Americans have a pretty complicated relationship with food. We associate meal times with family, friends, social relationships—even courtship. Picnics in the park, candlelit dinners, and birthday parties, and events based around food are the memories that make up our lives.
On the flip side, we suffer from “food guilt.” For years, we’ve been struggling with the notion that our favorite indulgences, like French fries or milkshakes, are contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic. Now things have gone a step further, as new research examines the links between diet and chronic illness: Does broccoli really fight mesothelioma cancer? Should you be shelling out extra money for organic produce?
1. Mesothelioma patients often suffer from a chronic dry, and cough. This can be soothed by warm liquids, honey, and broth-based soups (including the namesake for this post, miso soup!)
2. Another common complaint among mesothelioma patients is sweating, fever, and hot flashes. Incorporate “cooling” foods into your diet, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and peppermint.
3. Maintain a healthy weight by including plenty of healthy fats. Avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish are all great sources. Healthy fats also help transport vitamins and nutrients to your cells, and have been shown to stave off heart disease. Goodbye, guacamole guilt!
4. Keep your energy going by upping your iron and B-vitamin intake. You can get these from beef, eggs, shellfish, black beans, dark, leafy greens, and nutritional yeast (a popular vegetarian supplement.)
5. Listen to your body—and eliminate foods that make eating unpleasant. It may sound obvious, but sometimes we force ourselves to eat foods that are supposedly good for us, even when they make us feel bad. Certain medications can make your stomach sensitive to spicy foods or high-fiber, cruciferous vegetables. You can get your fiber and nutrients from other sources; there is no need to suffer!
6. That said, keep things moving with plenty of gentle fiber. Whole, unprocessed foods are the best sources, but if raw veggies irritate your stomach, soften them by steaming, or switch to whole-grain pastas and bread.
7. Obey your cravings! Our bodies are sometimes smarter than our brains. If you have been jonesing for dark chocolate or salty pickles for days, your body may be trying to tell you it’s missing out on something. This is especially important for patients who notice a diminishing appetite. Our bodies need calories to fuel our ability to heal, so strike while the iron is hot and get those calories from whatever source is appealing.