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Leukemia: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 09:26 AM

It is widely thought that diet plays some role in Leukemia prevention and cure. Leukemia collectively refers to conditions that result in aberrant proliferation of blood cells. The rise in immature white blood cells and steep fall in blood platelets adversely affects the Leukemia patient’s immunity. Eastern traditions believe that the accumulation of toxins in the body results in the loss of immunity and the body’s ability to heal itself causing diseases like cancer.

Some studies suggest that maternal consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables reduce the risks of childhood Leukemia. Others point to a link between meat consumption and raised risks of acute myeloid Leukemia. It is clear that the plant-based vegetarian diet rich in fresh foods and whole grains finds strong recommendation in the prevention of Leukemia. To balance the diet for Leukemia, two-thirds of the calories should be from whole grains, lentils, vegetables, or fruit, and a third from dairy products, fish, or meat.

Processing such as cooking, peeling, grinding, and combining foods with other ingredients is known to alter the nutrient value of foods. Most store-bought ready to eat foods include preservatives, coloring agents, Monosodium Glutamate, and other flavoring agents and chemicals. Excessive processing and added chemicals contribute to the build up of toxins in the body that cause diseases like Leukemia. A diet to expel toxins from the body would include plenty of water and freshly prepared foods that are minimally processed.

Leukemia patients undergoing chemotherapy are usually advised to consume a neutropenic diet that focuses on infection prevention. The neutropenic diet for Leukemia patients includes only cooked foods and prohibits any raw fruits or vegetables as they may carry bacteria capable of causing potentially life-threatening infections. Other foods to avoid are sugar, sugar substitutes (sweeteners), red meats, alcohol, and foods containing nitrites.

Post chemotherapy, Leukemia patients usually need to boost antioxidants in their diet to speed up their healing and slow down the spread of cancer. Adding green tea, citrus fruits, pomegranates, grapes, berries, and turmeric to the diet facilitates the recovery from Leukemia.

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