Ovarian Cancer Diet: Food for Ovarian Cancer Patients
It is no secret that proper nutrition is important for everyone – whether you are healthy with no health conditions, have asthma, have coronary artery disease, have diabetes, or have cancer.
Cynthia A. Thomson of Health Promotion Sciences at the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona in Tuscon told Reuters, “One in two U.S. adults will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime and eating healthy is important in regards to how we come through this experience.”
However, it is well-established that proper nutrition is essential if you have cancer.
Treatment Can Affect Your Body's Ability to Utilize Nutrients
In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, “good nutrition is important for good health. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after cancer treatment can help the patient feel better and stay stronger… When the body does not get or cannot absorb the nutrients needed for health, it causes a condition called malnutrition or malnourishment.”
For example, your chosen treatments may have side effects that make it difficult to eat, such as mouth sores, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. For this reason, it is important to take in the proper nutrition – and sometimes, getting help from a registered dietitian is necessary.
Why You Should Include Fruits and Vegetables
A research study published in Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicated that women who ate a healthier diet in the years before an ovarian cancer diagnosis would have a longer life expectancy than those women who did not eat a healthy diet.
Ovarian cancer patients often have a poor life expectancy because it is typically not diagnosed until later stages of cancer.
The study was able to pinpoint that those women who ate a “healthy” diet had longer, healthier lives post-diagnosis and it was even able to pinpoint which foods were the most beneficial.
For example, yellow and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, seemed to be the most beneficial.
Eat Your Yellow Vegetables
Researcher Therese Dolecek, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and investigator at the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, states, “At five years, 75 percent of the women who ate less than one serving a week of yellow vegetables were alive, compared to about 82 percent of those who had three or more servings of yellow vegetables a week.”
Comparatively, those who ate a diet high in red meat and milk were more likely to have a lower life expectancy.
Those who had a diet high in red mean had a threefold risk of dying compared to those who did not have a diet high in red meat, while those who drank a lot of milk were twice as likely as milk teetotalers to die during the study period.
Researchers could not pinpoint why a diet high in fruits and vegetables increased life expectancy, although they had these two theories:
- A stronger immune system
- Improved overall health status
What does this mean for you, if you already have ovarian cancer?
Well, you may already have ovarian cancer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate these healthy and delicious foods now! Keep reading for some ideas of specific foods that you should include in your ovarian cancer diet – and remember, incorporating fruits and vegetables is important!