Diet and nutrition are important pieces of the overall health picture for mesothelioma patients. Both the illness and its treatment can change your appetite and the way your body tolerates specific foods. Because each person has his or her own individual needs, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian about what types of food might be recommended.
According to the American Cancer Society, you need a variety of foods to give your body the nutrients it needs to fight cancer. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. Maintaining this type of diet during your treatment may help you:
- Feel better
- Keep up your strength and energy
- Maintain your weight and your body’s store of nutrients
- Better tolerate treatment-related side effects
- Lower your risk of infection
- Heal and recover faster
Here are 2 ideas for delicious recipes from Rebecca Katz, a trained chef with a Master of Science degree in health and nutrition education. She is also the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, California. Healing Kitchens Institute is dedicated to educating individuals and communities about the power of food as medicine and nourishment.
Magic Mineral Broth
Makes 6 Quarts
- 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
- 2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
- 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
- 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
- 2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
- 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
- 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 8-inch strip of kombu (Asian seaweed)
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 quarts cold, filtered water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Rinse all the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with water to 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil.
Remove the lid; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more water if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted.
Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath). Add salt to taste.
Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 2 to 4 hours
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for 4 months.
Per Serving: Calories 45; Total Fat 0 g (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated);
Carbohydrates 11 g; Protein 1 g; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 140 mg
Triple Berry Smoothie
Makes 3 3/4 Cups
- 1 cup organic plain yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon honey, or maple syrup
Combine the yogurt, water, and orange juice in a blender and process for a few seconds.
Add the strawberries and process until well blended. Add the blueberries, raspberries, flaxseeds, and agave nectar and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Variations: Add 1 tablespoon of unrefined virgin coconut oil for additional healthy fat and calories.
For more protein, add a scoop of whey protein powder.
Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: Not applicable
Storage: Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for 2 days. Shake well again before serving.
Per Serving: Calories 145; Total Fat 4.6 g (1.8 g saturated, 1 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates 24 g; Protein 4 g; Fiber 5 g; Sodium 40 mg
For additional cancer-friendly recipes, visit the “Recipe Box” on Rebecca’s website, or order a copy of her book, The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery.
Image source: http://www.rebeccakatz.com/