People receiving treatment for kidney cancer need proper nutrition to help their bodies remain strong. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other treatments like immunotherapy take a huge toll on the body, and a healthy, planned cancer diet gives it the fuel to combat the side effects from these therapies.
A kidney cancer diet should include many of the things found in any healthy diet, with some nutritional tweaks to combat the specific effects of cancer treatment. A patient’s daily nutrition should include:
WHAT TO EAT
Plenty of fruits and vegetables
You want to choose lots of plant source products, so make sure you eat 5 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
A good amount of whole grains
Whole grains are a great source of B vitamins and iron and fiber, these include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, and cracked wheat.
Lots of calories
Here’s where a cancer diet differs from a normal diet. Nutritionists recommend that people eat high-calorie foods to help keep the body from shedding pounds as a result of treatment. The main thing during treatment is to really maintain weight.
The right amount of protein
Kidney function may decrease as a result of cancer treatment, particularly if surgeons have to remove one kidney. High-protein diets may cause the kidneys to work harder to remove urea, a waste product created as your body breaks protein down for use. Kidney cancer patients need to keep their weight up, but should discuss their protein intake with medical experts.
WHAT NOT TO EAT
kidney cancer patients should avoid foods that contain high amounts of the oxalate compound. This chemical can become lodged in your kidneys, form stones and cause complications that can affect your kidney cancer treatment. These chemicals are commonly found in dark leafy green vegetables, beets, rhubarb, spinach, tea, wheat bran, tofu and nuts.
Although protein is beneficial for maintaining muscle strength and building cells, in kidney cancer patients it can worsen your condition. When you consume protein-rich foods, the chemical compound uric acid can accumulate in your body as a toxin and cause conditions that may complicate kidney cancer. Animal proteins can be found in chicken, pork, beef, milk, creams, cheese, eggs and other forms of meat. Plant protein includes beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
High Potassium Foods
Excess potassium in your body can affect your kidney cancer condition. Potassium regulates your muscle and heartbeat functions. As a result, an overabundance of potassium can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems that can complicate kidney cancer.
If you have kidney cancer or an associated illness, consuming foods with phosphorous may complicate your condition. When you eat phosphorus-rich foods, your body is unable to properly excrete the chemical, phosphorus-rich foods include liver, beans, chocolates, yogurt, milk and cheese.