21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Nutrition and radiation
Created on: 04/22/13 12:29 AM Views: 3354 Replies: 16
Nutrition and radiation
Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Hi I have really enjoyed the kick start program and plan to keep following this way of eating. Thank you for a fabulous program! While I'm learning that a plant based diet helps prevent cancer, I'm wondering if there are any specific studies that show particular nutrients that help heal and regenerate tissue that has been radiated. In my case it would be breast tissue. Thank you for helping me learn more.

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Building healthy cells and tissue is what you will be doing when you eat a low-fat, vegan diet. Why? Because it will be full of anti-oxidants, healthful calorie and protein sources, and anti-inflammatory properties. You want to avoid fatty and overly-processed foods because they can be pro-inflammatory.

Favor brightly colored foods like BLACK beans, ORANGE carrots, and leafy GREENS. These will definitely pack the most nutrient punch.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Thanks Susan. That makes a lot of sense. My radiation oncologist asked me not to take any antioxidants during treatment as they would interfere with the efficacy of the treatment. When it comes to greens, are there more nutrients in the more colorful/darker choices?

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

During treatment, you should avoid supplements. This is true. As for color variation with greens, don't get too lost in the details. Green cabbage may be lighter than green kale, but cabbage happens to be a cruciferous vegetable as well, so it has its own anti-cancer fighting properties worth noting.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

So within vegetable types, say cabbage, is red cabbage better overall than green? Green pepper better than yellow? Purple beets better than golden?
I am eating such a nice wide variety of vegetables and I know they all bring their own set of nutritional benefits, but generally is a darker/more colorful choice better within a vegetable type?

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Generally, when it comes to anti-oxidants, more color means more. But as you say, there are other benefits to fruits and vegetables besides color. Consider onions and garlic - white and dull as can be to see! But lots of anti-carcinogenic properties.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

How about "plant milks"? I have eliminated dairy but have a concern about what plant milks to use. I avoid soy on the advice of my oncologist but all are processed and many aren't organic. Additionally, I wonder about the fat content. I would normally be using this with my oatmeal, sometimes,in a smoothie, or as a creamer in tea. Wat would you suggest?

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Make your own plant milks - that way, they are as simple and as close to unprocessed as possible, with no additives (unless you add them Wink )

There are many resources online to get details, but to make almond milk (for instance), you basically get raw almonds, soak them overnight, then dump the almonds and water into the blender (heavy duty type) and whir it until it's pureed. Then strain through cheese cloth to get the bits out and you've got almond milk.

--DebR

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Brilliant idea! (I should have thought of it) Thank you DebR!

And lastly:
Foods such as chia seed, flax seed, hemp seed, goji berries, cacao, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, etc. etc. are being put forward as "super foods". Do you have any specific recommendations on specific foods that are so popular now? Any solid evidence that that is where my food budget dollar should go? I'm not interested in fads and need some assistance in separating fact from marketing. I'm sure there are exciting new ideas (at least to this newbie vegan) all the time, but I want to make sure my nutritional/healing choices are based on facts.

Thank you in advance for your time. I know it is difficult to get people to change their habits, particularly around food. I'd like you to know that the PCRM program has been my greatest influence and it is the primary source that has started me on this improvement in my health. Thank you.

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

I'm not a fan of fads either! You needn't worry about "super foods" as long as your diet is low-fat, vegan. It takes care of itself.

My concern with people who focus on "super foods" is that they think those foods fix problems related to an otherwise unhealthful diet. No food is super enough to do that.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

You're coming through loud and clear. You've been so very helpful! Please thank the PCRM folks for allowing access to such a great resource (you). Best regards.

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Of course! Thank you for being here and asking great questions.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Susan Levin wrote:

My concern with people who focus on "super foods" is that they think those foods fix problems related to an otherwise unhealthful diet. No food is super enough to do that.

LOL yeah - eat all the double bacon cheeseburgers you want and a handful of goji berries will fix it all! There's nothing wrong with any of them, really, in a balance with lots of other stuff, but they're each just part of the whole picture.

--DebR

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Oh, just one more question: as I've been trying to become educated about plant based nutrition, I've seen and read the Forks Over Knives movie/book, read publications by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. James McDougall, Dr.Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, David Wolfe, Brenda Davis, and Vesanto Melina. Can you lead me to other reliable printed/online sources that will help me continue with my "self-education"? (I assume the list of contributors on this site are wonderful). Any in addition to these?
Thanks again!

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 1:53 AM

I would recommend books by Christina Pirello. She was diagnosed with terminal leukemia at about age 26, she cured herself with diet. She is now in her 50s and healthy. She has several books. I can't remember for sure which ones she gets the most in depth into health issues, but I think they are Cooking the WHole Foods Way, and This Crazy Vegan Life. I am currently reading her newest one.

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

True North Health Center

Engine 2

Jeff Novick

Lani Muelrath

RE: Nutrition and radiation
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:01 AM

Thank you so much for the reading suggestions! I'll be starting them tomorrow.


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