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Nutrition for liver cancer patients

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PT health Life – Nutrition plays an important role in supporting health and treating liver cancer. Good nutrition helps liver cancer patients manage side effects of treatment and speed up recovery after treatment.

1. The importance of nutrition for liver cancer patients

Liver cancer and related treatments change the way a person’s body functions. Managing these changes is important for nutritional health, recovery, and helping patients feel better.

Liver cancer can affect:

  • Nutritional needs and what the patient needs to eat.
  • The patient’s appetite and ability to digest food.
  • Ability to maintain weight and muscle mass.
  • The patient’s energy level and general health.
Correct nutrition will help reduce the burden on the liver and create conditions for liver tissue regeneration.

Liver cancer itself and its treatment place more demands on the patient’s body. It is very important for patients to maintain good nutrition before, during and after cancer treatment. A nutritious diet helps people with liver cancer:

1.1. Improve overall health

  • Provides the body with energy to fight side effects of treatment and recover after surgery.
  • Helps maintain a reasonable body weight, avoiding weight loss due to cancer.
  • Strengthens the body’s immune system and ability to fight infections.
  • Reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality.

1.2. Effectively supports liver cancer treatment

  • Helps the body absorb drugs better and reduce side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Supports liver function, helping the liver detoxify better.
  • Reduce the risk of complications during treatment.
  • Heals wounds and regenerates damaged tissue after surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or other treatment.

1.3. Improve quality of life for patients

  • Helps patients feel healthier and more energetic.
  • Improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Increase your ability to participate in daily activities.

MSc.BS. Le Thi Hai – former Director of the Nutrition Examination and Consulting Center, National Institute of Nutrition said: One of the best ways to slow down the progression of liver cancer is to help protect the liver against damage from liver cancer. Treatment medications and radiotherapy help patients improve their physical strength, recover quickly and maintain a healthy and reasonable diet . Correct nutrition will help reduce the burden on the liver and also create conditions for liver tissue regeneration, preventing further liver cell destruction.

2. Necessary nutrients for people with liver cancer

Liver cancer patients have specific nutritional needs to support their overall health and well-being during treatment. Here are some nutrients to prioritize in your diet to help boost liver function:

2.1. The protein

Protein is important for building and repairing tissues, which is especially important during cancer treatment when the body is stressed. Protein plays an important role in providing your body with the building blocks it needs to rebuild and heal itself. When the body is recovering from surgery, patients need protein to help the body repair itself.

Protein-rich food sources: Lean protein sources such as skinless chicken, fish, beans, lentils, tofu and low-fat dairy products are all great choices.

2.2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for various body functions.

Food sources of carbohydrates: Choose complex carbohydrates from whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats and whole grain bread. They provide sustained energy as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

2.3. Healthy fats

Healthy fats are essential for cell health, hormone production and feelings of fullness. When liver cancer patients have jaundice, the flow of bile into the digestive system is blocked. Bile helps the body digest fat, so it’s best for patients not to eat too much fatty foods. However, some healthy fat is still needed as it is a source of several essential vitamins.

Sources of healthy fats: Include healthy fats from sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Liver cancer patients need to maintain good nutrition before, during and after cancer treatment.

2.4. Vitamins and minerals

Many vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health and immune function. Aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (at least 5 servings per day) to get a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A: Supports immune function and cell growth. Found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, and some dairy products.

Vitamin C: Another important factor in immune function and helps with iron absorption. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D: Important for bone health and immune function. Can be obtained from exposure to sunlight and certain foods such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products.

Vitamin B: Plays a role in energy metabolism and cell health. Found in whole grains, legumes, and some animal products.

Iron: Carry oxygen throughout the body. Found in lean protein sources and green leafy vegetables.

In general, people with liver cancer should try to choose foods that provide enough calories to maintain weight, protein to help rebuild tissues that cancer treatment may harm, nutrients such as vitamins, Minerals and fluids are necessary for the body’s functioning. Additionally, exercise can help with appetite and digestion problems associated with treatment.

Patients should consult their doctor or nutritionist before taking vitamin or mineral supplements or making other changes in their diet. Your doctor may recommend supplements to address deficiencies, but a balanced diet should be the primary source of nutrition.

3. Notes on nutrition for liver cancer patients

3.1. General dietary recommendations for people with liver cancer

Patients can divide their meals into small portions each day, instead of 3 large meals. Each meal is 2-3 hours apart with foods that are easy to digest and healthy. Eating small meals more often throughout the day helps the liver and digestive tract work smoothly, without having to work too hard.

In addition, patients should follow the following recommendations:

  • Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods: Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. These will provide your body with the vitamins, minerals and fiber it needs to support overall health.
  • Prioritize adequate calories and protein: Cancer treatment may increase your calorie and protein needs. Aim to get enough protein at every meal and snack to help your body repair tissues.
  • Most patients often feel very tired when they have cancer, or during liver cancer treatment . The patient does not feel like eating or may have difficulty eating, thus making it difficult to maintain weight. You should eat many small meals every day instead of eating few large meals. Eating smaller meals more frequently can help control nausea and loss of appetite, common side effects of cancer treatment.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support body functions. Water helps purify the digestive system, helping the body recover faster
  • Food safety is essential: Practice safe food handling to avoid foodborne illnesses, which can be more serious for people with weakened immune systems.

3.2. Foods that people with liver cancer should eat

Fruits and vegetables: Aim for at least 5 servings per day. Choose a variety of colors to get a variety of nutrients.

Some fruits are good for liver cancer: Strawberries, oranges, red bell peppers… Some vegetables to eat: Squash, carrots and cabbage, broccoli…

Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole-grain bread are all good choices. Whole grains provide fiber, complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, and essential vitamins and minerals.

cereals are important carbohydrates that provide the body, helping to produce glucose – an energy source for cells. Some grains to eat: Brown rice, oats, corn, sesame… fat-rich nuts such as cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds… are sources of important unsaturated fatty acids.

Lean sources of protein: Skinless chicken, fish, beans, lentils, tofu and low-fat dairy products are all excellent sources of protein.

3.3. Foods that people with liver cancer need to limit

Red and processed meat: Limit consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meat (sausages, deli meats) because they are associated with an increased risk of certain diseases. cancer.

Sugary drinks and processed sweets: These provide minimal nutrients and may contribute to weight gain. Limit “empty calories” from sweets, cookies and cakes. Replace with healthier sweet snacks like yogurt, bananas, whole grain toast, cereal with whole milk.

All processed foods should be avoided.

High-fat foods: Avoid fried foods, fatty meats, and processed foods high in unhealthy fats. Patients should try to stay away from foods containing fat as much as possible. Consuming too much fatty foods can cause the liver to tire while digesting food.

Alcohol: Limit alcohol intake or avoid it completely as it can harm the liver.

Salt: According to the American Liver Foundation, when the liver has problems, poor blood filtering function often causes extra fluid accumulation around the organs called ascites (ascites). Eating too much salt can contribute to this problem. Therefore, people with liver cancer should limit their daily salt intake.

There is currently no specific diet recommended for liver cancer patients. Patients need to focus on a rich, balanced, nutritious menu that is very helpful to maintain weight and health while treating liver cancer. You should consult your doctor about any nutritional changes.

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