Now that I've finished treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is there a special diet I should follow to stay healthy?
It's not known if a certain diet or certain nutrients can keep cancer from recurring. But what you eat after treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can help you recover — regain strength, rebuild tissue and feel better. In general, it's a good idea to vary your diet to include lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, and limit red meats and processed foods.
The American Cancer Society has these recommendations for cancer survivors:
- Eat at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish and walnuts.
- Select proteins that are low in saturated fat, such as fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Opt for healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.
This combination of foods ensures you'll get plenty of the vitamins and nutrients you need to help make your body strong.
Eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy body weight also help reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. This is important, because some non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatments increase the risk of these diseases.
You might be tempted to supplement your diet with a host of vitamin and mineral supplements, but resist that urge. Large amounts of certain nutrients can actually harm rather than help you. If you have questions about what foods to eat and whether you're getting the right balance of nutrients, talk to your doctor.
June 26, 2018
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- Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/facing-forward/AllPages. Accessed May 29, 2018.
- Rock CL, et al. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2012;62:242.
- Kushi LH, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: Reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2012;62:30.
- Spector DJ, et al. Are lifestyle behavioral factors associated with health-related quality of life in long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma? Cancer. 2015;121:3343. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/cncr.29490. Accessed May 29, 2018.
- Nutrition after treatment ends. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment/after-treatment-ends.html. Accessed June 2, 2018.
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