Proper nutrition is beneficial to anyone’s health, but people with mesothelioma especially need to consume the right nutrients to help the recovery process after treatment. Among other benefits, protein has been linked to keeping cells healthy, which is crucial for mesothelioma patients.
Benefits of Protein
Including the right amount of protein in your diet is one of the most important things you can do for the health of cells. According to Dr. Axe, a board certified doctor of natural medicine (DNM) and certified nutrition specialist (CNS), protein not only repairs and protect cells, but it also helps build muscle mass, improves learning and brain functioning, slows aging, builds stronger bones, and helps decrease the aging process.
Eating protein-rich foods provides a way for people with mesothelioma to get an added boost to their health, and after treatment options, whether it be surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, mesothelioma patients need extra protein to help with the recovery process. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America states that all cancer patients should eat protein-enriched food to help with cell regeneration, regardless of the type of cancer.
Complete vs. Incomplete Protein
There are two types of proteins, complete and incomplete, and your body needs both types. Complete proteins provide your system with the needed amino acids your body needs. Examples include:
Incomplete proteins complement complete proteins, but lack all of the essential amino acids. However, combining incomplete proteins with complete proteins is the most beneficial way to get all of the benefits. Incomplete proteins consist of:
Mesothelioma Treatments Affect Nutrition
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), healthy cells can damaged during traditional cancer treatments. Patients may also experience nausea, vomiting, and other factors that prevent them from getting adequate protein. On top of that, cancer treatment generally requires your body to have additional calories and protein, which helps you heal faster.
The following tips can help you get the protein you need while going through treatment side effects:
- Snack on protein-filled snacks throughout the day, as opposed to trying to eat a huge meal.
- Make sure to get protein-filled snacks that are easy to make, easily accessible, and always stocked up. Examples include yogurt, cheese and crackers, a blended milk smoothie, peanut butter, boiled eggs, and raw vegetables.
- Avoid foods and drinks that may increase the pain of side effects, such as soda, acidic foods, cookies, chips, and fried meats.
- Add a variety of hard cheeses to soups, toast, and crackers, which can help you battle nausea while getting protein.
- Snack every few hours or so; don’t wait until you’re hungry before you eat.
- Add non-fried cooked meats to casseroles, salads, and soups.
Foods with the Highest Protein
The following are foods containing the highest amount of protein. Don’t forget to complement with these foods with incomplete proteins to make your health as optimal as possible.
- Fish: Halibut, tuna, and salmon pack strong amounts of protein with 22 grams per each 3 oz. fillet.
- Lean chicken, in particular chicken breasts, have 16 grams of protein per 3 oz. servings.
- Cheese: Non-fat mozzarella has the highest amount of protein of all cheeses, with 9 grams of protein per slice. Other types of cheese with high protein include cheddar, cottage, Parmesan, and Swiss.
- Pork Chops: Pork loins have a whopping 41 grams of protein per 5 oz. serving.
- Lean Beef: Veal leads as the lean beef with highest amount of protein, at 31 grams per 3 oz. serving. Other sources of high protein include T-bone steaks and beef jerky.
High-Protein Foods for Vegetarians
There are still plenty of options for mesothelioma patients who don’t eat meat to still get much-needed protein. In addition to all sorts of nuts and seeds, such as sesame seeds, flax seeds, peanuts and more, the following items can help you with your protein intake:
- Cooked Quinoa
- Black beans
- Soy milk
- Green peas
- Cooked Tempeh
- Black eyed peas
Additional Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool today to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.