McKinney: Embracing Healthy Eating for Cancer Patients

24 Jul

The McKinney community is all about health and wellness, being looked to as one of the healthiest cities in North Texas. In fact, from our mayor and city government, to our shops and Farmers Market, and even including our hospitals and wellness venues and events, McKinney embraces and encourages a healthy lifestyle for all its residents. And those residents and business owners help promote these same “best practices” to our visitors as well.

McKinney has become a hub for healthy eating, featuring a variety of outlets for “slow food.” Healthy eating, especially organic and locally-grown selections, undoubtedly help people to fight illness. And for those dealing with perhaps one of the scariest of health issues, cancer, McKinney also offers treatment facilities like McKinney’s Rena Tarbet Cancer Center and Cancer Center Associates, and a cancer treatment-certified spa, Spa Esoteric – facilities targeting the wellness of its patients and clients.

We now introduce our guest blogger, Jillian McKee, who approached us with a piece she wrote to help those dealing with cancer and their loved ones to use better nutrition in fighting this disease. After reading her submitted piece, we agreed that, in light of McKinney’s stance on healthy living, her piece offered useful information to our residents, visitors and blog readers.

Wellness Tips: Better Nutrition for Patients Fighting Cancer
By Guest Blogger: Jillian McKee

Cancer treatment has changed radically over the past decades. Former techniques have been refined, and new techniques have been developed. Those fighting breast cancer, mesothelioma cancer, prostate cancer and other cancers have seen a dramatic rise in their long-term survival rates. Some of these techniques, such as good nutrition, can be controlled by the patient and are not completely in the hands of doctors. Here are some tips to help patients fight cancer with good nutrition.

Fruits and vegetables have come to be regarded as a key element of a nutritious diet. Fruits are a healthy, delicious food filled with anti-oxidants and other healthy nutrients. Vegetables, with ample fiber, can help regulate the digestive system. Both fruits and vegetables are good for the cardiovascular system, and each can be cooked or prepared in a variety of ways. Once diagnosed with cancer, a patient should try to eat even more fruits and vegetables than typical daily requirements recommend; vegetables contain valuable nutrients that the body uses to fight against cancer, and the sugar content of fruits gives patients a boost of energy that can help them remain active before, during and after treatment.

Protein is important to give the body the building blocks it needs to fight cancer and repair itself from the damaging effects of cancer treatments, such as those that treat mesothelioma. Proteins from meat products, however, are not as healthy as plant-based protein sources. Additionally, meat contains a variety of components that can encourage cancer growth. The best sources of protein for cancer patients are beans and legumes. These foods are filling, healthy and delicious. They also contain high levels of fiber and iron, which help the body remain healthy. Furthermore, beans go well with both grains and vegetables.

Carbohydrates are necessary to give the body the energy it needs to effectively create cancer-fighting tools and maintain itself. However, not all carbohydrates are the same. Complex carbohydrates are advantageous because they take a longer time to break down, which means that their energy-boosting properties last longer than simple carbohydrates. Rice is generally regarded as the best source of complex carbohydrates, and it goes well with both beans and vegetables; it is also an easy food to digest, which can help when treatments cause nausea. Brown rice even contains moderate levels of fiber and iron. By combining a grain, such as rice, and a protein source, such as beans, patients can easily make a great base for their nutritional intake.

Cancer patients should view their diet and nutrition as one of the primary cancer-fighting tools that they can control. Doctors are ultimately in charge of many of the aspects of treatment, but patients still retain some control over the outcome of their fight. New meals and knowledge gained can be a benefit to patients long after their treatment has ended and their cancer has been defeated, and proper nutrition has been shown to help prevent the recurrence of cancer. Further, cooking and balancing nutritional elements can be fun, and patients can become a valuable source of nutrition information for their family and friends. Thank you, Jillian, for bringing us this information!

About our Guest Blogger, Jillian McKee:

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Stay Connected with Jillian McKee

Read more:

About the MCVB: If you learn of something else going on in McKinney this month, please let us know. As always, you can learn more about McKinney’s events by visiting and by downloading our free Visit McKinney Texas Smartphone app. (For links to the Apple Store and Android Market, click here.)

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