The basic principles of a plant-based diet (PBD) are that it focuses on whole, minimally processed foods – whole grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts should make up the majority of what you eat – and limits animal products. A PBD also excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour, and processed oils.
A plant-based diet is rooted in food quality, promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.
A healthy diet and lifestyle help in the fight against cancer — whether treating it or in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
Various studies on the mental health of people on a prolonged vegan or plant-based diet have found something fantastic – it really helps with anxiety, mood swings, and stress levels, all of which is really good news for someone fighting cancer.
A 2018 study published in American Family Physician noted, “Recommending an eating style can help patients make positive change. Dietary patterns that support health … have benefits that include prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and obesity.”
The popularity of goji berries for their health benefits has been growing more and more over the past few years, but are they really so healthy and why should we eat them?
The answer to the first question is YES! Goji berries, also known as Lycium Barbarum, are native to Asia, and they have been used in Asia for more than 2 000 years as a medicinal herb and food supplement. Many individuals use goji berries to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, were introduced to the Western world a few years ago, with many health organisations punting their health benefits, and one can buy one sort of goji berry or the other in various formats in virtually every health shop and even supermarket these days.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs’ new report, Time to Deliver, called for urgent action against chronic diseases and mental disorders, the globe’s leading cause of death and ill-health, but failed to include a recommendation on taxing sugary beverages.
Sugar and in particular sugar sweetened beverages are “leading drivers of the obesity epidemic”, said chief executive officer of the global advocacy group the NCD Alliance Katie Dain.
Obesity significantly raises the risk of developing many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and, said Dain, alone, “is estimated to claim at least four million lives each year”.
The report on NCDs, which are chronic non-infectious conditions including cancer, diabetes and mental disorders, aims to galvanise action to stem the death and disease-toll caused by the rise in these diseases. The WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs, which produced the report, was convened in 2017 to advise WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the action needed to accelerate progress in the fight against NCDs.
While the following article refers more to lifestyle diseases such as HIV Aids, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, eating well and ensuring that you and your Child with Cancer eat sufficient fresh, whole-foods and staying away from processed food as much as possible is critical for your good health.
It is important that we all learn to change our bad eating habits to include healthy eating solutions inspired by traditional southern African foods which contain more Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fibre, Calcium, Carbohydrates and Protein than what most of us are eating on a daily basis.
Please read this article carefully and take the important information contained therein to heart, but also remember to discuss any changes in eating habits with your child’s oncologist before embarking thereon.
Remember, this is not meant to take the place of any current medication, but as an additional help to build up the immune system.
Switching from cans of soup or casseroles to fresh, real ingredients can be a fun challenge, and right now is the perfect time to swop processed crackers and snacks for fruit, homemade smoothies and yoghurts.
Not only will you ALL all feel better; your blood sugar will stop plummeting daily, you will all be more regular, and you may even lose a few pounds – your children will also learn to be adventurous eaters, and be SO MUCH HEALTHIER for it!
When your Little Fighter craves comfort-food, have childhood favourites “real-foodified” at the ready and in your freezer. When they have no appetite, make sure you have nutrient-dense soups and smoothies for them to sip all day. Even a Peanut Butter Sandwich with jam or honey is very beneficial.
Make overnight slow-cooker broth, muffins and quick breads, smoothies, and homemade coffee creamer to treat yourself as tired parents/caregivers….
While they may have cupcakes and sweets from friends as well as other “fun food” at numerous parties when they can go back to school – it is what is fed at home that makes the biggest difference in your child’s attitude toward nutrition and that way they won’t be robbed of the learning experiences that come with eating “sometimes foods.”
In the past, you may have promised yourself that you and your family will start eating a more healthy and nutritious diet – now is the time to put that promise into action.
Eating well can combat fatigue, help your child feel better, and keep their body strong so that they can cope more easily with the side effects of their treatment. It can also help your child heal and recover more readily from their cancer treatment.
Your child’s reaction to food may differ from other children who have the exact same diagnosis – some children continue to enjoy eating and maintain a strong appetite. Others want to eat well but are unable to do so. Feelings of fear and anxiety may complicate the desire to eat.
Nausea, in particular, can interfere with eating well. During treatment, some children may experience nausea or vomiting while others may never have either. If your child feels sick to his/her stomach between meals, it may help for them to eat six to eight small meals during the day rather than three large meals. Avoid giving them foods that are very sweet, greasy, fried or emit a strong smell.
And finally, keep in mind that your child’s dietary changes do not have to be dramatic. Begin with the item that is easiest for them or your family, then choose another after a few weeks, and then another. Before you know it, your whole family will have moved into a healthier eating pattern.
Malnutrition at the diagnosis of cancer is not an uncommon finding in the developing world.
Malnutrition describes the consequences of insufficient protein-energy intake. Malnutrition is an unspecific term used to define an inadequate nutritional condition. It is characterized by either a deficiency or an excess of energy with measurable adverse effects on clinical outcome.
Malnutrition describes the consequences of insufficient protein-energy intake. An adequate protein-energy balance is a prerequisite for age-appropriate growth and maintenance.
Nutrition is very important for Children with Cancer, because the presence of the tumour as well as the treatments that they undergo play havoc with their immune systems as well as various other systems in their little bodies.
According to Maria Petzel, a senior clinical dietitian at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:
“There is an overwhelming body of evidence that following a plant-based diet, made up of mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds can reduce the risk of getting cancer.”
“However, the evidence is less clear that a vegetarian or vegan diet further reduces risk of cancer over a good plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy weight.”
Ensuring that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient nutrition, which is necessary to improve their immune system so that they can fight the cancer, is not always easy, especially when you are a single parent, are dealing with the side-effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or have other children to look after as well.
The following quick meal and snack suggestions can really be of big help if your Child with Cancer is missing meals while having treatment or waiting for appointments.
Some of these meals/snacks may not seem like the most healthy of choices, but if your Child with Cancer has a poor appetite, it is important to focus on high-protein and high-energy foods and fluids.
We are getting some food donations in but also need financial donations so that we can buy FRESH veggies etc, to go with the Food Parcels. 🌽🥕🥦🍅🍗🥩🍼🥔
We need donations to be in by the 8th December to enable us to purchase and pack and send goods out by the 12th December.
All donations welcome 😘 Every R1 000, R500, R100, R50 helps 😘