You have not lost any weight due to the illness and possible complaints, and you currently feel so strong that you have decided to actively optimize your diet to fight against cancer. Unfortunately, based on our experience, we have to raise our index finger again at this point. Please keep your weight stable as long as you are undergoing cancer therapy!
Even if you currently have no symptoms and your weight is stable, a radical change in diet or diet can put unnecessary strain on your body and cause symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, cramps, headaches and migraines, and the associated weight loss. Such a change is also an enormous stress factor – now is not the right time for it.
We, therefore, recommend that you primarily stick to your usual diet until you have completed your treatment. You don’t have to feel guilty about this. The following recommendations apply to cancer prevention and follow-up care. But since we know (also from our own experience) that as a cancer patient, it is better to take immediate action.
Table of Contents
What Is Nutrition In Prevention And Aftercare?
Why The Distinction?
We have deliberately chosen the expression “nutrition in prevention and aftercare” because experts warn against a change in diet while a patient is in the acute phase of therapy and the fight against cancer. In this phase, your body has to endure so much stress and be as fit as possible.
Changing Your Diet Is Not Always A Good Thing
A change in diet is always positive; unfortunately, a misconception has established itself in our brains. The fight against cancer is an exceptional situation that can only be understood by those who have experienced it themselves or at close range. In this unique situation, you should do everything you can to keep your body as fit as possible, and that means: Keep your weight stable and avoid any stress. Therefore, diet changes belong to prevention and aftercare. There they are helpful and also practical. Our body is a creature of habit; it can only get used to changes slowly. Don’t stress yourself or him.
You feel strong enough to make a change
Suppose you have the feeling that you are in a situation that could be compared to prevention and aftercare. In that case, you are currently not receiving any harsh therapy measures; you feel strong, and, above all, have not already lost more than 5% of your original weight – you can do a slow one and gradually adjust your diet. We call it the perfect plate. You can find more details on this in the practical tips below.
What Do You Do In Practice?
- Keep weight stable.
- Slowly change your eating habits to the most balanced, colorful, and varied diet possible.
- Have fun and see this change not as a restriction but as a conquest of new food worlds.
In tips: Try new foods, new flavors, and new culinary ideas and cuisines.
When And How Often Should I Eat?
- Eat slowly, chew well, and enjoy your food. Try a mindfulness exercise. Perceive food with different senses. Arrange the food in a beautiful and appealing way, smell it, and activate all taste buds by chewing slowly. Advantage: You will sooner notice when you are full. Plus, “Well chewed is half digested.”
- Take time to eat, eat consciously and with pleasure, and not alongside or in between.
- Watch when your mealtimes are and plan your meals accordingly, so you don’t have cravings or rushing your food.
- Some people need several smaller meals throughout the day; it is better to plan three main meals for others. It is essential to find a good balance that optimally supplies the body.
What Is The Basis Of A Colorful, Balanced Diet?
Basically: 5 a day, i.e., two servings of fruit and three vegetables a day. A serving is always about a handful. Advantage: vegetables and fruits provide you with nutrients, fiber, and secondary plant substances and contribute to satiety.
- Prefer whole grains. Advantage: more prolonged satiety, more nutrients.
- Use legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans as a source of protein. Advantage: excellent protein sources with lots of fiber and vitamins, an excellent alternative to meat.
- Fresh instead of processed foods. Advantage: no hidden sugar, salt, and unnecessary additives.
- Vegetable fats such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, linseed oil. Advantage: contain healthy fatty acids; walnut and linseed oil have many omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory effects.
- Eat milk and dairy products like yogurt and cheese every day. Advantage: Dairy products are particularly beneficial for healthy intestinal flora. A healthy intestinal flora promotes a healthy immune system. Milk and dairy products provide readily available protein, vitamin B2, and calcium.
- It would help if you ate fish once or twice a week. Advantage: Sea fish provides you with iodine and fatty fish with essential omega-3 fatty acids.
- Use a variety of fresh herbs and spices. Advantage: partly replace sugar or salt, contain valuable herbal ingredients.
- Drink a lot of water. Advantage: a healthy fluid balance equals healthy digestion.
What Should You Pay Attention To In General?
- Eating should always be a pleasure. Now more than ever, see food as a factor that should bring you the quality of life.
- Treat yourself to something more often (e.g., eat ice cream, enjoy cake), and don’t let food become a stress factor.
- If your diet is currently very different from the one listed here, do not stress yourself or your digestion with a radical change.
- Change your diet just one step at a time, ideally, with the support of a personal consultation.
Little Tips For Putting A Healthy Diet Into Practice
- Also, eat a small salad plate with the main meal.
- Sprinkle flax seeds, chopped sunflowers, or pumpkin seeds, as well as fruits or berries over the yogurt/muesli.
- Eat milk and milk products daily, for example, as a snack between meals.
- Complement desserts, for example, with fresh fruit or frozen berries.
- Always have a supply of legumes at home (dried or canned).
- If you plan your meals, you will have a good overview of how often you eat meat, fish, or vegetarian food.
- Increase your intake of good quality fats by using vegetable oils in cooking and eating fish and unsalted nuts regularly.
- Try to reduce your meat or fish portions and increase the number of vegetables on the plate.
- If you are getting used to vegetables, “package” the vegetables in sauces and soups.
- To save time, keep frozen vegetables on hand. Cooked rice, pasta, and quinoa can also be frozen well.
- Use wholemeal flour instead of white flour for baking, or replace only half for the first time to make it easier to get used to it.
- Instead of salt, use lots of herbs and spices when cooking.
- Always have something to drink within reach (preferably water).
- Take your time while eating and pay attention to your feeling of fullness.