Friday, October 28, 2011

Healthy Diet Habits Can Improve Wellness

I am happy to have Melanie Brown as a guest writer on my blog today.  She is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics.  You can find her blog at Mildayknows and she is a regular contributor to the blog.  Melanie writes...
Everyone can benefit from a healthy diet and moderate exercise, but the benefits are even greater for individuals suffering from mesothelioma and other chronic or terminal illnesses. Through eating properly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, sufferers can increase their life expectancy and also improve quality of life by reducing pain, mitigating side effects from prescription drugs, and having more energy to face the day's challenges. 

Researchers claim that antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables can boost the immune system, help with nutrient absorption, and may help fight cancer. Whether or not antioxidants are as effective as scientists claim, fruits and vegetables provide a tremendous amount of vitamins and nutrients that are essential to wellness. Also, because fruits are high in natural sugars, they may curb the desire to eat more processed sweet foods. The fiber content also promotes dietary health, which is important due to the high number of prescription drugs that can cause constipation or other digestive concerns. 

Complex carbohydrates provide a boost of energy to the body and should be the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods when possible and instead opt for high-fiber whole grains. These have more nutritional value and because they digest more slowly they will give you more energy, longer. Protein is also a vital source of energy, especially for patients whose bodies are depleted with the effort of fighting disease. Try low-fat protein sources like lean beef, chicken, or fish, or focus on healthy fats like those found in nuts or seeds. 

Because chemotherapy and other aggressive mesothelioma treatments can cause nausea and reduce appetite, it's important to eat foods that are gentle. Rice and bananas are two foods that are easy to digest and provide much-needed calories. If your diet is limited due to difficulties eating regular meals, liquid meal supplements may be a good option to help provide calories and nutrients. Your doctor may also prescribe daily supplements. 

A healthy lifestyle can be an excellent complement to your existing treatment regimen. Eating right and exercising can provide clarity of mind and promote healing and wellness. Before partaking on any new diet or starting any vitamins, consult your doctor for advice; they will be a valuable source of information and ideas and may be able to help you craft a diet that will meet your specific health needs.