Liver cancer patients may sometimes find meals unappetizing given the nature of the disease and its treatments. However, a healthy diet is essential for weight management as well as in maintaining strength. Food intake should focus on the right nutrition for liver cancer. In choosing a liver cancer diet, it is best to work with your health care team or with a licensed dietitian. This can help in ensuring that you make healthy food choices that can provide the nutrients your body needs.
Liver Cancer Nutrition
In choosing the best liver cancer diet, go for nutrition-rich foods that offer the most support during the treatment and in the everyday management of the disease. Other things worth noting when considering a good diet for cancer of the liver include the following:
- Choose nutritious foods that offer much-needed nutrients to support liver cancer treatment and management
- Foods rich in anti-oxidants can also be suitable for a liver cancer diet
- Avoid foods and/or food products that can further trigger the swift growth of liver cancer tumors
- Avoid all types of alcoholic drinks or beverages
Foods for Liver Cancer Diet
While foods may not heal the disease, a healthy diet can help in sustaining or regaining the strength needed in fighting liver cancer on a daily basis. Dietary restrictions and recommendations may vary from patient to patient given different factors as well as treatments. This is why creating a diet plan should have proper guidance from a registered dietitian or primary health care provider.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are cornerstones of a healthy diet. They are as important, if not more so, in a liver cancer diet since they can help in replenishing the body with vitamins and minerals utilized in combating cancer cells. Eat plenty of apples, berries, broccoli, carrots, citrus fruits, and spinach among others. If possible, add more fruits and vegetables with rich anti-oxidant properties in your daily diet.
- Grains and fiber
Whole grains such as barley and brown rice are rich in fiber that can help in relieving the constipation that may be caused by chemotherapy treatments. They are also unprocessed, which is a better option for patients suffering from liver cancer. Oatmeal or cereals are also good breakfast choices compared with highly processed breads or pastas.
- Lean meats and healthy proteins
Choosing lean meats and other healthy sources of protein is important in preventing the accumulation of waste that the liver may not be able to properly detoxify. Instead of eating beef or pork, go for lean meats such as poultry and fish as well as protein sources like beans, nuts, and tofu. Ideal cooking methods for lean proteins are baking, grilling, roasting, and steaming instead of frying.
- Unprocessed foods
The liver plays a key role in detoxifying the body. With the organ compromised by cancer, a patient should stay away from processed foods. Organic foods are excellent alternatives so as not to strain the liver in processing foods that contain chemicals such as pesticides. Bacon is one example of foods to avoid in a liver cancer diet.
Other Liver Cancer Nutrition Tips
Eating may not be high on your list, especially after undergoing treatments. However, it is important to keep in mind that a healthy diet can ease some of the burden of fighting the disease. A proper diet can likewise help in preventing the rapid growth of cancer cells. The following are some additional nutrition tips that can be useful in maintaining a nutritious diet.
- Choose fresh and/or organic produce over canned and preserved food products
- Bananas, crackers, ginger tea, and toast can help alleviate nausea experienced after liver cancer treatments
- Limit intake of sodium to prevent fluid buildup or swelling
- Opt for beverages such as low-fat milk, green tea, and pomegranate juice
- Stay away from processed sugar in preparing drinks
Liver cancer and its treatments can sometimes make food seem more unappetizing. However, a nutritious diet can help in managing the disease. It is critical that liver cancer patients get proper guidance in fulfilling daily dietary needs. Discussing a healthy diet plan with your oncologist and/or dietitian is a good start in preparing nutritious meal plans.