Plant-based diets have surged in popularity after their benefits reached the spotlight in recent years. Studies continue to back up the benefits of vegan food and its effectiveness in providing nutrition. Cancer is a growing concern in the modern world, with percentages rising every year. These eight reasons show why every cancer patient should give vegan diets a try.
Less Stress to Your Body
Cancers are extremely stressful on the body. With dozens of treatments scheduled, it's important to aid one’s body to carry out its daily processes. Healthy vegan food is easy on your body and can be digested without much effort.
Processed foods and meat are difficult to break down. Red meat, in particular, overwork the digestive system to a large degree. Consumers of red meat and processed meat have some of the highest cancer counts in the world. This shows how toxic meat is to the body.
Vegan diets will allow cancer patients to get their protein and nutrients with minimal drawbacks, making it easier for the cancer patient to deal with both the condition and the ongoing treatments.
Beta-Carotene is not something you hear every day but is needed by your body daily to prevent and fight cancers. Beta-Carotene is a pigment found in vegetables that give it their distinct yellow and orange hue.
Being an antioxidant, Beta-Carotene can be effective in inhibiting the carcinogenetic process. However, studies have confirmed that supplementing Beta-Carotene is ineffective and can cause more harm than good. Therefore, the best option out there is to obtain the vital chemical naturally through one’s diet.
Foods that have intense yellow, red, and orange colors, as well as dark leafy greens, have more Beta-Carotene in them. Some veggies and fruits that are high in Beta-Carotene are carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, red and yellow peppers, apricots, kale, spinach, and broccoli.
Cancer patients deal with a lot of changes in their moods. The treatments received causes the patient's appetite to change drastically. Some may overeat while others might not have an appetite at all.
To deal with this, doctors advise taking 5-6 small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals. However, the main concern of this method is the overall increase of calories from the increased meal count. Vegan diets pose a solution to this problem as they are low in calories but high in nutrition.
As plant foods are higher in fiber, they will make you will feel full preventing you from overeating. Since the calorie count of a vegan diet is lower, you can easily break the daily intake down to several meals with ease.
Sizeable portions of cancer patients experience weight gain during treatment. This is due to several reasons ranging from hormones and steroids to decreased bodily activities. Therefore it is never a mistake to keep your calories in check with healthy meals.
Cancer is a life-changing condition. The amount of stress that a cancer patient endures mentally is heartbreaking at times. Therefore it is important to boost their mood in whatever way possible. One of the main benefits of vegan food is its ability to soothe one’s mental status.
Chemotherapy and cancer give rise to depression and anxiety among cancer patients. Although the patient's diet alone cannot solve this, it is important to stabilize the patient's mental health as much as possible.
Cortisol, which is a steroid produced by the body is what gives rise to stress in humans. When the production of cortisol is increased it can severely affect the person's mental health. Since cancer patients are already dealing with a lot on their plate, further stress can be detrimental to their health.
Vegan diets can reduce the production of cortisol naturally. Complex carbohydrates present in vegan foods boost the production of serotonin. Meat products contain long-chain fatty acids that are also linked to depression in studies. Since vegan diets lack meat, this kicks that out of the question.
Cancers and the medication administered to patients induce constipation. The main culprit of constipation is chemotherapy, but pain medications also factor in at times. Therefore, cancer patients need to aid their bowel movements through their lifestyle and diet.
Having a diet rich in fiber is the easiest way to deal with constipation. Healthy vegan food is rich in fiber that will smoothen the patient’s bowel movement. Thereby, it will prevent stomach cramps and bloating.
Fiber present in vegan foods will allow meals to pass through the intestines with ease. The soluble fiber present in plant food will also encourage the absorption of nutrients from food digested.
Easy to eat
Cancer patients have difficulty in chewing and swallowing foods. This is known as dysphagia and it is experienced by many of those that undergo treatment for cancers. Radiation treatment for cancers causes the muscles in the mouth and the throat to become deformed, becoming stiff.
It is important to eat foods that are easy to swallow in such a situation. Healthy vegan food once cooked is soft and easy to chew. This makes it easy for the patient to swallow reducing its effect on the body. Meat on the other hand is harder to chew unless overcooked. This can be unappetizing for some.
It is important to stay healthy during cancer treatment. The most effective way to stay healthy is to boost the body’s natural immunity. As cancer weakens the immunity of the patient, it is important to boost it back up.
One of the main benefits of vegan food is its ability to boost one’s immunity. However, for this, the patient needs to eat healthy vegan food and not processed items brought from the store.
The high amount of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants found in plant-based foods, lend a helping hand in destroying free radicals. Healthy vegan food also has a higher concentration of phytochemicals and phytosterols that help with immunity.
Inflammation has proved to be a leading cause of cancer progression. By reducing inflammation, the growth and recurrence of cancers can be controlled. For those who are in the early stages of cancer and recovering, it is beneficial to eat foods that reduce inflammation.
Healthy vegan foods are loaded with chemicals such as polyphenols that boost the body’s ability to fight inflammation. Thus, becoming a vital component in the battle against cancer.
Healthy Vegan Food Recommendations
We recommend these food items to those that undergoing cancer treatment. Always remember: A rich and balanced diet will further enhance the benefits of vegan food. Therefore try to incorporate all the whole foods mentioned in this blog post.
Vitamin B-12: Chlorella, Almond Milk, Soy Products like Tofu and Tempeh
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts, Flaxseed, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Seaweed, Kidney Beans
Calcium: Vegan Yogurt & Milk, Tofu, White Beans, Green Leafy Vegetables, Pulses
Proteins: Beans, Peas, Lentils, Soy-Based Products, Seitan, Hemp Seeds, Spelt, Spirulina, Quinoa
Iron: Wholemeal Bread, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Oats, Quinoa, Broccoli, Dates
Zinc: Oatmeal, Tofu, Lentils, Dairy Alternatives, Wild Rice
Iodine: Green Beans, Potatoes, Cranberries
Beta-Carotene: Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Red and Yellow Peppers, Apricots, Kale, Spinach, and Broccoli