Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer affecting the bladder and surrounding areas. It is often found in older people and is quite treatable but has a bad reputation for recurrence. So, often frequent follow-ups are advised for patients diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Diet can play a very important role in recovery and ensuring the treatment goes well. A balanced and proper diet can help you get all the essential nutrients required by you.
Diet for bladder cancer
There may be many variables or factors to finding the right diet for you. If you are feeling weak or nauseous, or unable to eat much due to vomiting then it will be hard to get proper nutrition. Your goal should be to get proper nourishment and not get malnourished.
We all know that one food won’t be enough to fight cancer. You need lots and lots of fruits and vegetables in order to stay healthy and keep the side effects of cancer treatment at bay. There’s no specific or hardcore diet for people with bladder cancer. But some research does hint that adopting a Mediterranean diet can help you reduce the risk of bladder cancer, and other cancers as well.
A case study conducted shows that a Mediterranean diet has a chance of reducing the risk of bladder cancer. This may be attributed to the fact that the Mediterranean diet is packed with a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Plus, these are also rich in healthy fats of fish, nuts, olive oil, etc. These foods are said to be superfoods for a reason- they are packed with nutrients and have a high fibre content.
Not just cancer, a Mediterranean diet also reduces inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What food to pick?
A lot of foods are believed to fight bladder cancer as per much research conducted till now. But these results are yet to be proven. Foods that are full of antioxidants have anticancer and chemopreventive properties. This is what is evident from some research.
A healthy, balanced diet is recommended by the specialist to get all the nutrients you may need. Let’s discuss what should be included in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a must-have in your diet chart. These are full of vitamins and minerals. Apart from vitamins and minerals, they contain phytochemicals(antioxidants). These phytochemicals have anticancer abilities and have shown to be effective against many types of cancer. They also have a high fibre content too which can help you with healthy bowel movements.
Also known as a building block of the body, protein is essential for your body to recover and rebuild. These are important constituents of every cell ranging from muscle tissue to blood cells. Some rich sources of protein are soybean and soybean-based products, lentils, meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, etc. Try to choose plant-based proteins that are not hard on the stomach and have high fibre content.
Before you choose any kind of fats, you should know what kinds of fats are healthy and what kinds are bad for your health. You should always pick monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These kinds of fats are healthy and good for your heart. Some sources of such fats are sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, fish, nuts, avocados, etc.
On the other hand, avoid fats like trans and saturated fats. Don’t go for margarine or processed food products like baked foods.
Healthy carbs like Whole grains
Whole grains can provide you with much-needed carbs. Technically, carbs should form half of the diet in terms of calories. Carbs are one of the important sources of energy and are needed to fulfil your daily calorie intake. Whole grains are high in fibre content so they can help you with the amount of roughage to be taken.
We all must have heard about green tea. It is known for its several health benefits and also for its chemopreventive and anticancer properties. Several pieces of research are being carried out to prove these capabilities of green tea. Green tea is full of polyphenol, a compound said to be effective against many cancers including bladder cancer. But further research didn’t replicate the results. So, it is not clear that green tea might be effective. If you enjoy green tea then you can surely go for it.
What food should you avoid?
We talked about a lot of food that you should include in your diet. Now let’s list down the ones that you should avoid. Well, just not food, you need to be careful about drinking water too. You should avoid drinking water that has a high percentage of arsenic. There is strong evidence that arsenic might lead to bladder cancer. Don’t eat unprocessed red meat. It is shown in some research that unprocessed red meat can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Supplements for bladder cancer
Depending upon your health conditions, you may be provided with supplements to boost the level of vitamin B12 or iron in your blood. If you have received antibiotics then you can go for probiotics to help you regain the healthy bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are good for your health but they can also cause bloating, gas, and other gastric problems. So, talk to your specialist before taking probiotics.
A healthy diet laden with lots of fruits and vegetables can surely help you to get all the nutrients you need. Don’t forget to include all the important nutrients in your diet. Plan your diet beforehand and talk to a dietician or nutritionist if required. There is no specific diet for bladder cancer but eating healthy will surely help you to recover faster.