Ayurveda practitioners and nutritionists in oncology hospitals recommend a protein-rich food like 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. In a plant-based diet, soybean protein source options are low in sulfur-containing amino acids. Cottonseed, peanuts, sesame flour, and cereal grains are good protein sources in general but lack lysine. Protein-rich 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, and minerals and low in saturated fat (Sacks et al., 2006). Grain legumes, in general, are protein-rich food sources (Duranti, 2006). 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.
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. Vitamins and minerals are critical to building the immune system, which helps the body fight infections and diseases.
Here are some Ayurvedic recommendations for incorporating protein into your diet:
- Include legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and mung beans, in your diet as they are a good source of plant-based protein.
- Incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet, such as almonds, sunflowers, and pumpkin seeds. They are a good source of protein and healthy fats.
- Consider incorporating dairy products such as ghee, paneer, and yogurt, as they are good protein sources and are easily digestible.
- Incorporate animal protein sources, such as chicken, fish, and eggs, into your diet in moderation.
- Consider incorporating herbal supplements such as Shatavari, ashwagandha, and Guduchi, which are believed to have anti-cancer properties and can provide additional protein.
It is important to note that these general recommendations may not suit everyone. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet. Additionally, it is important to follow the specific dietary recommendations and guidelines given by your doctor or a registered dietitian, as they will consider your individual needs and health status.
Natural Solutions tri-series on cancer, diabetes, and obesity