Ayurveda practitioners and nutritionists in oncology hospitals recommend a diet rich in nuts, nut butter, beans, peas, lentils, fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, etc. Vegetarians can focus on beans, lentils, peas, and nuts for their protein requirements.

Some protein sources, like soybean, are low in sulfur-containing amino acids. Cottonseed, peanut, sesame flour, and cereal grains are good protein sources in general but lack lysine. Diet, therefore, is best not restricted to a single protein source (Young et al., 1994).

Heat treatment of soy flakes (while it inactivates nearly all biologically active components) retains most of its functionality (Wu et al., 1974).

Soy products are particularly beneficial for cardiovascular and overall health. These are rich in polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and low in saturated fat (Sacks et al., 2006). Grain legumes, in general, are valuable sources of protein (Duranti, 2006).

Saturated fats are to be avoided. These can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Foods to avoid include meat, poultry, milk, cheese, butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil.

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 is recommended; it is free from pesticides and insecticides. Patients should avoid overeating.

Vitamins and minerals are critical to building the immune system, which helps the body fight infections and disease.

Additional reading:

Natural Solutions tri-series on cancer, diabetes, and obesity

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