Nutrition & Wellbeing

Introduction

We believe that the impact of cancer is not just physical, and that recovery is assisted by attending to the needs of the whole person, mind, body, spirit and emotions.

Your dietary needs and wants will change as you go through your treatments at the hospital. Sometimes you will want something to eat and at other times you will not feel like eating at all. Wherever you are in this, we know it is important that your body receives sufficient nutrients so that it has the energy to fight against what is being done to it. They body will always try to heal itself, and anything we can do by providing the energy for it to do that, can only be a good thing.

Alongside this recognising stress and learning different ways to relax, can help improve wellbeing. The more you relax, the more you are able to support yourself on the road towards recovery.

TALKS

On a monthly basis – usually a Wednesday afternoon – we have a talk either supporting Nutrition or Wellbeing, given by one of our own experienced therapists or a visiting speaker.

21/03/2018 : Vegan Nutrition | The benefits of plant based foods [Kate Johnson]

18/04/2018 : Tumeric, Chilli & Ginger | The many benefits of these spices [Kate Johnson]

16/05/2018 : The Power Of The Mind | Explore the true potential of your mind & learn some simple techniques to enhance your life [Sally Abrol]

20/06/2018 : Maintaining A Healthy Gut | The do’s & don’ts; Hints & tips [Kate Johnson]

18/07/2018 : Alkalising Your Diet | The benefits of & simple ways to achieve it [Kate Johnson]

First Steps Towards a Healthy Diet

Eating the right foods in the correct proportions is essential for good health, and you may wish to consider ways in which you could improve your eating habits.

Some suggestions are set out below.
If your appetite and digestion are affected, aim to incorporate 3 of the below into your daily eating routine and add more as you are able.

DO
• Drink at least 2 litres of good quality water spread throughout the day using a jug filter. (This should be one of your priority)
• Try to be relaxed and take your time when you eat. Try Mindful eating. This is concentrating totally on what you are putting into your mouth and taking note of the smell, tastes and textures.
• Chew your food properly to help the digestion process.
• Increase the amount of fruit and especially vegetables in your meals (up to ten portions per day) including greens such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach and watercress. Steam your vegetables where possible.
• Try some vegetable juices or smoothies – you can add apple for sweetness, or lemon and ginger to pep them up a bit! Try adding a spoon of virgin coconut oil.
• If you are feeling nauseous and don’t want to eat, then try peppermint or ginger tea.
• Smaller portions more regularly will help to keep your blood sugars stable and can sometimes help nausea.
• Keep a supply of nutritious snacks available for the moments when you do want to eat, such as nuts and seeds; and try making your own flapjacks or healthy cereal bars.
• Include beans, peas, quinoa and lentils in your meals. Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals and can help as a good source of fibre.
• Try some sprouted seeds – its is very easy to do.
• Add organic extra virgin olive oil to raw and cooked foods. If olive oil is used in cooking heat to a minimum and choose a ‘mild and light’ variety. Alternatively, cook with organic virgin coconut oil.
• Increase the amount of whole grains in your diet and look for alternatives to wheat to reduce gluten in your diet. Gluten can increase digestion problems.
• Once you have finished chemotherapy, try to include some fermented foods to help to restore the good bacteria in your gut, such as live yoghurts and sauerkraut.

AVOID
• Processed food e.g. ready meals, branded breakfast cereals, vegetable oils in plastic bottles
• Red meats, especially beef and pork.
• Dairy produce, especially if affected by a hormone dependant cancer
• Table salt and salty foods such as ham
• Sugar and sugary foods and synthetic sugar substitutes
• Alcohol, although an occasional small glass of red wine with a meal has protective properties.

REDUCE
Tea and Coffee. These contain caffeine which can increase the body’s stress hormones. Change to green tea or try other herbal and fruit teas which are often high in antioxidants.

NOTE: that these are very general guidelines and suggestions, and for some cancers you will need to be guided by your consultant or other professional if certain foods are to be avoided.

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