Mesothelioma treatment can be challenging and demanding, as it often involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. These treatments can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and infection.
To cope with these side effects and improve your chances of survival and quality of life, you need to pay attention to your nutrition and diet. Eating the right foods can help you maintain your weight, strength, and immunity, and also prevent or reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and tumor growth.
But what are the best mesothelioma foods to eat? And what foods should you avoid or limit? In this article, we will answer these questions and show you how to boost your nutrition and health with a cancer-fighting diet.
What Are the Best Mesothelioma Foods to Eat?
The best mesothelioma foods to eat are those that provide you with essential nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. These nutrients can help you repair your tissues, fight infections, and protect your cells from damage.
Some of the best mesothelioma foods to eat are:
- Protein-rich foods: Protein is the building block of your muscles, organs, and immune system. It can help you heal from surgery, prevent muscle loss, and fight infections. Protein-rich foods include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Carbohydrate-rich foods: Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body and brain. They can help you prevent fatigue, maintain your blood sugar levels, and spare your protein for other functions. Carbohydrate-rich foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- Healthy fats: Fats are another source of energy and also play a role in hormone production, cell membrane function, and nutrient absorption. Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can lower your cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and prevent blood clots. Healthy fats are found in olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
- Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are involved in various biochemical reactions and processes in your body. They can help you maintain your metabolism, immunity, nerve function, and blood formation. Vitamins and minerals are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meat, and fortified foods.
- Antioxidants and phytochemicals: Antioxidants and phytochemicals are compounds that can protect your cells from oxidative stress, which is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your DNA, proteins, and membranes, and contribute to cancer development and progression. Antioxidants and phytochemicals can also modulate your immune system, inflammation, and hormone levels, and prevent or slow down tumor growth. Antioxidants and phytochemicals are found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, tea, coffee, and cocoa.
What Are the Worst Mesothelioma Foods to Eat?
The worst mesothelioma foods to eat are those that can harm your health, interfere with your treatment, or worsen your symptoms. These foods include:
- Processed and red meats: Processed and red meats are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and nitrites, which can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. They can also cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage, and promote tumor growth. Processed and red meats include bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs, salami, beef, pork, and lamb.
- Refined carbohydrates and added sugars: Refined carbohydrates and added sugars are low in nutrients and high in calories. They can cause spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels, which can affect your energy, mood, and appetite. They can also feed cancer cells, as they use glucose as their main fuel. Refined carbohydrates and added sugars include white bread, white rice, white pasta, pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, soda, and fruit juice.
- Trans fats and hydrogenated oils: Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are artificial fats that are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils. They can raise your bad cholesterol levels, lower your good cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. They can also cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage, and interfere with your cell membrane function. Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are found in margarine, shortening, baked goods, fried foods, and processed foods.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is a toxin that can damage your liver, brain, and other organs. It can also dehydrate you, lower your immunity, and interfere with your medication. Alcohol can also increase your estrogen levels, which can stimulate the growth of some types of cancer cells. Alcohol includes beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks.
- Certain supplements and herbs: Certain supplements and herbs can interact with your medication, cause side effects, or affect your blood clotting. They can also alter your hormone levels, immune system, or metabolism, and affect your cancer treatment. Some of the supplements and herbs that you should avoid or limit include vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, ginkgo, garlic, ginger, ginseng, echinacea, St. John’s wort, and turmeric.
How to Plan Your Mesothelioma Diet?
To plan your mesothelioma diet, you should consult your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist, who can help you determine your nutritional needs, goals, and preferences. They can also help you create a personalized meal plan, monitor your progress, and adjust your diet as needed.
Some general tips to plan your mesothelioma diet are:
- Eat small and frequent meals: Eating small and frequent meals can help you prevent nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss. It can also help you maintain your blood sugar levels, energy levels, and nutrient intake. You should aim for five to six small meals per day, and eat every two to three hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids can help you prevent dehydration, constipation, and kidney problems. It can also help you flush out toxins, waste products, and medication from your body. You should aim for eight to 10 glasses of water per day, and drink more if you sweat, vomit, or have diarrhea. You can also drink other fluids, such as milk, soup, broth, smoothies, and herbal tea.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods: Choosing nutrient-dense foods can help you get the most nutrients from the least amount of food. This can help you prevent malnutrition, weight loss, and muscle loss. Nutrient-dense foods include lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dairy.
- Avoid or limit foods that trigger or worsen your symptoms: Avoiding or limiting foods that trigger or worsen your symptoms can help you prevent or reduce discomfort, pain, and complications. Some of the foods that you may need to avoid or limit include spicy, greasy, fried, acidic, or gas-producing foods, caffeine, alcohol, and supplements and herbs that interact with your medication or treatment.
- Enjoy your food and be flexible: Enjoying your food and being flexible can help you cope with your treatment and recovery, and improve your quality of life. You should choose foods that you like and that suit your taste, mood, and schedule. You should also be flexible and adapt your diet to your changing needs, preferences, and symptoms.
If you have mesothelioma, you may wonder what foods to eat to support your treatment and recovery. In this article, we have shared some of the best mesothelioma foods to eat, based on scientific evidence and expert recommendations. We have also shown you how to avoid foods that may harm your health and interfere with your treatment.
Eating the right foods can help you maintain your weight, strength, and immunity, and also prevent or reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and tumor growth. Eating the wrong foods can harm your health, interfere with your treatment, or worsen your symptoms.
To plan your mesothelioma diet, you should consult your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist, who can help you create a personalized meal plan, monitor your progress, and adjust your diet as needed.