We often read in the papers that a certain food or drink has been linked to cancer, then the next week a new article will suggest that the same food is actually good for you! Your diet can be absolutely vital in maintaining your health and wellbeing if you have mesothelioma, so what should you be eating to aid recovery and stay strong?
Fruits and vegetables play an important role in keeping mesothelioma patients healthy. It has even been suggested that fruits and vegetables can help to slow the progression of mesothelioma. A study from researchers at the Polytechnic University of Marche looked at phytochemicals, biologically active compounds found in fruits and vegetables. They found that these compounds regulate microRNAs.
What are microRNAs?
A microRNA is a small non-coding molecule which regulates gene expression. In cancer patients, gene expression becomes dysregulated. This leads to negative effects such as metastasis and cell death resistance. By finding phytochemicals that can regulate microRNAs, researchers hope that cancer cells, such as mesothelioma cells, can be controlled and treated more effectively.
What foods contain phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are in foods that we eat every day, here are just a few examples:
- Capsaicin: This can be found in chilli peppers.
- Curcumin: This can be found in turmeric, which we wrote about previously here
- Ellagic acid: This can be found in red fruits and berries.
- Pterostilbene: This can be found in blueberries.
- Genistein: This can be found in soybeans.
If you have cancer, you may find that your tastes have changed. This is not uncommon. A study published in January 2018 looked at lung cancer patients who had undergone chemotherapy treatment. They found that the treatment changed some patients’ ability to recognise some familiar smells and tastes. Indeed, mesothelioma patients have reported not liking tastes they had previously liked, and wanting foods they had not liked before chemotherapy treatment.
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