I have a friend that will be undergoing chemo and radiation treatments. I am trying to encourage real food, non processed, nutrient rich food, but am wondering what are the best foods to eat during chemo treatments. Not from personal experience, but from others, I know that appetites are ruined, and often times nasty stuff like Ensure are suggested by drs. I would think a bone broth soup would be good, but are there any other suggestions? Are there some foods to avoid....like night shade types?
Also, does anyone have a very nutrient rich bone broth recipe?
Hi Sue, I am sorry that your friend is having to go through this. Here is a snippet of some notes that some friends and I took for one of our own loved ones who is also going through chemo and cancer treatment. This goes a bit beyond the scope of yoru question, but I thought I'd share since we took a bit of time to sleuth out all of this. We are not doctors, but we did consult with a well known, and very generous doctor in taking these notes. Some people may not agree wholly, but I think these recommendations are pretty uncontroversial.
Keep carbs (starch, sugar) and protein low (.75 gram per kilo of lbm)
Take supps that support fat burning like fish oil coq10 l-carnitine selenium beta glucan
Stress reduction/yoga/meditation program.
Using coconut oil to promote ketone/fat burning also to keep energy intake up during the low carb/protein diet.
Since we want to reduce IGF 1 and growth factors, milk is out. Cheeses and fermented dairy as long as they don't have too much sugar should be okay.
Consider supplements like: Vitamin d3 K2, K3, K5 Curcumin or turmeric zinc (perhaps) Vitamin A
HERE'S THE FOOD PART:
Foods that provide these needed nutrients are marrow, egg yolk, pastured butter, liver, kelp and other sea veggies, garlic, fermented veggies, bone broth. Bone broth is particularly good if you use the marrow bones, leave some marrow in the broth maybe. Gelatin does not have some of the "anabolic" aminos that upregulate MTor which is what you want to avoid.
Bone broth is very easy to make if you have a crock pot. Simply put the bones in the crock and let them slowly simmer overnight. I try to let mine go for a long time. My other recommendation is to check out whether you can get access to chicken feet. I know, I know, sounds terrible, right? Chicken feet will yield highly gelatinous broth in just a few hours. I can get my first batch in like 3 hours and can even put the same ones back on for another round, just for a but longer, and get an even better batch from round 2. Again, crock it. If you don't have a crock, just cover the bones/feet in a stockpot, put a tightly fitting lid on, bring to a light boil then reduce heat to low and let go overnight for bones and about 5 hours for feet.
Good luck and best wishes.
I wanted to add another thought. Be very careful about suplements. There's lots of stuff touted by the more hippie side of the community and it can actually get in the way of the chemo. Lots of stuff that "make he chemo feel less bad" does that by actually blocking the interaction of the chemo.
Yeah when I did chemo the doctors just said to eat whatever I could whenever I could. They even had bags of Doritos in the infusion room!
That makes me so mad now thinking back on it. Their advise actually made things worse (but I didn't know then).
Robb Wolf has a fairly recent podcast where he talks about this. Go take a listen for he full details but the main point I remember is that being in ketosis both helps good cells be more resultant to and bad cells more susceptible to chemo.
I could have gotten away with less dose of (really toxic, mutagenic) chemo if they would have given me good diet advice.
I've just seen a documentary about fasting. A researcher from california made experiments with mice - well fed and fasted ones. Then both groups got very high dose chemotherapy. Only the fasted mice survived.
There was an interview with a woman, who had breast cancer and she decided to do the fast (soemthing betwenn three or five days) in advance of chemo. She felt much better while fasted. She also tried the well fet scenario and she felt worse.
Seems the guys name is Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the University of Southern California.
I found this article which may be of some help. It mentions what one might like to avoid and what to include (antioxidants). http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/nutrition_during.htm
It's specific to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and even offers tips on making food more palatable (like chilling meats) as appetites are often supressed during treatment.
There is a great book that deals with food and changes in tastes, lack taste etc. of how to feed cancer patients going through chemo (because apparently it changes the taste of foods) and how to feed them to help them improve.....highly recommended...
The cancer fighting kitchen, by Rebecca Katz ISBN: 978-1-58761-344-9
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