The Role of Nutrition in Managing Stomach Cancer
Nutrition plays a crucial role in the treatment of stomach cancer, and following a proper diet is essential for patients. Adhering to these recommendations can help support the treatment process and improve overall well-being. Here is a comprehensive guide to nutrition for patients with stomach cancer:
Foods to Avoid: To promote stomach health and prevent further damage to the stomach lining, it is important to avoid certain foods. These include:
Dietary Changes and Habits: Patients with stomach cancer often experience difficulties with eating, including loss of appetite, fatigue, stomach fullness, and indigestion. It is important to make necessary adjustments to the diet and eating habits.
Consider the following recommendations:
Adequate Vitamin and Mineral Intake: Patients who have undergone surgery for stomach cancer require increased amounts of vitamins and minerals to aid in wound healing and strengthen the immune system. If eating by mouth is challenging, incorporating soups or pureed versions of vegetables and fruits can help meet nutritional needs.
Careful Food Selection for Metastatic Stomach Cancer: For patients with metastatic stomach cancer, food choices should be even more cautious.
Consider the following guidelines:Protein-Rich Foods: Patients with stomach cancer require adequate protein intake. Include protein sources such as milk, eggs, cheese, and gravies in the diet. Increasing fat content can help prevent symptoms like sudden drops in blood pressure and low blood sugar. Foods rich in iron and calcium, such as cabbage, broccoli, milk, eggs, cheese, and bread, should also be included in the diet.
Low-Fiber Foods: Stomach cancer patients should opt for whole grains (rice, corn, wheat, barley) and tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, cassava). Avoid processed foods high in sugar and additives, as they can be detrimental to health.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for stomach cancer patients as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients support the immune system, promote digestive health, and provide overall health benefits. Include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet to obtain necessary nutrients and enhance disease resistance.
Tofu: Individuals with stomach cancer should be cautious about fried and fatty foods. However, fresh tofu prepared through steaming, boiling, or stewing is a healthy option. Tofu contains isoflavones, which have been found to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori (HP) bacteria, a major cause of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
It is important to note that people with stomach diseases, particularly stomach cancer, should avoid fried or deep-fried tofu dishes high in fat. Instead, opt for fresh tofu and incorporate it into steamed, boiled, or stewed dishes to ensure optimal health benefits.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms, including enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, straw mushrooms, and cat mushrooms, are highly beneficial for individuals with stomach cancer. These fungi are rich in polysaccharides that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and activate immune cells in gastric cancer patients.
Mushrooms also provide selenium and vitamin D, which boost the body's immune response. Adding various types of mushrooms to the menu of family dishes not only helps prevent stomach cancer but also provides essential nutrients and strengthens the body's resistance.
Additionally, individuals with stomach diseases should incorporate soft and easily digestible foods into their diet, such as soft and liquid porridge, crushed rice, bread, biscuits, and potatoes. Fish can be consumed in the form of crushed, steamed, or braised meat. Dairy products like canned cow's milk, fresh cow's milk, powdered milk, butter, and cheese are suitable options. It is important to prioritize filtered water and mineral water for hydration.
In conclusion, nutrition plays a vital role in supporting the treatment and overall well-being of patients with stomach cancer. Following a proper diet can help minimize discomfort, improve nutrient intake, and strengthen the body's defenses.
Patients should avoid foods that may further irritate the stomach lining, make necessary dietary adjustments, and incorporate protein-rich foods, low-fiber options, fresh fruits and vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms into their meals. It is advisable to consult with healthcare professionals or nutritionists to create a personalized meal plan that meets individual needs and supports the treatment journey for stomach cancer.