Cancer is a debilitating disease. Nutrition management is an important part of cancer management. A diet that will help restore the body to a reasonable shape as soon as possible is recommended.

Therefore, Ayurveda recommends a low fat but nutrition-rich diet. The focus is on fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Cancer patients are advised to avoid refined sugars and foods containing additives. Organic food should be eaten, and the patient should avoid overeating.

Ayurveda specialists advise abstinence from foods that cause an imbalance between the three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They recommend nutraceuticals that help improve the digestive functions of the body. Normally, Triphala, a combination of Terminalia bellerica, Terminalia chebula, and Embilica officinalis, is prescribed. It is said to tone the digestive functions.

The Ayurveda diet is associated with the dosha type. Vata-type people should eat cooked, warm foods, take spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger in food, and stay away from icy drinks. They should eat sweet berries, fruits, small beans, rice, nuts, and dairy products. Moderate exercise and meditative yoga are good for such people.

Pitta people should avoid alcohol and tobacco. Fresh vegetables and juicy fruits (such as cherries, mango, cucumber, watermelon), salads, and greens should be eaten. Kapha individuals should take light, warm food, spices, ginger, chillis, etc.

After chemotherapy or radiotherapy, a protein-rich diet becomes critical. Proteins are required to repair body tissue and keep the immune systems healthy. Cancer patients require more protein than normal people to offset both the damage caused by both the disease and the effects of cancer treatment medication.

Ayurveda practitioners and nutritionists in oncology hospitals recommend a rich diet in nuts, nut butter, beans, peas, lentils, fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, etc. Modifications based on an individual’s dosha type are made while recommending a diet to a cancer patient.

Similar recommendations are made in the Traditional Chinese Medicine system.

TCM dietitians recommend a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, cereals, and grain with high fiber to aid bowel movements and advise patients to avoid spicy and fried foods. Herbs such as ginseng, astragalus, reishi mushroom, and other adaptogen herbs are often recommended to build immunity.

Post chemotherapy, to help the patient overcome digestive problems that are an outcome of the treatment, a light, easily digestible diet of semifluid or soft foods is recommended. Fresh juices that have ginger, reed rhizome, or figs help relieve nausea and stimulate the appetite. High protein foods of poultry, fish, pork, and vegetables and immunity building foods are recommended. Fried and spicy foods are to be avoided.

TCM diet is varied with the type of cancer. Diet recommendations are tailored for an individual, like the Ayurveda concept of personalized diet.

Read natural solutions for cancer to know more.

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