Eat Right, Feel Amazing
Health and nutrition is such an important part of the fitness equation.
The right compliments of foods allow you to achieve optimal performance and feel your best!
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"
A Partial Guideline for Nutrition and Exercise
For Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors
A healthy diet is only one of several factors that can affect the immune system; exercise and stress management are equally as important in improving one’s overall health and well-being. Following the initial diagnosis of breast cancer, most women tend to re-think their nutrition and health practices. It’s only natural to question what caused this cancer to occur and what lifestyle changes one should be making. Most women believe they must make significant dietary changes to ensure good outcomes following breast cancer treatment.
We found several studies to be most helpful when coming to terms with Nutrition and Exercise post diagnosis.
What follows is directly pulled from the John Hopkins study:
There are no food or dietary supplements that will act as “magic bullets” to prevent breast cancer from returning. National Cancer Institute guidelines for cancer prevention can be used to decrease the chance of a breast cancer recurrence. These guidelines include:
Increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Decrease fat intake to less than 30 percent of calories
Minimize intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Alcohol consumption should be done in moderation, if at all
This second study from Dana Farber addresses diet and exercise suggestions
Exercise during all stages of life is important, but it can be particularly important for breast cancer survivors because it can help you feel better after treatment and promote survivorship. Studies show that walking 3-5 hours per week at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour can lower the chances of breast cancer recurrence and death by up to 40 percent. Walking can help you fight fatigue, depression, and anxiety as well as improve heart and bone health. Engaging your children in physical activity can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily life schedule. Remember to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Plant-based diets, which include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, are all highly recommended components of a balanced diet for breast cancer survivorship. Research has found that eating 5 or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables a day in addition to the equivalent of walking 30 minutes, 6 days per week is associated with significant survival advantage.
Eating a well-balanced diet with lean protein, including plant sources, such as lentils, beans, nuts, nut butters, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, in amounts to maintain a healthy weight, along with exercise is the best thing you can do for optimal health.
Meal Planning and Phytonutrients
Raw vs. cooked vegetables?
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Eating a variety of different types of vegetables, whether cooked or raw, provides the body with various vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Raw and cooked vegetables provide different nutrients. For example, cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a nutrient that's not as available in raw tomatoes. In turn, raw tomatoes are rich in potassium and vitamin C, nutrients that decrease with cooking.
In all methods of preparation, and whether you buy them frozen or fresh, be sure to include plenty of vegetables in your daily diet.
What are the best ways to cook vegetables?
The healthiest ways to cook vegetables include steaming, stir-frying, sautéing, baking and grilling. These methods prevent the overcooking of vegetables that would disintegrate the valuable nutrients.
Which are healthier: fruits and vegetables that are fresh or frozen?
They are equal. No matter how they are stored, the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables varies only slightly whether they are fresh or frozen. Buy them and enjoy them often; that's the healthiest way to eat fruits and vegetables. Choosing locally grown produce is another option for maximizing the nutrient levels in produce.
What about canned fruits and vegetables?
Buy fruit canned in water or light/natural juice. When buying canned vegetables, check the label for the sodium content and choose the low-sodium version. Canned fruits and vegetables can be easy to digest, and therefore are good choices for persons with diarrhea due to cancer treatment or recent surgery.
Should I choose organic fruits and vegetables?
The scientific research on organic verses conventional foods and cancer risk is not conclusive enough for specific guidelines to be determined. Therefore, the decision to choose organic or conventional produce is ultimately a personal health choice.
When consuming produce, remember these points:
Always wash all produce (organic or conventional), even if the package is labeled "pre-washed"
If you decide to choose organic produce and cost is a concern, choose organic produce that has been found to contain the highest levels of pesticide residues when grown conventionally.
The following lists may be useful for making wise choices.
The USDA, Consumer Reports, and the Environmental Working group have investigated the amounts of pesticide residues found on commonly consumed produce and created the following tables. Produce was washed before pesticide levels were tested.
Produce with highest levels of pesticide residue:
Bell Peppers (Green and Red)
Produce with lowest levels of pesticide residues:
The bottom line: The benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables far outweigh the risks associated with pesticide residue. Phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables (organic or conventional) promote immune support and detoxification in the body and are excellent sources of disease-fighting nutrients.
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