An evidence-based personalised approach
What is it?
Nutritional Therapy is an individual-centred approach to healthcare that employs assessment and intervention using nutritional, lifestyle-based and related health sciences in order to assist the individual to optimise his or her physiological, emotive, cognitive and physical function.
In a typical Nutritional Therapy consultation, the therapist will assess the individual’s general health, family history, dietary habits, digestive function and lifestyle. The therapist will then devise a dietary and lifestyle plan suitable for the individual’s circumstances. This may include dietary adjustments, suggestions for dietary support, lifestyle changes and food or botanical supplement recommendations.
Choosing The Right Foods
At BRIS Wellbeing Clinic, our nutrition therapy for cancer program is nutritional counselling that helps patients choose a diet rich in cancer-preventing foods. While no cancer prevention diet is 100 percent effective, there are steps you can take to incorporate cancer-fighting foods into your diet.
Working with me, you learn about:
- Common, easy-to-find cancer-preventing foods
- Foods that can increase your cancer risk
- Recipes to incorporate cancer-fighting foods into every meal
In addition to foods that help prevent cancer, foods that fight cancer are available, too. Foods like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower are natural cancer fighters. I will teach you about these powerful cancer-fighting foods and give you the information you need to make better nutritional choices during your treatment.
Malnutrition commonly occurs in cancer and adversely affects the quality of life and survival of patients. It is caused by a variety of factors, including decreased food intake, adverse effects from anticancer treatment, and wasteful metabolic processes.
Nutrition therapy for cancer is all about choosing the right cancer-fighting foods and avoiding foods that harbour these conditions.
As a certified clinical nutritionist, I am able to help you establish a cancer diet that is rich in cancer-fighting vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and low in compounds that increase cancer risks.
We address the key areas of your diet, including:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- Water intake
- Foods that prevent cancer
- Foods to fight cancer during treatment
The Right Vitamins
At BRIS Wellbeing Clinic, we help you develop a plan for getting the vitamins you need to fight your cancer and maintain optimal health during treatment. Distinguishing between vitamins that are critical to staying healthy and using vitamins for treating cancer is important.
Vitamin B17 and Vitamin C are among the more well-known vitamins used for treating cancer. I will help educate you about the appropriate use of these treatments.
How Nutrient Therapy Helps
The unique characteristic of cancer stem cells allows them to slip under the radar from chemotherapy and increases their aggressive nature. They exhibit pro-survival mechanisms that makes them resistant to modern cancer treatment, yet susceptible to phytonutrients.
Nutrients like the “King of Spices” (turmeric) or piperine found in black pepper, assists in the elimination of H. pylori from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and prevents the release of toxins that promote cancer. Silymarin kills cancer stem cells that give rise to colon and skin cancer by upregulating powerful antioxidant systems like glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase) that suppress cancerous activity.
Relying on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation is not sufficient to remove cancer from the body. Nutrients must be incorporated to kill cancer stem cells. Other powerful nutrients that target cancer stem cells include 6-gingerol, resveratrol, vitamin D3, and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate).
Nutrient therapy helps to flush out stored carcinogens in the body’s tissue, cells, and detoxifying organs − including the liver and kidneys. The health of these two organs is essential in the purification of the blood, and ensures the passage of nutrients for circulation into tissues. It is especially critical for an individual undergoing cancer treatment to regularly support the detoxification of these organs and avoid the accumulation of drugs.
Any damage to the liver and kidneys increases the toxic burden an individual will carry. This is because of the resulting inability to detoxify carcinogens from the blood and ultimately the entire body. Parsley contains potent nutrients that aid in removing heavy metals from the blood, liver, and kidneys and is also shown to boost immune health and stimulate several antioxidant defenses.
Eating a healing diet rich in plant-based nutrition prevents constipation, nausea, and an assortment of GI disturbances. Nutrient therapy supports the healthy elimination of toxins from the gut and prevents reabsorption of carcinogens back into the body. Nutritional powerhouses that support cellular repair and inhibit oxidative stress required to fight cancer include superfoods like spirulina, seaweeds, lemon, turmeric, ginger, and black or cayenne pepper.
When patients are ill-advised on how to eat a healing diet to fight cancer, chemo drugs wreak havoc not only on cancer cells but healthy cells as well. Normal cells become inflamed and genetically damaged. Organ systems and distant tissue that may have been healthy to start to become weakened and susceptible to new cancer growth.
Adequate nutrition prevents organ systems from becoming deficient in key antioxidants that repair DNA damage, heal cells and support their unique functions in the body. Chemotherapy and radiation damage all cells in the body resulting in common side effects like inflammatory skin conditions, GI upset, mouth ulcers, and diseases of the central nervous system and heart.
The central nervous system has one of the most important roles in the body that influences an individual’s quality of life. Even if a primary tumor is eradicated, secondary brain metastases are common following the occurrence of skin, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. Secondary cancers that quickly metastasize to the spine typically originate from cancer of the kidneys, prostate, lung, or breast.
Flavonoids like the aforementioned quercetin and antioxidants found in cocoa, fruit, and tea are consistently shown in studies to exhibit neuroprotective benefits. Flavonoids protect neurons from inflammation and trauma by scavenging free radicals, thus supporting one’s ability to retain cognitive function and memory. The ascorbic acid in many citrus fruits protects against oxidative damage from neurotoxins, supports pre-existing neuron function, and stimulates the regeneration of new neurons.
Given the degenerative and systemic problems that arise from cancer, it is vital to support the health of the brain and nervous system with nutrition in the fight against any form of cancer.
Supporting the lining of your gut goes hand in hand with strengthening the immune system to combat cancer. Nutrition is a key factor in preventing inflammatory damage that arises from leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability, malnutrition or nutrient deficiency, autoimmune problems, and the damaging effects of cancer therapy.
When our immune defences are focused on targeting toxins and pathogenic bacteria that leach from the gut causing systemic inflammation, cancer growth is less controlled. Bacterial infections linked to gut inflammation like H. pyloriincrease the risk for cancer in the colon and specific types of lymphoma.
Nutritional therapy provides protection for the gut. It does this by balancing a healthy gut flora, reducing inflammation, improving nutrient absorption, regulating blood sugar, and decreasing side effects like nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy drugs.
Maintaining the health of blood cells is critical in the fight against cancer. Blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissue in the entire body and fueling life-giving processes. Blood cells support immunity and the elimination of metabolic by-products like carbon dioxide ensuring that the body maintains a slightly alkaline pH.
One of the first lines of cancer treatment drugs is the use of anthracyclines. Considered a broad-spectrum antitumor drug, it also causes severe toxic side effects including irreversible damage to the heart and cardiovascular system. Nutrients provide a wide range of benefits for protecting the cardiovascular system from trauma.
Nutraceutical compounds found in cruciferous veggies, cherries, onions, berries, pomegranates, endives, and other plant-based foods inhibit degenerative processes from occurring. One of the best known anti-inflammatory agents that protect against cardiovascular problems and limits the toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs on the body is ginger.
Phytosterols support the health of the cardiovascular system by reducing cholesterol levels. They can be found in almonds and pine nuts. Studies also reveal an inverse relationship between beta-carotene levels and cardiovascular disease and cancer. Other important nutrients necessary for suppressing inflammatory damage and repairing tissue of the cardiovascular system include lycopene, B vitamins, niacin, magnesium, and vitamins C, D, and E.