8 Vitamins and Minerals That Help Those with Cancer

People fighting cancer often have a hard time getting the nutrients they need to allow their body to cope with sickness. Cancer and cancer treatments wreak havoc on the body, with patients often losing their appetites, and thus limiting their nutrient intake. This malnutrition can exacerbate their symptoms and the side effects of their treatment, causing fatigue, nausea, despondency, and depression. If your loved one is struggling to get all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay strong, consider adding these foods and nutrients to their diet.

8. Vitamin D

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Photo: Flickr/Matthew Hurst
Cancer and its treatment can do a number on your bones, leaching away valuable nutrients. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium levels so that your bones are getting as much calcium as possible. Without vitamin D, you not only become more susceptible to getting weaker bones, but you also become more likely to get breast cancer. Vitamin D decreases your chances of cancer development, particularly breast cancer and prostate cancer. Supplements and sun exposure are good sources for boosting your vitamin D levels. Foods that are rich with vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks, and cheese. To stock up on this nutrient, parmesan-crusted salmon is a great meal option.

7. Selenium

Photo: Pixabay
Selenium is a nutritionally-essential mineral that works as an antioxidant. It has been used to help prevent various types of cancer as well as lower the side effects of chemotherapy, though selenium should be taken in moderation. Taking supplements of this mineral can often become toxic for some people, even increasing the risk of skin cancer and prostate cancer in some instances. The best thing to do is eat selenium-rich foods such as nuts and seeds, green vegetables, beans, and fish. Brazil nuts are the single biggest source of selenium, with one ounce of nuts containing well over the recommended daily value.

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