Foods to Fight Brain Cancer

Foods to Fight Brain Cancer

Cancer has become so widespread in today's society, especially with the influx of processed foods. Patients who are diagnosed with brain cancer can now fight the disease, not just through medical treatments, but nutritionally as well, by making healthier choices when it comes to the foods they eat. When people lived off the land, they led much healthier lives. There are many foods that help prevent and fight brain cancer.

Folic Acid
If you get enough folic acid in your diet, it could keep your cancer from spreading. Folate is grouped in the B vitamins. Doctors usually recommend 400 mg per day, but you can also get this important nutrient in certain foods, like spinach or other darker green, leafy veggies, oranges, rice,and beans. The supplement should still be added because it has a better absorption rate.

Foods that have a high amount of antioxidants, are known to fight and prevent brain cancer. These include blueberries, strawberries and grapes. The fresher the fruits and vegetables, the greater the benefit. Eating them raw is the best option. Even the skins of certain fruits, such as citrus or apples, provide a good dose of antioxidants.

Omega-3s can be found in fish, which doctors recommend not only to fight cancer by decelerating growth of the tumor, but also to help your immune system, which suffers with treatments such as chemotherapy. Flax also has a high amount of omega-3s, and you can buy flax to sprinkle on your foods; it can also be added to a milkshake. If you are able to help your immune system, it will in turn help to locate and fight the cancer cells.

Other Foods
Other foods known to fight cancer are tomatoes, which have an ingredient called lycopene. This is found more abundantly in cooked vegetables, like tomatoes and broccoli. Tea has a powerful effect with its polyphenols, which act as antioxidants. Green tea has more polyphenols and is more beneficial. If you use oils when cooking, olive oil is the best choice, if it is high in the monounsaturated fat. Other examples of brain cancer fighters are cinnamon, ginger, soy and garlic. With soy, it's better to eat it in raw form, such as soybeans or edamame, at least 50 grams on a daily basis; with garlic, again, it's better fresh, rather than a supplement or powder. Throughout this research, fresh, whole foods have been emphasized over and over again for their cancer-fighting properties.

There are certain supplements that can be used along with the nutritional therapy. Discuss with your doctor to protect from any adverse reactions between supplements and other treatments. Vitamin D is one such supplement because it actually can slow the tumor's growth. Taking 800 to 1,000 units a day is the recommended dosage. Sunlight also helps you to gain vitamin D, but patients who are undergoing chemotherapy should seek the advice of their doctor before spending too much time soaking up the sun, since it could cause adverse effects. Other supplements might include Siberian ginseng, extracts of mushrooms like shiitake, cat's claw, astragalus, IP6 capsules, St. John's wort, niacin, whey protein, shark liver oil, melatonin, germanium, vitamins C and E. Niacin and germanium can help to get more blood and nutrients, namely antioxidants, to the brain tumor itself, thereby fighting it. Vitamin C and E can help protect the brain from the radiation treatments. Typical dosages of vitamin C are 250 to 1,000 mg a day, and usual dosages of vitamin E are 400 to 600 units a day. Of course, you should discuss any medications with your doctor.

Another consideration is a study that has been going on in Wurzberg, Germany, concerning a ketogenic diet. Patients on this diet have been taken off of all carbohydrates and sugars. The diet employs certain plant oils, like hempseed and linseed oil and protein (Time article in Resources below). This diet has been used for patients who have aggressive forms of brain tumors and has been shown to help a handful of patients gain stability with their disease and live longer.
Of course, nutrition itself cannot fight off the brain cancer, but hand in hand with a specific treatment regimen designed just for you, it can go a long way in helping you to live a long and healthy life, as well as helping you to be more comfortable throughout your treatments.