Your new best friends

Wouldn’t it be grand if food could prevent or cure cancer! Alas, this is not so – YET. The right food can, however, lower the risk of developing the disease, aid in treatment and recovery – physically, mentally and emotionally. Many foods have cancer-fighting properties such as antioxidants and we are beginning to understand how phytochemical compounds protect cells from disease. Cancer does not manifest overnight. It takes time to develop and goes through stages. We know good eating and a healthy diet can be of great assistance to the quality of life during all stages of cancer and it’s many forms of treatment and after. There is also extensive and compelling evidence that certain foods and preparation methods can contribute to cancer developing and most importantly in the prevention of it. Initiation, promotion, progression, actual and metastasis (spread) are the stages. Get to know them and learn as much as you can about where you are and how nutrition can help. Don’t forget, we eat with our eyes. In many instances the best nutrition comes from the very components that give food its colour. It seems nature intended wellness to be bold and bright! Whenever possible, choose foods that are in season and as fresh as they possibly can be. Locally sourced foods have often travelled shorter distances from field-to-shopping basket and so may be better sources of nutrients, particularly if prepared in a way that will preserve those water-soluble and heat sensitive ones. It might be helpful to include a probiotic supplement if your treatment results in digestive problems such as diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort as a result of flatulence. Probiotics are a source of ‘friendly bacteria’ that can help replace the natural bacteria in your gut and aid digestion. Be mindful that treatment can reduce your white blood cell count, known as neutropenia and if so, you may be advised to avoid foods and drinks (including probiotics, live and bio products, uncooked foods, even ordinary tap water) to reduce your risk of developing a food- or water-borne infection. Remember, the definitive guide is always best to come from a registered dietician or your doctor. Here are a few of the foods that are highlighted in this book that have been shown to be beneficial. Click here to meet them and make them your new best friends!