When someone has been diagnosed with cancer, their immune system becomes compromised from the various treatments they may undergo.
White blood cells that help fight infections are easily weakened or depleted, which cripples the body’s ability to protect itself. So, supporting the immune system during chemo is critical because patients may feel stronger and more energized, and a strengthened immune system can help them heal and recover faster.
Consuming foods that are rich in the immune system boosters below will be helpful throughout your cancer treatment.
Vitamin C is the first vitamin people think about. The vitamin has been used to reduce cold symptoms, promote skin health, and even help boost the immune system. The vitamin works by stimulating antibody production. Remember that antibodies are the “police” of the immune system. They find the bad guys and remove them from the body. You can supplement vitamin C safely, but you can also eat plenty of foods high in vitamin C which include citrus fruits, peppers, several berries, and tomatoes.
Vitamin E is best known as an antioxidant. These compounds prevent damage from the sun’s rays or other compounds called free radicals. There are several antioxidants including grape seed extract and green tea, but vitamin E is one of the first antioxidants described. When supplementing vitamin E, take only as directed per the instructions because it is possible to take too much. While supplementing vitamin E is an excellent choice, you should also eat foods high in this vitamin which include nuts and seeds, avocados, salmon, and peppers.
Proteins act as the body’s building blocks to maintain and repair tissues. Protein sources are seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, lean meat, and beans. This nutrient is a fuel that can provide as much energy as carbohydrates.
Vitamin A is vital for the immune system and helps the heart, lungs, kidney, and other organs function well. Green- and orange-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, and apricots, are vitamin A-rich foods.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that assists the body in fighting off invading bacteria or viruses. Our bodies naturally cannot produce or store zinc which is why we must eat zinc-rich foods. Zinc can be found in lean meats, poultry, seafood, seeds, and nuts or supplements.
The immune system is weakened by chemo, so having good nutrition can heal wounds and keep infections at bay.
You can find more natural tips to deal with chemotherapy here.