Breast Cancer Awareness: Nutrition & Recovery
Focus on your recovery and getting back to your daily habits but go slow and give your body time to heal. Some side effects may endure after treatment ends. Use this time to swap out any unhealthy habits for new, healthy ones including moving more, reducing fast foods, eating more veggies and whole foods, making sure you get enough sleep and reducing stress levels.
If you are not already at a healthy weight, aim to slowly move yourself in that direction. While doing so, ensure that you are getting a good balance from all the food groups paying special attention to whole foods. Include foods that contain phytonutrients, natural chemicals, these can be found mainly in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and have been found to help support health. Include as many colors of the rainbow as possible each week to make sure you are maximizing your intake of all the healthy compounds that whole foods have to offer your body. And don’t forget to ask your care team for any food or diet restrictions.
Unless otherwise indicated by your physician, aim to include 25-38g of fiber daily to help keep your digestive tract on track. Again, focusing on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains will help you reach your fiber goals more easily.
Reduce saturated and trans fat in your diet and focus on healthy cooking methods like baking or steaming your foods. Also aim to reduce your red meat consumption to no more than 3 to 4 serving per week. Avoid salt-cured and smoked foods like bacon, sausage and deli meats.
And if you choose to drink, limit your intake to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men as research shows alcohol consumption is linked to cancer.
Make time to move more, walking, yoga, cycling or other activities you enjoy and your body can tolerate. Get outdoors but always wear sunscreen.
Find ways to manage stress through exercise, hobbies, long walk, reading, crafting or anything else that you enjoy.
And finally, consider a local support group for you, your family or other caregivers reaching out and connecting with others can be hugely valuable for those in recovery. And remember it’s ok to prioritize yourself and your needs.