Guest post by Jillian McKee:
Switching to a vegetarian diet can hold many benefits if you are diagnosed with cancer. A plant-based diet can provide you with more energy, help protect your body against certain diseases, extend your lifespan, and give you better overall health. Vegetarian diets are often recommended for cancer patients because they are typically lower in saturated fat, protein and cholesterol, which can all contribute to cancer. It is important to remember that just because a diet does not include meat, does not necessarily make it a healthier diet. A healthy vegetarian diet should be rich in plant foods, nuts, seeds, fruits, and greens and low in processed and fried foods like chips, french fries, and packaged foods containing artificial ingredients.
A plant-based diet is high in nutrients and supports the immune system to prevent disease. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, all of which can tremendously improve your health and condition. The American Cancer Society recommends a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The carbohydrates in plant foods are also needed for optimum health as they are the body’s main source of energy. Consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables can increase the amount of energy you have, especially while going through cancer treatments.
Research has found that a vegetarian diet can help prevent against various diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. One study shows that vegetarians have a 12% less chance of developing cancer than meat eaters. The rates for several types of cancers show a positive correlation with the consumption of animal protein and a negative correlation when compared to plant based proteins, suggesting that avoiding meat may decrease or prevent tumor growth.
Another study, comparing the death rate of vegetarians and meat eaters with cancer, shows that the chance of survival was much higher among vegetarians. These findings suggest that a vegetarian diet may extend your lifespan, giving you a better shot at overcoming cancer.
Whether you have breast cancer or mesothelioma, it is possible to increase your energy levels and overall health by eating a healthier diet. Whether you are in recovery or have just been diagnosed, it is never too late to improve your health by switching to a vegetarian diet. Maybe you want to simply try decreasing your meat consumption and replacing it with plant based meals. Eating a healthier, plant based diet will help you to feel better during cancer and its treatments. It may also help your recovery progress and increase your lifespan.
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment. Read more from Jillian