Williams Cancer Institute

FOODS YOU SHOULD CONSUME DURING AND AFTER YOUR IMMUNOTHERAPY TREATMENT

It is very important that patients undergoing immunotherapy treatments have an excellent diet since the body could incorporate and process nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to generate repair processes.

We must improve and take care of the food that is eaten in the daily diet to maintain the necessary energy and vitality. In the same way, it is recommended to avoid sugar as much as possible in all its varieties, nor consume sugar substitutes such as Splenda and stevia. The consume of sugar can be harmful for the body since the microbes in our intestine are essential for our health and are affected by what we eat and when we increase the consume of sugar, we can change the composition of the gut microbiome. Sugar is also known to be the main cause of chronic diseases, prediabetes and metabolic diseases, diet and microbiome are related to the prevention of metabolic diseases and obesity.

We must keep in mind that food, healthiness, and well-being are the most important aspects in our life. Overall, we increasingly seek to improve our health, but especially when we must fight a disease such as cancer, and this includes consuming natural ingredients, healthy without artificial additives such as dyes. We can include foods that are highly rich in fibers, vitamins, or antioxidants, it is necessary to raise awareness about the importance of consuming nutrients with a high content of components that help to enhance our immunotherapy, thus, bringing an improvement in the state nutritional value. Also, it is important to mention that fruits, vegetables, and minerals are good examples where we can find nutrients, natural vitamins in combination with immunotherapy treatment, which help us increase the immune response of our body, in this way, we would have the ability to attack cancer cells.

Most cancer patients try various types of diet to improve the results of their treatments, some of them are the highly vegetarian or vegan diet, macrobiotic diet, ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting among others, as well as part of fiber, this diet includes dietary supplements, vitamin C, probiotics, melatonin, oral glutamine.

DIET RICH IN FIBER
It has been shown that cancer patients who consume a diet rich in fiber can live longer without cancer cells growing, so it is recommended to consume more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains to meet sufficient fiber benefits. Fiber helps not only to improve the intestinal part but also to improve health.
It is also true that probiotics improve the response in cancer treatments and the side effects of their immunotherapy treatment, for this reason the consumption of these is increasingly recommended, this is how intestinal microbes influence the response to treatment of immunotherapy, so it is advisable to consume probiotics, as well as include a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, accompanied by physical activity, in order to obtain a better response to treatments.

The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in our health and is highly related to nutrition and metabolism. This interaction between the microorganisms that exist in the intestine is responsible for producing energy and vitamins, as well as helping to absorb iron and calcium found in the colon.

The intestinal microbiota has a function of protection against other germs, as well as helping the development of the immune system, which is increasingly recommended to include probiotics and prebiotics in the daily diet to help your body even more.

Intestinal bacteria are responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system, which is why taking care of the intestinal flora is so important due to in this way we can help the immune system to attack cancer and prevent not only infections but also metabolic and chronic diseases.

KETO DIET
The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan that offers various health benefits. Also, in certain cases, starting a keto diet can prevent and/or control various complications associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
The keto diet is a positive factor in preventing cancer. In addition, this diet is effective in reducing risk factors such as body fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and HDL cholesterol levels. For this reason, it is extremely important to control these risk factors, since they are the cause of developing diseases such as Epilepsy, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Cerebrovascular Accidents.
Generally, improving and changing your diet is a very helpful factor to enhance your immunotherapy treatment. Besides, improving your diet is important for reducing risk factors such as body fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and HDL cholesterol levels. For this reason, it is extremely important to control these risk factors through diet and minimize the side effects of their treatment.
The ketogenic diet is highly recommended and can be used as a complementary treatment in immunotherapy, due to the great contribution in reducing the levels of insulin and circulating glucose in your body.

The main objective in the ketogenic diet is to replace carbohydrates with a portion of healthy fats for the body as well as proteins and thus obtain a therapeutic effect against cancer, in this way with the ketogenic diet we implement an anticancer therapy by feeding healthy cells and weakening or starving the ill ones.
Below is an example of a keto diet that you can follow to improve your health and enhance your immunotherapy treatment.

KETOGENIC DIET
Ketosis produces a metabolic state similar to fasting, favoring a hostile environment for cancer cells without denying the body all the nutrients it needs. In many ways this hostile environment is achieved by the same mechanisms, such as low glucose levels and the inability of cancer cells to use ketone bodies for fuel.
The Ketogenic Diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet that is carefully controlled. The word “Ketogenic” means that a chemical, called ketones, is produced in the body.
This diet involves drastically reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with fat. This decrease puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, the body becomes incredibly efficient at converting all fat into energy. It also converts fat into ketones within the liver, which can supply more energy to the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with increased ketones, provides numerous health benefits, turning your fats into fuel while you eat the food you love.
There are other foods that are highly recommended during and after your immunotherapy treatment, such as:

CAMU CAMU

Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a native fruit from the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, which has been generating great attention by many researchers, due to its richness in components of interest for health, one of its main properties is its antioxidant functions for the prevention of cancer, due to its high percentage of anthocyanin, a substance that prevents the appearance of malignant cells in the human body. The consumption of this fruit is recommended since it is a great help in the prevention and treatment of prostate, pancreatic, liver and colon cancer, among others.

This fruit contains many natural antioxidant compounds and nutrients, so it is of great benefit to your diet during and after your treatment, as it is also used to prevent and heal various chronic and degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and cardiovascular problems.

This fruit, camu camu, provides richer natural nutrients of vitamin C.

The leaves also contain antioxidant and potentially anti-carcinogenic compounds, and the seeds may also have medicinal value for the prevention of various diseases of the immune system.

BLUEBERRIES
Studies have shown the properties of blueberries and their benefits in the prevention and how they help in the treatment against cancer.
Many investigations have found that the polyphenolic extracts of blueberries inhibit the growth and proliferation of the tumor cells such as breast, colon, prostate, lung and even esophageal.

Due to its antioxidant attributes, recent research has been carried out showing that this fruit helps fight against harmful substances generated by the body and strengthens the defense against cancer. We must keep in mind that there are approximately 100 billion bacteria in the intestine, which together are called the intestinal microbiota. These are mostly not harmful, rather they are beneficial and important for your health.

In the same way, it is recommended to eat other foods that help you feel better during this process, such as taking green tea, turmeric, turkey tail mushroom, black cumin seed oil, FOS prebiotics, vitamin E and vitamin D3. among others.

References: Alemana, C. C,2021, 6th August, Probióticos: Qué son y cómo benefician a la salud. Clínica Alemana. https://www.clinicaalemana.cl/articulos/detalle/2021/probioticos-que-son-y-como-benefician-a-la-salud

  • elEconomista.es. (2008, 11th February). Las propiedades anticancerígenas de los arándanos y las uvas. https://www.eleconomista.es/nutricion/noticias/360439/02/08/Las-propiedades-anticancerigenas-de-los-arandanos-y-las-uvas.html
  • Kneubuhler, T. (2020, 31st August). Camu camu: el fantástico potencial de la naturaleza para la alimentación. Duas Rodas. https://www.duasrodas.com/es/camu-camu-el-fantastico-potencial-de-la-naturaleza-para-la-alimentacion/
  • P, E. ,2021, 28 December, Una dieta rica en fibra ayuda a contener al melanoma. El Periódico de Aragón. Recuperado 7 de septiembre de 2022, de https://www.elperiodicodearagon.com/salud/2021/12/28/dieta-rica-fibra-ayuda-contener-61096128.html

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