Dr.Poonam Vaswani - Anti Cancer Diet Consultation
- Poonam Vaswani who is a Dietitian and a Nutritionist, has a Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition and a PG Diploma in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition from Bombay University.
- She has over 23 years of experience in the field of Nutrition counselling, awareness and Education.
- She has worked closely as a Senior Food Research Scientist with various National and International Agencies in disseminating food and nutrition information.
- Currently, she counsels clients and patients on diet and lifestyle and is also a Visiting Nutrition Faculty for an International school.
- She has conducted several corporates and school workshops and has written over 30 articles.
- She is also an active Indian Dietetic Association life member.
- Since the last few years, she has been specializing in diet and nutrition focusing fully on cancer patients.
- Are there any foods which can definitely protect you from cancer?There is no magical food which will protect you from cancer. You need to have a healthy lifestyle, and an anti- inflammatory dietary pattern, both of which will work together to protect you.
- Are there any cooking methods which can promote cancer? High and dry heat methods like smoking, grilling and barbecuing can produce carcinogens. The low and moist heat methods like, boiling, poaching, steaming, and stewing are healthy.
- Which herbs/herbal medicines can treat cancer? Many herbs and spices have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. However, cancer is usually an aggressive disease and most of the time needs to be treated with one or more modalities like, surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These and herbs should be used as complimentary treatments to achieve the best possible results. Some herbs also work well to manage side effects of treatments and must be included in patient diets.
- What should I eat during cancer treatment? The diet should be an anti-inflammatory diet. The Mediterranean diet has some excellent anti-inflammatory foods and can be used as a guide.
- I have started chemotherapy and I have an awful taste in my mouth. How can I change that? Avoid strong-smelling or tasting foods, Oral hygiene is very important. Rinse your mouth well before meals (water with salt and/or baking soda work well). Eat small, frequent meals. Use plastic utensils if your food has a metallic taste. Eat sugar free mint/ chewing gum.
- I have started radiotherapy and I have boils in my mouth. What should I do? Baking soda 2 tsp with 1 glass water – rinse mouth 3 times/day. Use coconut milk in dishes. Avoid acidic and spicy foods. Use a straw to drink if that helps. Avoid sharp and crunchy foods.
- Is juicing a way to treat cancer? Juicing is a great way to increase intake of vegetables but it is not the only food you should be eating during cancer treatment. You need to have a balanced diet and focus on all macro and micronutrients. Fruit and vegetable juices are not good sources of healthy fats and proteins which are crucial nutrients.
- Should I fast to beat my cancer? Some forms of fasting have shown to help cancer patients but should be practiced only in consultation with the treating doctor and dietitian.
- I have breast cancer. Is it safe for me to eat soyabeans? A meta-analysis published in 2022 indicated that soy foods consumed at levels comparable to those in Asian populations have no detrimental effects on risk of breast cancer recurrence. It also showed that in some cases it significantly reduced the risk. Soy should be non-GMO.
- I am very nauseated because it is a side effect of chemotherapy. How can I feel more comfortable? Gingerol in ginger works very well to manage nausea. Use ginger in foods while cooking/ sip on ginger lemon water/ keep a piece of fresh ginger/ginger mouth freshener in the mouth /drink sips of ginger tea. Eat meals at room temperature or chilled/cold foods. Consume a light snack before going for chemotherapy. Dry snacks like a biscuit (gluten free/sugar free) help. Avoid deep fried, spicy and strong-smelling foods.
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