With the month of June designated as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, it is important to recognize the importance of good nutrition when fighting serious diseases such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is caused from exposure to asbestos fibers, typically in the workplace. Industries such as shipbuilding, mining, some types of construction work and insulating are the most likely places workers could be exposed to asbestos, although there are others as well.
Long-term exposure to asbestos can result in diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients typically do not have a positive prognosis, since by the time the disease is discovered, it has usually progressed to a very serious stage.
Those who are undergoing mesothelioma treatments tend to have a much better prognosis if they are consuming a nutritious diet, which is essential to healing and maintaining muscle mass.
How a Nutritious Diet Can Help Mesothelioma Patients
Typically, cancer patients (such as those with mesothelioma) tend to consume too little protein and too few calories, making it difficult to keep their immune system healthy, fight fatigue and generally aid in recovery.
A nutritious diet can go a long way in helping those dealing with the effects of mesothelioma and mesothelioma treatments to fight off infection, maintain energy and weight, and cope with the side effects of cancer treatments.
How Chemotherapy and Radiation Can Impact Your Overall Health
While chemotherapy targets cancer cells, it also kills any cells in the body which divide rapidly, such as cells in the digestive tract and the mouth, meaning a person’s ability to chew and digest are directly affected by chemotherapy.
Some people will develop mouth sores following chemotherapy, while others may experience changes in taste buds, decreases in appetite and nausea which make eating difficult.
Altering diet and eating habits can help patients cope with these chemotherapy side effects.
Radiation therapy received in the chest area can also impact a patient’s ability to swallow, however flax seeds have been shown to help protect the lungs from radiation toxicity. Pain medications can also impact a patient’s nutrition by decreasing the appetite or causing constipation or nausea.
It is important for mesothelioma patients to increase both their fiber intake as well as the amount of water they drink.
Is Organic Better?
Many cancer patients feel a certain amount of pressure to eat organic foods, however they may wonder whether organic foods really make that much of a difference in their overall health.
While the additives and pesticides we routinely encounter in our non-organic foods may or may not directly cause cancer, over a period of time these foods could potentially increase the risk of cancer. A Consumer Reports study found that some produce contains extremely high levels of pesticide residue—primarily strawberries, apples and green beans.
Other produce such as bananas and lettuce were found to contain relatively low levels of pesticide residue.
When you take the study in its entirety, it appears that especially for those battling a cancer like mesothelioma, it could be wise to buy organic produce whenever possible.
The following tips will help you get more from your food intake, helping you fight your mesothelioma and remain as strong and healthy as possible:
- Try to eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than our typical three large meals.
- If you are hungry, snack on a nutritious snack no matter whether it is mealtime or not.
- Try to drink liquids throughout the day, rather than before meals to avoid filling up on liquid, then being unable to consume more nutrient-dense foods.
- Eat at least a little protein with each meal (poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peanut butter, etc.).
- If you have trouble getting your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, consider juicing your produce into a smoothie.
- Increase your protein intake by adding powdered milk to such things as milkshakes, cream soups and mashed potatoes.
- Consider desserts made with eggs (puddings, custards and cheesecake).
Have You Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, keeping your nutrition at the highest level possible is extremely important. You might want to consult with a nutritionist who has experience helping those diagnosed with cancer, as well as an experienced mesothelioma personal injury attorney who will look out for your future, allowing you to look out for your health.
At Landry & Swarr, our attorneys can help hold negligent employers accountable and pursue maximum compensation, so you have the money you need during this difficult time.
If you would like a no-obligation consultation please contact us today. You can reach us by telephone at 504-299-1214 or come by our offices at 1100 Poydras St. Energy Centre – Suite 2000 New Orleans, LA 70163.