Each patient’s unique metabolism will determine their nutritional needs
Grace says – “Personalised nutrition means no more Guesswork.”
It is only partly true that you are what you eat. More importantly’ you are what you can digest and absorb. Individual metabolism is fundamental to every cancer patient seeking to explore how diet and nutrition can influence their cancer outcomes.
If you have a cancer diagnosis and want to investigate how a change in diet and nutrition can help you there are a few fundamental issues to address first.
If you struggled at school with biology, chemistry and science in general, I suggest you study the Infographic below to get an insight on about how food travels through your digestive system.
Your unique metabolism needs to be considered in a personalised nutrition approach
What is personalised nutrition?
Sometimes dietary advice from Dr Google, naturopath’s or even integrative doctors is a one size fits all approach.
Conversely a personalised nutrition approach utilises the best of modern science to determine how your unique genetic make-up metabolises the foods you eat.
Personalised nutrition is nutrition applied with precision and intimate knowledge of the patient; their cancer type, its location, and whether or not they have a primary or metastatic tumour.
Personalised nutrition focuses on your genes which are a blueprint of who you are as an individual. The blueprint, when interpreted, can provide a depth of information not available to the average practitioner.
Be aware that sometimes a one size fits all nutritional approach may appear to be personalised but is not. Choice Magazine Cautions; avoid paying for any tests that are medically unproven or disproven.
Grace Gawler says “I agree with much of what is reported in choice Magazine. I see many patients who have paid large amounts of money for tests that will not assist them in their cancer recovery. “
We prefer science based nutritional testing for our patients. This includes genomic diagnostics and validated gene testing which can help you take a more personalised approach to your nutritional choices.
Reports from these tests are very user-friendly for patients who want to improve their nutritional status. If patients need assistance interpreting the tests they can make an appointment for a video consultation with Grace.
Personalised gene testing for nutrition means no more guesswork
Nutritional Gene testing – one example:
Nutritional Gene testing can benefit the patient by analysing their genes for bone density. Genes are one area that can determine bone strength and density and so far, many genes that influence this process have been discovered.
The test can look for unfavourable gene variants that indicate you may have a genetic tendency for low bone density; an important factor for anyone dealing with cancer. If gene variants are discovered in combination with poor metabolism of vitamin D, which is also influenced by genes, it can help you discover a targeted way of adjusting your diet and nutrition.
Let's start with some healthy - safe - therapeutic additions to your diet
Gourmet medicinal mushrooms:
Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. There are some foods that have a nutritional and therapeutic effect which are safe for cancer patients to include in their diet, for example – Asian gourmet mushrooms.
Of course individual food intolerance or allergies must be taken into account. Research indicates that oyster mushrooms can be beneficial as a regular addition to a cancer patients’ diet. They can be purchased at most supermarkets or you can grow your own – see video below. They add flavour and texture as well as significant nutritional benefits.
Oyster Mushrooms. Highly recommended in your diet!
Edible mushrooms are a valuable source of biologically active compounds. Studies indicate that the edible oyster mushroom has potential therapeutic/preventive effects on breast and colon cancer.
The humble oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is one of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms and several properties have been associated with its health benefits and as a value add food for cancer patients.
These include foods such as kafir, sauerkraut, yoghurt, miso etc. These foods can change the way your gut bacteria functions. You need to be careful when suddenly adding large amounts of fermented foods to your diet because they can cause bloating, gas and discomfort.
GGI has scoured the world for fermented functional food supplements that could help cancer patients. We call them the fabulous five ferments. These efficacious nutraceuticals are safe to take while undergoing chemotherapy. Food fermentation has long been known to enhance nutritional availability. See food ferment page on the menu bar and visit Beyond Probiotics
Take away tips to enhance your well-being:
*Eat right for your genes – the best possible contribution you can make (refer to gene testing for nutrition on the menu).
*Chew food well – eat mindfully, eat in a non-stressful environment.
*Have a variety of food in your diet – eat widely and wisely.
*Eat organically grown fruit and veg where possible.
*Drink adequate amounts of pure water daily – minimise commercial beverages.
*Read labels on food products – beware of vegan and vegetarian foods that are laced with unhealthy additives.
*Reduce empty carbs – pastries, white bread.
*Avoid complicated powder supplements that may contain up to 50 or 60 ingredients. You could never eat these kinds of combinations naturally.
*Adequate fibre is important for bowel motility, however, too much fibre can have the opposite effect.