Category Archives: nutrition
Having a Child with Cancer in the house means that you are generally stressed and fatigued to the max! This also means that you do not have a lot of time for normal household duties, including cooking elaborate meals.
Added to this, a Child with Cancer very often either does not have an appetite or cannot eat certain foods due to their treatment, mouth sores, taste changes, lack of appetite and various other reasons, so what to do?
Nutrition is really important for a Child with Cancer as they need all the strength they can muster to fight off the monster that is cancer. This means that even if it is difficult to eat o they don’t have much of an appetite, they need nutrition to build up their immune systems.
Today we bring you some easy, quick and minimal-ingredient recipes that we are sure your child will enjoy (you might just enjoy them too, and remember is is just as important to keep your strength up!)
We know that you as a parent are doing your best to help your Child with Cancer cope with fighting this devastating disease, spending hours at their bedside both at home and in the hospital, still trying to look after the rest of the family, and so much more, and that this takes everything you have.
We realise that trying to cook healthy meals is really difficult under the circumstances, especially when it is difficult for your Child with Cancer to eat, but good nutrition is paramount under the circumstances, which is why we try to make it easier by supplying you with easy, nutritious, cancer-fighting recipes.
It is winter in South Africa, and that means that we need to eat more, eat more hot food, and eat more nutritional food in order to stave off the bitter cold weather, influenza, the sniffles etc.
This is vitally important for our Little Fighters, as Children with Cancer need all of their strength to build up their immune system which is compromised due to the cancer and as a result of the treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
Children with Cancer have to follow a nutritionally specific diet, which is often impossible for cancer-affected families to follow due to lack of funds.
In excess of 50% of the individual Childhood Cancer-affected families that are supported by the Little Fighters Cancer Trust have lost one income due to the child’s diagnosis. LFCT supports in excess of 100 Childhood Cancer-affected Families with groceries every month!
With one parent in the hospital for months, sometimes years on end, the sole breadwinner struggles to make ends meet at home. The Little Fighters Cancer Trust ensures that these families have food in the home while the Child with Cancer is in and out of hospital via our Feeding Our Families project.
We need YOUR help to put food on the table for many of our Little Fighters and their Families who are really struggling.
Antioxidants are substances that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules. That damage, called “oxidative stress,” is linked to the kind of damage in DNA mutations that can contribute to the risk of certain cancers, as well as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
In most cases, you can find all the antioxidants you need in a healthy, plant-based diet.
To date, nine randomised controlled clinical trials of dietary antioxidant supplements for cancer prevention have been conducted worldwide to study the effects of antioxidant supplements and cancer. The different studies reached varying conclusions about the efficacy and safety of taking antioxidant supplements to help prevent cancer or taking them during cancer treatment.
Some studies have shown that taking antioxidant supplements – such as vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene – might help reduce the risk for certain diseases related to oxidative stress, including cancer.
“Additional large randomized controlled trials are needed to provide clear scientific evidence about the potential benefits or harms of taking antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment,” the National Cancer Institute (NCI), reports.
If you are anything like me, you have read many articles regarding various foods or nutrients that supposedly either increase or decrease the risk of cancer.
You will also find many articles that claim that certain foods are so-called ‘superfoods’ that can prevent or cure cancer merely by eating them.
While nature does contain certain natural remedies, and while eating or not eating certain foods may be good for one’s health, it is unlikely that specific ‘superfoods’, on their own, could directly affect the risk of cancer.
Unfortunately there are still those who insist on spreading stories about what is good, not good, what is carcinogenic, and what can/will or cannot/will not cause or cure cancer.
This article will hopefully bring you some clarity on some of the most talked-about foods or nutrients.
Yesterday we gave you some important information about e’Pap, a revolutionary nutrient-loaded porridge that was created to cater to the feeding needs of HIV patients and babies.
Nutrient content in fruit and vegetables has dropped up to 76% over the past 50 years in the USA and Europe. Proof that modern intensive agriculture practices create the problem. The result is a global crisis of mass starvation of micro-nutrients in communities both rich and poor.
Such is the success of e’Pap in improving nutrition, energy and productivity for those who consume it, that up to two million servings a month of e’Pap are distributed in Africa.
e’Pap could be the answer for Children with Cancer – it is full of vitamins, cheap, and easy-to-make; it does not even require cooking so is suitable for use in even the remotest rural areas.
Children with Cancer generally have many problems caused by their cancer and by the cancer treatments they are undergoing, such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy, including losing weight, inability to eat or swallow, and an impaired immune system exactly at the time that they need everything they can get to fight this devastating disease.
Part of the answer to these problems may lay in a nutrient-loaded porridge that was developed by the late Dr Basil Kransdorff, a South African doctor, specifically to cater to feeding HIV patients and babies.
The late Dr Basil Kransdorff and wife Rose’s work helping an NGO called CARE (Community AIDS Response) at the Joburg General Hospital, led to a worldwide debate on Food Security vs Nutrition Security.
Back in 2000 there was no medication and Doctors were telling patients diagnosed with HIV to go home, eat a healthy well-balanced diet and prepare to die. It was a difficult time when little was known about treating those living with HIV.
