You already know that your lifestyle plays a role in helping you beat cancer. After all, research shows that getting good sleep fuels your fight, for example. But how you live after your cancer treatments are over is also important. For instance, it’s good to continue getting good sleep and to quit smoking.

Diet is especially important, as it can improve your health while preventing cancer from returning or new cancers from forming. A healthy diet also goes hand and hand with a healthy weight, which is important as being overweight has been linked to cancer.

Unfortunately, it is very common to battle with weight gain after cancer treatments. This makes sense: after months of nausea and fatigue, you may find yourself too weak to exercise, and in the habit of eating anything you can get down or indulging in food as a celebration of the next chapter of your life.  This can be worsened by the fact that as we get older, our metabolism slows down.

Although it may seem difficult to make dietary changes when you’re a senior, it’s still possible. Eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be expensive or restrictive. In fact, with the right strategies, healthy eating can become an easy and enjoyable part of your life!

Make Fruits and Veggies the Largest Part of Your Diet

Although many cancers have a higher survival rate than they used to, it’s still better to eat a healthy diet after surviving cancer. Make sure you eat lots of fruits and vegetables daily to give your body vitamins and antioxidants – these fight free radicals in the body that can lead to disease such as cancer, and provide the nutrients you need to get your energy up and get on with your life!

It’s good to choose a variety of different fruits and vegetables with different colors. The richer the color, the higher the antioxidant level, so choose dark green vegetables like kale and spinach, red fruits like cherries and strawberries, orange vegetables such as butternut and squash, and so on. Aim to have a colorful plate at every meal. Fruits and vegetables are also good options when you want to beat nausea because they’re refreshing and can be enjoyed cold.

Cut Out Processed Foods

Processed foods are often packed with sugar, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats, which can result in weight gain and other negative effects on your health. Avoid boxed snacks in favor of nutritious ones such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives.

Ditch the Salt

Avoiding high salt content is another good tip to prevent illness with food – and it’s not just cancer that you can avoid. Examples of health conditions that become more common when you’re a senior and eat too much salt include high blood pressure which is linked to heart disease and stroke. By cutting out foods that are high in salt, you can maintain your weight and improve your health.

Eat More Energy

Cancer treatments can really take it out of your body, causing fatigue, while the journey of going through cancer can also take its toll on your emotional well-being, causing you to feel emotionally drained. As you get older, it also becomes common to experience less energy and more depression. That’s why it’s so important for you to eat foods that will boost your energy, so you can get on with living.

In addition to fruits and vegetables that increase your energy levels, try adding whole-grains to your diet. These are complex carbohydrates that are slowly released into your body, helping to maintain your energy for longer. Another energy-boosting food is low-fat dairy, such as yogurt. Dairy is also beneficial because it gives you calcium that’s important for strong bones as you age. Finally, add protein to every meal. This will give you an energy boost while helping you maintain your weight – or increase it if you’re currently underweight. Healthy protein sources such as eggs, beans, and tofu are good non-meat sources of protein, bearing in mind that a diet high in processed and red meat can increase your cancer risk.

Stay on Track

The most important part of any lifestyle change is making it work and last. Talk to your Pack Health advisor about what healthy foods you enjoy, how much time you have to cook, and any other personal factors that affect your diet. With help from Pack Health’s on-staff nutritionist, they’ll help you find ways to make these healthy eating strategies easier and more enjoyable for you.

 

About the Author: Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and editor with over 10 years’ experience in many fields. Her previous background working as a life coach has fueled her interest in writing about issues relating to health, fitness, and nutrition. Jane’s passion is for helping people live happier and healthier lives. 

 

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