Lymphoma, a type of cancer, occurs when your cells form tumors in your spleen and lymph nodes. Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma cancer, while others are classified as non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Lymphoma treatment typically consists of chemotherapy and radiation. Adjusting your diet to include lymphoma-fighting foods can lead to a better chance for cure or remission.
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Whole grains are effective at fighting lymphoma. They contain bountiful amounts of minerals, vitamins and other antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. For example, whole grains contain selenium, an essential vitamin that promotes immune system and overall body functions by aiding in blood cell production, notes Dr. Jerry Brunettil in "Cancer, Nutrition and Healing." Incorporate whole grains such as spelt, bulgur, millet, steel-cut oatmeal, buckwheat, wild rice, brown rice and barley into your diet regimen.
Vegetables and Fruits
Like whole grains, vegetables and fruits contain loads of antioxidants. The National Cancer Institute reports that antioxidants can protect your immune system from free-radical damage caused by diseases such as lymphoma. For example, most fruits and vegetables contain the antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C. They also contain fiber, which can satisfy your appetite and excrete unwanted waste from your body. For optimal results, consume oranges, apples, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, grapefruit, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, broccoli, kale, carrots and leafy green vegetables.
Healthy fats, such as those found in fish and nuts, are beneficial for lymphoma patients to consume. Monounsaturated fats provide nutrients to develop and maintain cells in your body. Polyunsaturated fats are important for growth, development and brain function. They also contain omega-3 nutrients, which can regulate your cardiovascular system. Include healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil and canola, into your regular diet. Examples of foods with healthy fats include sardines, walnuts, almonds, herring, halibut, macadamia nuts, mackerel, tuna, lake trout, flaxseed and salmon. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends you avoid unhealthy fats from sources such as commercially baked cakes, cookies, crackers, doughnuts, French fries and other processed foods.
Consuming adequate amounts of water is important for lymphoma patients. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports you should drink at least six glasses of water daily. Water flushes your body of toxins and acts as a solvent, combining, transporting and chemically breaking down protein, salts, carbohydrates, fats and other substances. This fights lymphoma because it normalizes the blood-manufacturing process. For best results, ensure your water is filtered and free of contaminants.
- MedlinePlus: Lymphoma
- National Cancer Institute: What You Should Know About Cancer Treatment, Eating Well and Eating Problems
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Lymphoma
- Lymphoma Research Foundation: Understanding Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- "Cancer, Nutrition and Healing"; Dr. Jerry Brunettil; 2005