels.
Fhodd is another pickle made of raw mangoes and preserved in brine solution to which dried red chillies are added.
Miscut is a famous pickle from Goa. And so is another variety called Choonda.
Raw mangoes are used to make a refreshing and extremely popular drink called Aam Panna.
Raw mangoes can be grated and used to garnish or added to salads as an ingredient.
Down South grated mango is a ‘must-have’ ingredient while making varieties of ‘Sundal’.
Dried raw mango powder is used as Amchur Powder to add flavor to dishes.
Raw Mangoes can be used in making chutneys along with green chillies.
Raw mango pulp can be used in making rice varieties when combined with onions, chillies and ginger to delight the palate.
Raw Mangoes can also be used to make spicy, sweet & sour side jam using jaggery, that can used as accompaniment for both rice and wheat preparations[ like puri and rotis]

Raw or ripe, cooked or uncooked, flavored or plain Mangoes are a hot favorite with people of all ages!