Can a Healthy Diet Boost Cancer Recovery?

Wednesday, 04 Sep 2013 10:16 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: My wife has just had breast cancer surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy. What kind of food should she be eating — and not eating — to help her recover?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
The best response from chemotherapy will occur if your wife is de-stressed and on a healthy high-fiber diet with plenty of clean fresh vegetables. Avoid processed food products with excessive additives or coloring, and try to eat fresh, non-preserved foods.
 
Sometimes chemo reacts with other chemicals in food, so this is the time to go organic in your food choices. It will cost more, but you will be free of hormones and pesticides known to interfere with chemotherapy regimens.
 
Avoid grapefruit juice, as this adversely affects the ability of the liver to process certain medications, and do not consume any additives, supplements, or extra pills without your doctors being informed ahead of time. Many herbal supplement interfere with chemotherapy.

Steer clear of ginko and avoid St. John's wort, and I often advise patients to minimize alcohol intake. Of course, stop smoking and don't take hormonal supplements either.
Good luck, and I hope all goes well for both of you.

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