Diet and Nutrition for Ovarian Cancer Patients
Ovarian cancer is one of the life-threatening conditions that affects several women worldwide. As per ICMR’s consensus document for the management of this condition in 2019, ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer in India. To raise awareness about this serious condition and increase the survivor rate, World Ovarian Cancer Day is celebrated on the 8th of May every year. It aims at spreading awareness about the disease condition and the significance of early screening and diagnosis. This year, World Ovarian Cancer Day 2023 will be celebrated on 8th May 2023. The theme of this global health awareness this year is “No Woman Left Behind”. 2023 is the second year of the three-year-long campaign that focuses on spreading knowledge about screening, ovarian cancer symptoms, and early diagnosis to every woman, particularly those residing in underdeveloped and middle-developed nations. Fatigue, abdominal swelling with weight loss, constipation, stomach upset, changes in the menses such as irregular bleeding, heavier bleeding than normal, and back pain are some of the common ovarian cancer symptoms. Although the majority of ovarian cysts are not harmful, complex ovarian cysts may raise the risk of ovarian cancer. Although there is no ovarian cancer cured by diet, a healthy diet can help meet the nutritional requirements and health needs of those battling the condition. The diet may vary from person to person based on treatment and the response of the patients. A healthy, balanced diet and nutrition is crucial. Having a healthy diet can help you feel better, promote faster healing, and stay healthier. So, you might be wondering which dietary practices patients with ovarian cancer should follow, aren’t you? Discover all about them below.
Why a Healthy Diet is Crucial when Battling Ovarian Cancer?
Those battling ovarian cancer require several nutrients to help their body heal. As healing needs energy, you need calories. Proteins are an essential part of the ovarian cancer diet to help tissues heal after surgery. If you do not consume sufficient proteins, your body will acquire what it needs from your functional muscles. As a result, you are bound to suffer from muscle mass loss. When your muscles turn weaker, you lose strength. So, you find it harder to do your routine activities.
On top of that, healthy nutrition and diet can strengthen your immune system, increase the count of your cells, and lower the risk of infection. While under chemotherapy treatment when battling ovarian cancer, the cell count happens to reduce. If the white blood cells count reduces largely, one may suffer from an infection. If the platelets of ovarian cancer patients decrease largely, one may suffer from bleeding. And, if red blood cells reduce a lot, one may suffer from anaemia. A well-planned, customised ovarian cancer diet can help keep the cell count up when the affected individual is battling the fatal disease.
Here are some dietary tips that can help improve your health when you are under treatment for ovarian cancer.
Eat enough calories daily.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Consume a balanced diet. Eat healthy foods comprising a variety of nutrients, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Choose to eat healthy foods.
Stay hydrated. Ensure you drink a sufficient quantity of water daily. Normally, have eight to ten glasses of water daily.
Do exercise regularly.
Dietary Tips to Follow to Improve Your Relief and Health When Battling Ovarian Cancer
While battling ovarian cancer, eating healthy could be hard due to the adverse effects of the treatment, which is essential for cancer patients. However, in such circumstances, certain dietary practices can help. Here is a list of dietary tips that can help manage various side effects of the treatment when battling ovarian cancer.
A. For Vomiting and Nausea
Eat healthy snacks and small meals at intervals throughout the day.
When taking the nausea medications as prescribed, prefer to eat healthy, nutritious food when the medicines are working their best.
If the cooking aromas are bothering you, stay away from the kitchen for some time.
B. When You Don’t Have Appetite or Don’t Feel Like Eating
Try to relish foods that are high in calories. Savour snacks and small meals daily. Prefer to eat avocadoes, nuts, peanut butter, and protein smoothies.
Have various nutritious foods prepared and ready. Prefer to eat healthy, homemade food. Junk food and fast foods are among the foods to avoid with ovarian cancer.
Stay as active as possible. Being active will stimulate your appetite.
C. When You Are Constipated
Add foods with high fibre content to your diet. So, eat fresh fibre-abundant fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains.
Have ample fluids, such as fresh fruit juice, sports drink, water with electrolytes, and decaffeinated tea. Say no to caffeine.
D. When You Have Fever
Consume adequate calories, as your body burns more calories when you are down with a fever.
Drink plenty of water and healthy fluids, such as soups and fruit juices, when down with a fever and even if you don’t feel like it. You may also have protein smoothies.
Do contact the doctor if your fever soars to 4°F or higher.
Consult certified dieticians to help you plan your daily meals to get sufficient calories and nutrients from your diet.
E. When You Feel Bloated
Be sure you have plenty of fluids.
Carbonated beverages are not healthy when you feel bloated. So, stay away from carbonated beverages.
Do not eat greasy foods and other foods that make you feel bloated.
F. When You Suffer from Diarrhoea
Eat smaller, healthy meals often.
Replace lost fluids by drinking plenty of fruit juices, plain water, and soups.
Do not eat spicy and fried foods.
Have ample rest.
The plant-based diets for cancer patients emphasize the intake of fresh fruits, beans, vegetables, seeds, and nuts and restrict the intake of highly processed foods. Consulting certified dieticians can help you have a customized plant-based diet to help improve your health when battling ovarian cancer.
Eat Plenty of Cruciferous Vegetables
The risk of developing this deadly disease decreases with every 10 servings of cruciferous vegetables every month. The high content of phytochemicals called glucosinolates in these healthy vegetables breaks down into isothiocyanates. These compounds offer anti-cancer benefits by hindering tumorigenesis, affecting the metabolism of carcinogens, activating immune defences, and suppressing inflammatory mediators. So, enrich your diet with plenty of cruciferous vegetables, such as cooked cauliflower, cabbage, and greens.
Fill Up on Calcium and Vitamin D
Having low-fat milk, calcium, and vitamin D lowers the risk of ovarian cancer. High intake of calcium, adequate exposure to vitamin D, and low lactose intake may reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
So, if you or any of your loved ones are battling ovarian cancer, follow these effective dietary practices to alleviate the side effects of the treatment and improve health. Let’s spread the word about the role of diet in improving the health of ovarian cancer patients this World Ovarian Cancer Day. Consulting certified nutritionists and dieticians, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you have a customized diet plan to manage the condition or lower the risk of the development of ovarian cancer in healthy individuals. Our diet plan not only helps alleviate your discomforts but also manages your weight, boosts your immunity, eliminates nutritional deficiencies, and lowers or prevents potential health complications. So, be quick, reach out to us at Health Total and improve your health with our personalized ovarian cancer diet.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for improving your health and relief when battling ovarian cancer with diet or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-843-0206 and book an appointment!
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