Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Vegan Diet for Cancer Patients – How a Plant-Centric Diet Has Helped me Heal

A piece from guest writer Virgil Anderson...

A Vegan Diet for Cancer Patients – How a Plant-Centric Diet Has Helped me Heal

A brief introduction… My name is Virgil, andI have been living for the last few years with one of the rarest but most difficult types of cancer, Mesothelioma. This cancer grows in the lining of the lungs and is the result of having worked unprotected around asbestos form much of my career. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer. On top of my treatments, I’ve adopted a some healthier wellness-based practices. The main one has been a move to a more plant-based diet.

Embracing a More Plant-Based Diet
When I looked into the health benefits of plant-based eating I realized I could start to feel better if I ate better. I’ve incorporated more vegetables into my diet and have been consuming more plant-based protein, specifically more nuts, seeds, and legumes. Having been a meat-eater my entire life, cutting a majority of meat products out of my diet hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth the effort. I find I have more energy and the side effects of treatment have become more easily managed.

How a Vegan Diet Can Help Cancer Patients
I like to share my experiences in the hopes that I can help others, and that means reaching out to talk about different things I have learned and tried. Eating a more plant-based diet is working for me, but I also did my research to find out why and to be sure this wasn’t just something I was imagining. Here are some of the important things I learned:

·       Animal fat affects cancer survival. I did my research and found out that more fat in the diet, especially animal fats, can negatively impact survival rates for all types of cancer. I actually have a chance to live longer by eating less fat and more vegetables.
·       Boosting the immune system. I have learned a good deal about the immune system while researching cancer. The immune system is important in the body’s fight against cancer cells and tumor growth, and it turns out that a diet without animal products helps the immune system function better, specifically against cancer cells.

·       Better for overall health. Studies have shown that diets rich in  vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods are better for health when contrasted with diets heavy in meat, dairy, and processed foods. By consuming more plant-based foods I have noticed improvements in my health, from less fatigue to better recovery after treatments.

During my research, I was fortunate to come across Vegans Have Superpowers and have the opportunity to speak with Jacqueline. She has been a ray of inspiration to me, and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with her in spreading cancer awareness!

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