Nutrition and Cancer

Helping Yourself during Chemotherapy

Although many people fear chemotherapy more than they fear cancer, it, unfortunately, often seems to be the only option they have. I believe that within the next few years we will have other options within mainstream medicine and that some of these options will be drugs derived from foods and herbs that are already known to have healing and protective properties. At present most Oncology Units around the World are offering the three main treatments of Surgery, Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy and extremely damaging nutritional advice that encourages high calorie intake such as ice cream, cakes and milk shakes. If you have cancer going sugar free will slow the growth of the cancer or stop it completely – Cancer feeds on sugar. The Tide is Changing and some Oncologists are now encouraging their patients to work with these treatments with supportive nutrition and supplements. Education is empowering and nothing is more encouraging than knowing that you can do things that will help the therapies work and give you a better quality of life and a better outcome. A very good website, overseen by Oncologists, is and I was excited to see that Naturopathic treatments and advice are included with information on drugs and side effects and also advice on which natural substances decrease toxicity and which enhance effectiveness. I will list some of the main self help measures that have been proven to be effective..

Preparing for Chemotherapy

  • Reduce your anxiety about your treatment by asking your doctor questions about what side effects you are likely to experience and how best to deal with them.
  • Try to relax and focus on yourself and healing. Find someone or some method that suits you and will help you through it. Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Meditation, Massage, swimming, Music….. the list is endless but it is important that it suits you.
  • Get plenty of sleep. There are many supplements that can help relieve insomnia. Herbal ones like Passionflower, Valerian and Kava. Homeopathic treatments like “Calms” and nutritional supplements like Magnesium, Flax seed Oil and 5-HTP that is the precursor to Serotonin. Melatonin(1 -5 mgs) taken early evening is also an extremely strong antioxidant that can help lessen the toxicity of chemotherapy and also help normal sleep patterns especially in older people who produce less. Melatonin is not available over the counter in some countries.
  • Take care of your immune system and your gastrointestinal health. Treat any candida or parasite infection with herbal remedies. One of the best ways to enhance your system is to take a good probiotic and also a green food like Chlorella or Spirulina and this will help you body to produce vitamins B and K in the intestines as well as provide many minerals. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) helps protect the liver from toxins and therefore improve nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. Glutamine is an amino acid that will help stop inflammation of the mouth and stomach and also significantly reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy. Powdered Glutamine can be added to water and drunk three times a day. A good antioxidant that includes Vitamins A, C and E plus Selenium. CoQ10 as an antioxidant and heart protector. As well as Milk Thistle, herbs like Astragalus, Cat’s Claw and Echinacea can help the body deal with the chemotherapy and recover quicker between treatments. Take Vitamin D3 5,000iu a day especially if you cannot go out in the sunshine.
  • Eat Well. Try to eat a really nutritious diet with plenty of wholefoods, low fat proteins(fish, chicken and beans), fruits and vegetables. Drink a Nutri -Shake (see in previous blog) with added ground flax seeds as these have many beneficial properties for before, during and after chemotherapy.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, pure water.
  • Exercise within your capabilities ever day to increase energy and vitality by improving the oxygenation and detoxing of you body.
  • Take 1000mgs- 3000mgs of L-Carnitine a day. This is sold in many supermarkets as a sports supplement and it can significantly reduce the fatigue that often accompanies chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It is currently undergoing clinical trials in several countries and it is also possible that it may protect the heart from the side effects of certain drugs like Doxorubicin.
  • Drink Green Tea and Aloe Vera. Avoid alcohol during treatment.

During Treatment

Continue with all the recommendations above and if you still experience nausea try:

  • Snacking on healthy foods in small quantities 5 or 6 times a day  and some of these snacks can be in the form of the protein powder smoothies.
  • Don’t drink liquids with meals and don’t lie down immediately after eating. If you can, a short walk after a meal would help digestion.
  • Ginger and Peppermint can both help settle the stomach. Cut up a little root ginger and steep it in hot water, then add a slice of lemon and drink it warm or chill it and sip it cold. Carrot and ginger juice is very soothing and full of vitamins. Avoid sugar and pure fruit juices because these can encourage overgrowth of yeasts in the stomach and intestines.
  • If you have sickness and diarrhea make sure that you add some sea salt to your vegetable broths or make a soup with Miso which is naturally salty.

For more info on helpful alternative and complimentary cancer therapies visit Cancer Resolution Blog and


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