Can Nutrition Help Battle the Effects of Chemotherapy?

Cancer fighting Foods

At Cool-jams we have had quite a few clients that have written us about their ordeal with chemotherapy and how they suffered from terrible night sweats.  Our Cool-jams cooling pajamas and cooling bedding provided an excellent solution to those sleepless nights.  Cancer fighting Foods Another way to help the effects of chemotherapy is through your diet. Chemotherapy took its toll on Steven Satterfield.

The co-owner and executive chef of Miller Union in Atlanta lost his hair, his spunk, and his skin turned grayish-green. But Satterfield, a local and nationally acclaimed chef, battled back by turning to what he loves and understands well — the health benefits of eating nutrient-dense, fresh, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Diagnosed in February 2012 with stage III testicular cancer, Satterfield underwent surgery and three rounds of chemotherapy — one week on, and two weeks off. By day 6 and 7 during the on-weeks, Satterfield, known for boundless energy, was virtually bedridden.

During chemotherapy, Satterfield gave in to weird cravings — like sudden urges for spicy Thai food. But he also satisfied his continuous yearning for carbs by filling up on vegetable-laden pasta dishes and a Gumbo z’Herbes, a green gumbo, traditionally served at Lent and packed with greens — collards, kale, turnip greens and spinach. The way he nourished his body during his cancer journey helped him get through a tough time and paid off in health. Just one week after completing chemotherapy in June of last year, Satterfield returned to work at the restaurant full-time. During a recent afternoon, clad in jeans and plaid shirt, and sipping sparkling water, the chef said he believes his vegetable and fruit diet helped him bounce back fast. Satterfield is part of a growing number of cancer patients paying closer attention to nutrition every step of their journey. It’s no longer considered, “alternative” care according to doctors.

Instead, eating a well-thought-out diet is playing a more central role in overall care. Most doctors will tell you to eat 8 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, or at least five  But knowing the importance of healthy eating is just the first step.  Good nutrition should be a priority. The  anti-cancer properties of a diet full of fruits and vegetables can help prevent disease as well as offer therapeutic benefits while a patient undergoes cancer treatments.  Soy and tomatoes help minimize side effects from treatment.

So when a prostate cancer patient complains of losing muscle or feeling depressed,  a pill might not make them feel better, but a glass of soy milk each day might do the trick. Of course, it’s not always easy to eat a well-balanced diet during cancer treatments. It’s common for cancer patients to experience side effects such as nausea or food might taste “off.” Sometimes food tastes too salty. In this case, try drizzling the food with agave nectar  which can can help offset the salty tast.  Always try to create colorful plate with lots of color — reds and greens and yellows, like a rainbow. Eat lots of lean protein such as chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs. And try  5 to 6 mini-meals throughout the day, which can be easier on the stomach.