Cancer is complicated. Once diagnosed, you are told your specific type of cancer, and there can be many. Lung cancer is usually broken down into 2 categories: The most common type non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Once you have established the type of cancer you have, treatment options will follow. It is extremely important to not overlook diet when starting on your journey of recovery. Most of us have no idea how powerful the food we eat can be. As part of our treatment we need to shift our paradigm away from just thinking of food as enjoyment and fulfillment and consider on a larger scale. Food needs to be part of the plan of attack, remember, food is medicine.
What should I know about lung cancer and nutrition?
First it’s important to understand that several cancers will react differently to dietary changes you make. For example, the ketogenic diet has been successful with many lung cancer patients but this diet can be restrictive and difficult to follow. Also it’s important to remember that every cancer cell behaves differently. Unfortunately, with some lung cancers, if you avoid sugar it is not enough. Cancer is smart, it can develop and evolve and will find alternative sources to feed on once glucose is removed from the diet. Some lung cancers can switch to glutamine which is a protein, it will continue to use this to help grow.
What should I NOT eat/do if I have lung cancer?
The following are habits and foods all patients should stop doing once they are diagnosed with lung cancer. It is important to remember that by avoiding the following foods and habits you will be able to slow the growth of your disease and start on the road to a quicker, more long term recovery.
- Red meat
- Processed meats
- Meats that are non-organic, or non-grass fed
- Processed foods
What foods should I eat when I have lung cancer?
There are many healthy foods that will promote your well being and your recovery from lung cancer. Like most cancers, eating whole, homemade foods are always your best bet, with lots of vegetables and plant based proteins. The following are foods that have been scientifically proven to help lung cancer.
- Green vegetables high in phytonutrients help to slow down the progression of lung tumors.
- Green and white tea: creates apoptosis in non small cell lung cancer
- Dietary fiber: Fiber from plant based foods can lower inflammation in the body and slow the progression of tumor growth in lung cancer. Dark color vegetables: beets, carrots, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard
- Ginger: is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-proliferative, and is important to help the body fight cancer
- Seaweed: has antitumor properties
- Cinnamon: Helps to repress the growth of cancer cells
As with any cancer it’s extremely important to look at your diet and decide what you can do to improve it. This is a sure fire way to gain momentum on your cancer recovery!