Writing on a very personal level recently I have been overwhelmed with supporting cancer patients, not claiming to be an expert, I however feel blessed to give the smallest bit of advice and as much support that a patient and their carer should desire.
Naturopathic Nutritional Therapy takes a holistic approach, when it comes to chronic disease – asking the vital question that few doctors ask – “Why do you have this problem in the first place?”, “Why has function been lost” and “what can be done to restore function?” Looking to find root causes and support the patient nutritionally, emotionally and physically.
Inflammation is a natural short-term response of the immune system that helps us to combat infection and recover from injury. But poor diets and stressful lifestyles can trigger chronic inflammation and this can be very damaging to our cells and tissues. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many serious illnesses from heart disease and cancer to arthritis and Crohn’s.
Fortunately, there is a great deal you can do to reduce inflammation through diet.
FOODS TO INCLUDE
Vegetables – eat plenty of fresh vegetables, especially brightly coloured ones and leafy greens, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that support healthy functioning of all tissues and body systems including the immune system.
Oily fish – eat two to three portions a week of salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies or sardines, choosing wild over farmed fish when possible. If you don’t eat fish take a good quality fish oil supplement or a vegan omega 3 supplement. Or include hemp, flax and chia seeds – 3 tblsp daily
Eggs, fish, lentils, oats, sunflower seeds and meat from organically reared grass-fed animals – contain B vitamins and amino acids that support the liver and promote the breakdown of inflammatory agents in the blood.
Seaweed, algae – spirulina, kelp and other sea greens contain quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as important trace minerals such as boron and silica.
Seafood, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds – good sources of selenium and zinc, which counteract inflammation.
Avocado – rich in vitamin E, which reduces the inflammatory response.
Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, rocket, watercress support the liver and help the body deal with toxins that can cause inflammation. Try to eat two portions every day.
Pomegranates –reduces inflammation and has a powerful protective effect on the heart and blood vessels as well as containing many substances that help to inhibit cancer and fight infections.
Berries, sweet potato, kiwi– rich sources of vitamin C, which reduces the production of inflammatory agents.
Turmeric – use the fresh or dried root in curries and other Asian dishes, or as a tea. It contains curcumin which has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Ginger – counteracts inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Use sliced root as a tea or add to fresh vegetable juices or spicy dishes.
Onions – good source of quercetin, especially in the outer skins and in red onions.
Green tea – contains flavonoids that reduce inflammation.
Pineapple– contain bromelain, a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Shitake mushrooms– to support immune health, potent immune modulators rich in polysaccharides and beta glucans
FOODS TO AVOID
Table salt, soya sauce and other high-sodium seasonings – replace with herbs, spices, seaweed, lemon juice and pink Himalayan salt or organic salt-free stock cubes.
Excess protein of animal origin (grain fed) – too much animal protein can be acid-forming and promote inflammation
Sugar – avoid foods with added sugar, hidden sugars and sweeteners
Cooking oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, soya – it is best to obtain most of your dietary fat from foods in their whole form such as in oily fish, avocados, olives and nuts. Opt for coconut oil, unrefined olive oil, butter and ghee.
Processed/convenience foods – often contain food additives and high levels of salt, sugar and cooking oils, while being low in nutrients. If you are short of time to prepare food try to keep quick and easy healthy options in stock – avocados, oatcakes, nuts and seeds, nut butters, hummus, salad leaves and soups all make good fast meals.
Refined grains – whether as pasta, bread, flour, cakes, biscuits, sauces or thickeners, refined grains raise your blood sugar levels and promote inflammation. Choose wheat free alternatives such as spelt, rye, buckwheat, oat breads and products, chestnut, coconut and groundnut flours.
Alcohol – irritates the digestive tract and promotes inflammation, as well as placing an extra load on the liver – be kind!
I want to introduce the Cancer Support Group Charity in Mallorca and Menorca, I proudly volunteer and support patients nutritionally all over the island.
- Free counselling
- Free nutritional advice, along with a nutritional cancer cook book
- Free translations at doctor appointments and documents
- Transport to hospital visits
- Meditation courses and work shops
- Weekly therapeutic art classes
- Help getting Spanish paperwork in order, including medical card, prescription disability parking badge, etc.
- Wigs, Bandannas and scarves
- Knitted knockers and heart shaped cushions
- Commodes, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.
Volunteers needed, donations always appreciated to continue this amazing service.
We never know when we might need it ourselves!
+34 647 397 501
Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist – dipCNM mBANT