Pancreatic cancer develops in the pancreas cells, and most cancers begin in the exocrine pancreas, the part where the pancreas produces digestive enzymes. The cause of pancreatic cancer is still unknown. However, several risk factors have been identified, including smoking and a genetic family history of pancreatic cancer. This condition is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in men and women worldwide, and it primarily affects older people.
Why is it important
to consume superfoods & essential foods during your pancreatic cancer journey?
Superfoods provide essential nutrients known as phytonutrients and antioxidants, which may help reduce the side effects caused by common cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. In addition, certain types of cancer, like pancreatic cancer, can directly affect how the body responds to its normal functions. Therefore, it is vital to provide the body with specific nutrients to reduce the severity of the side effects caused by most anti-cancer treatments.
Some superfoods that have been researched for their ability to reduce specific side effects include:
- Fucoidan (brown seaweed)
- Gingerol (ginger
- Phytonutrients and antioxidants (berries)
- Turmeric (curcumin)
- Papain (papaya)
Fucoidan (brown seaweed) reduces fatigue
Fucoidan is extracted from brown seaweeds like Mozuku, Mekabu, and Fucus. Fucoidan’s health benefits and properties are not limited to acting as a great anti-inflammatory agent, immune-enhancer, and tumor suppressor. Fucoidan has also been studied for its ability to protect cancer patients from the toxicity of anti-cancer drugs. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue are well-known adverse effects of anti-cancer drugs. However, in several studies, cancer patients who received Fucoidan could endure prolonged chemotherapy without fatigue.
In a comparison study, the cancer patients who obtained Fucoidan had a remarkable reduction in fatigue, but a decrease in nausea and vomiting was also confirmed.
How to eat them:
To get the best effectiveness from Fucoidan, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a supplement containing the best Fucoidan sources. These sources are Mozuku, Mekabu, and Fucus. Also, understand the fact that Fucoidan is not raw brown seaweed. Fucoidan is mainly extracted from brown seaweeds to give you a better concentration and higher potency.
Gingerol (ginger) reduces nausea and vomiting
Due to the side effects caused by chemotherapy, pancreatic cancer patients are prompt to face nausea and vomiting while undergoing this treatment. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is a significant issue that causes distress and discomfort. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting also affect their immunity, energy, and quality of Life.
Ginger is safe to consume and contains two main active compounds responsible for the beneficial effects against nausea and vomiting. These ingredients are known as gingerol and shogaol. Ginger provides strong beneficial effects for pancreatic cancer patients suffering from nausea and vomiting because it controls gastric emptying and gastrointestinal issues. Ginger also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
How to eat them:
To prevent burping, it is suggested to buy ginger supplements. These can either be taken in capsules and/or tablets, or you can remove the powder for the capsules and mix it in a healthy berry smoothie.
Phytonutrients and antioxidants obtained from berries decrease inflammation and joint pain
Berries include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and blueberries. These fruits have been well-known for their proper amount of Vitamin C and fiber. They are also a good source of ellagic acid, which may provide cancer-protecting properties.
These berries are one of the most important superfoods and for a good reason. Research shows that berries deliver significant health benefits, including reducing joint and muscle pain, decreasing inflammation, and even providing the nutrients needed to help regulate the immune system. Studies also show that berries support heart health.
How to eat them:Buy fresh or frozen. Snack on them, add them to your morning smoothie or try mixing them with the superfoods mentioned in this article for a special treat.
Turmeric (Curcumin) prevents hair loss
If you have traveled to India or tried Indian cuisine, then you are familiar with this bright yellow root, which has been used for over 4,000 years for numerous health conditions. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that may decrease inflammation, stop platelets from forming blood clots, and support hair growth.
Pancreatic cancer is among the most aggressive forms of human cancer, characterized by a very high mortality rate. Hair loss is one of the most common side effects caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Curcumin is an effective ingredient for treating hair loss, and it may also stimulate hair growth by decreasing high levels of DHT. DHT — dihydrotestosterone—is a primary factor in hormonal hair loss.
How to eat it:Sprinkle turmeric (curcumin) into your berry smoothie, or add a teaspoon of this powder to recipes like your daily dish. There is also turmeric (curcumin) supplements in powder and liquid to ease the aftertaste.
Papain obtained from papaya reduces constipation
The fundamental reason for chemotherapy-induced constipation is uncertain. Doctors suggest that constipation occurs because of a combination of chemotherapy-related factors.
- inflammation in the digestive tract
- disorder in bowel secretions
- disorder in movements within the digestive tract
- changes in how the digestive tract responds to the nervous system
Papain has been used in Chinese medicine to treat constipation, leprosy, and intestinal worms. Today papain can be found in dietary supplements used to treat digestive disorders, which include constipation, bloating, and indigestion.
Studies in cancer patients have shown evidence that dietary supplements containing papain may help reduce symptoms caused by the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
How to eat it:Dietary supplements containing papain are available in oral forms. If preferred, you can eat raw papaya, preferably with lunch or dinner, to maintain healthy digestion.
Superfoods supplementation can be efficient for pancreatic cancer patients who receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. It is essential to provide the body with nutrients that can reduce the uncomfortable side effects caused by anti-cancer treatments. The result will give the patient a more robust immune system, better digestion, more energy levels, and better Quality of Life.
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