Following onto yesterday’s post, “Can a Mediterranean Diet Protect Against Cancer?” we are bringing you some great Mediterranean Diet recipes across the board today. Enjoy!
Individuals who follow the Mediterranean Diet have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases than do other adults.
The Mediterranean diet emphasises plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It replaces butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and uses herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
Red meat is limited to no more than a few times a month, while fish should be on the menu twice a week.
It’s been common knowledge for some time that what we eat affects our risk of cancer. It has, however, been far more difficult to try to ascertain whether specific foods affect our odds of getting cancer. Our diet contains so many different foods and nutrients that it can be extremely difficult to isolate any effects due to a single food.
The odds of eating certain foods and nutrients tend to be linked, e.g. people who eat large amounts of fruit & vegetables also tend to eat lots of fibre. By looking at these dietary patterns, scientists can try to work out how a person’s diet as a whole affects their risk of cancer.
The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, Heart Disease and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases.
In the era of ‘alternative facts’ and post-truth, ‘the latest, greatest nutrition advice’ from dubious sources can unfortunately tempt many away from accepted dietary guidelines and recommendations based on years of evidence.
‘Eat Fact Not Fiction’ is the theme of Dietitian’s Week 2017, highlighting the important role of dietitians who are able to interpret nutrition science and dietary guidelines in order to customise nutrition advice for each individual.
This is vital because from weight loss to a disease like diabetes, there is no ‘one size fits all’ best eating plan. Dietitians happen to be health professionals trained and qualified to do this.
Correct nutrition is also vital for Children with Cancer, as their immune systems are compromised due to the cancer as well as the treatments for cancer such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
It is therefore vital that all parents of Children with Cancer know what is important for their children to eat whilst undergoing Cancer Treatments.
Add to this some of the side-effects of these treatments such as Constipation, Diarrhoea, Difficulty Chewing, Dehydration, Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia), Dry Mouth (Xerostomia), Mouth Sores or Mucositis, Nausea and Vomiting, and Taste Changes, all of which make it difficult for them to eat, and parents are faced with a massive problem.
This is when it is helpful to have some nutritional liquids on hand that you can give your child to drink to help them fight the cancer and maintain their weight and energy levels.
We have published many recipes for Smoothies and other Healthy Drinks, so today we are going to bring you something a bit different ~ in the form of recipes for Homemade Almond Milk, a Cleansing Booster Beet Juice, Enoch’s famous Kick’um Juice and an Immunity Boosting Carrot, Orange, Lemon & Ginger Juice
It is important to eat small meals more often while undergoing conventional cancer treatments such as Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
For those who are suffering side-effects such as dysphasia, sore mouths or nausea, consuming a nutrient dense smoothie for one meal and then trying some sun-dried fruits (without sugar) and untoasted nuts as a snack a few hours later is a good idea.
A lunch with salad greens, bitter herbs, apple slices, berries and a dressing made with lemon and olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and avocado makes an exceptionally nutrient-dense meal.
This type of Ayurvedic diet plan will increase your sense of taste, smell, and appetite and help one heal and feel good.
Some of the many health benefits of tuna fish include its ability to reduce cardiovascular conditions, stimulate growth and development, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, help in weight loss efforts, boost the immune system, increase energy, maintain the health of the skin, increase red blood cell count, prevent cancer, protect against various kidney diseases, reduce general inflammation, and inhibit cell membrane damage.
While many cannot affor or even access fresh tuna, canned tuna is inexpensive and packed with protein. The fish is mild in flavour and versatile enough to include in a variety of nutritious recipes.
Opt for tuna canned in water; a serving contains less than 1 gram of fat and only around 100 calories. While one should not eat tuna every day because of its mercury content, one can still safely enjoy canned tuna as a regular part of a healthy eating plan.
Cancer experts generally point out that everyone’s experience with cancer and cancer treatments is different, but one thing that is common to around 70% of individuals undergoing cancer treatment is nausea.
While the symptoms will disappear once treatment is completed, it is a good idea to feed your child anti-nausea foods while undergoing Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy or any other treatments/medications that make them nauseous.
Below are recipes for some foods that can help alleviate or minimise some of the nausea that can come with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Some general rules of thumb for cooks: keep portions small, keep the room cool, and keep cooking odours to a minimum (too much food, strong food aromas, and hot temperatures can also trigger nausea).
Children facing the demands of cancer treatment must eat healthily in order to get the nutrients that can fuel the body and aid in healing as well as assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
Special nutritional challenges are bound to arise throughout treatment because the side-effects of Childhood Cancer and Cancer Treatment Therapies such as Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy can result in changes in your eating habits and differences in the way your body uses nutrients. Nutritional needs and eating habits are affected differently depending on the type of cancer and its treatment.
Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant chemicals (phyto means plant in Greek). They provide plants with colour, odour and flavour. Once we eat them, however, research shows they can influence the chemical processes inside our bodies in helpful ways.
Findings from laboratory studies have shown that phytochemicals have the potential to:
- Stimulate the immune system
- Block substances we eat, drink and breathe from becoming carcinogens
- Reduce the kind of inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely
- Prevent DNA damage and help with DNA repair
- Reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can spark cancer
- Slow the growth rate of cancer cells
- Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce
- Help to regulate hormones