Significance Of Protein For Cancer Patients
When going through the extensive and tedious treatment for cancer in the form of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation certainly qualify as being stressful. Nutritional stability is the foundation required to help yourself obtain a good outcome.
In this blog, we will specifically be looking at the requirement for protein in a person’s diet during the cancer stage, while the treatment and after recovery.
Schreiber has very rightly said “Protein helps build and maintain muscle, which is important for cancer patients who might be having problems eating and are losing weight. When they lose weight, it’s often muscle and not fat, so protein is vital during treatment.”
Protein is needed for body maintenance, growth and repair. It is present in almost all body cells and has many functions, such as:
- Transporting many body compounds, as well as medications.
- Maintaining the balance of body fluids.
- Formation and maintenance of muscles, connective tissues, red blood cells, enzymes and hormones.
- Fighting infections and strengthening immunity.
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Foods that are high in protein include:
- Meats- beef, chicken, fish, turkey and lamb
- Milk and cheese- yogurt, cottage cheese and cream cheese
- Peanut butter (with bread or crackers)
- Dried beans and peas (with bread, cornbread, rice)
Some personal suggestions that I can give you to add to your diet are:
- Add powdered milk (33 calories and 3 grams per tablespoon) to food, beverages, puddings, potatoes, soups, ground meats, vegetables, cooked cereal, milkshakes, yogurt and pancake batter.
- Add eggs or egg substitute (80 calories and 6 grams protein per egg) to casseroles, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, cooked cereal, mac and cheese, chicken or tuna salads, french toast and pancake batter.
- Use cheese (100 calories and 7 grams protein per ounce) as tolerated in snacks, on sandwiches, in casseroles, potatoes, vegetables and soups.
- Add nonfat dry milk to whole milk to prepare high-protein milk.
- Use peanut butter (95 calories and 4 grams protein per tablespoon) on toast, bagels, crackers, bananas, apples and celery.
- Use whole milk (150 calories and 8 grams protein per cup) in cooking and food preparation as tolerated.
Protein plays a key role in maintaining all body functions, as it makes up critical cell structures in muscle, organs, blood cells, connective tissues, and skin. It is the loss of proteins that produces the complications of malnutrition. I would say, you simply cannot heal without adequate protein intake, and this is even truer with a surgical wound.
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