Along with healthy lifestyle, certain food supplements, when taken regularly, can boost your immune system and help your body fight the cancer. They may increase your chance of recovery from not only breast cancer but all types of cancer. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any vitamins and herbal supplements during chemotherapy. They can interact with certain chemo drugs, and cause serious problems.
Here is a list of some food supplements that can help your immune system:
Lignans: lignans are non steroidal compounds of the family of phytoestrogens, also known as “dietary estrogens”. Many Studies have shown that phytoestrogens have protective action against a variety of medical conditions including but not limited to prostate cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, cardiovascular disease, brain function disorders, menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. Acting as antioxidant, lignans can be beneficial for both men and women. Lignans is found in large quantities in fruits and vegetables, soy, and mostly in flaxseed.
Ellagic acid: ellagic acid is an anti-carcinogen polyphenol antioxidant present in many fruits and vegetables: raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, etc. many studies have shown that ellagic acid may stop or slow the development of cancer cells. Although no one can confirm that the supplement alone can prevent or treat cancer, regularly use along with a healthy lifestyle and diet (diet rich in fruits and cruciferous vegetables) can be very beneficial for you if you are a cancer victim.
Astragalus: many studies have confirmed the immune-boosting properties of astragalus. While it may new for you, astragalus has been used in herbal medicine for centuries to prevent and fight many common diseases: colds, upper respiratory infections, heart disease, lower blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems, and many types of cancer. Astragalus has been shown in a variety studies to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Although it is not proven, it is believed that regular use of astragalus can help women who are struggling with breast cancer. Ask your oncologist if you can take it.
Graviola (Brazilian pawpaw or guanábana): it is believed that graviola may boost the immune system, reverses some chemotherapy side effects, and enhances the effectiveness of other cancer treatments. It is recommended to take graviola with other supplements and regularly.
Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6): Ip6 is another supplement that can help you if have breast, colon, or prostate cancer. In addition to cancer, IP6 can regulate your bowel movements. However, when taken too much or immediately after chemotherapy, IP6 can cause fatigue. Even if your doctor gives you “green light” to take it, it is strongly recommended to take IP6 along with cruciferous vegetable juice.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidant and other anticancer agents. Numerous studies have shown that a diet consisting mostly of fruit and vegetables reduces up to 20% the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer; eat 5 or more servings per day of fruits and vegetables. For a better digestion, it is important to eat the vegetables separately from the fruits. Although you can enjoy your vegetables/fruits in salads, the best way is to extract the juice, and drink it immediately after the preparation. To get the juice from the vegetables/fruits, you need a juice extractor/juicer.
Avoid Trans-Fatty Foods – no doubt; it is clear that everyone who cares about their health should eliminate or reduce their trans fats intake. Besides cardiovascular diseases, regular consumption of trans-fatty foods can increase up to 50% the risk of breast cancer in women.
The most common of trans fatty foods include French fries (8 grams in 1 medium piece), doughnuts (5 grams in 1), pound cake (4.5 grams in 1 slice), candy bar (40 grams in 1 bar), margarine (3 grams in 1 tablespoon), potato chips (43 grams in 1 bag), cookies (30 grams in 3), etc. Reduce these foods in your diet and increase your intake of omega-3, soybean products, and carotenoid supplements.
Note : beta-carotene is a carotenoid; talk to your health care provider before taking it if you used to smoke or are currently a smoker.