foods to avoid

According to TCM principles, there are certain types of foods to avoid during breast cancer treatment:
  • Charred and deep-fried foods.
    Both cause a condition known as "internal heat" in the Stomach, which can cause a functional disorder, i.e., it will cause the Stomach to perform its jobs, especially digestion, poorly. (Avoid these foods during chemotherapy and radiation, since the treatments themselves already create excess heat in the body.)

  • Raw vegetables.
    Eating too many raw vegetables weakens the Stomach and Spleen, two vital organs that must work in harmony for breast-cancer prevention. Although some nutrition is lost cooking vegetables, raw vegetables take lots more energy to digest than cooked vegetables. If you eat raw vegetables and drink raw vegetable juice and you experience excess gas, Stomach gurgling or bloating, these are signs in Chinese medicine that tell you these foods are adversely affecting your Stomach function. Chinese medicine says, "Listen to your body, not your mind."

  • Cold or iced foods and beverages.
    To reduce the condition of "internal cold" as much as possible, avoid foods with a cold essence or cold temperature.Your Stomach functions best when the foods you eat are warm, or room temperature (including water). Consuming cold foods and beverages frequently can unbalance your Stomach function.

eating in harmony

Many health-conscious women are very good about watching what they eat, but completely ignore how they eat. According to traditional Chinese medicine, eating in an unhealthy manner can disrupt the normal functioning of your Stomach. Since half of all breast cancers are caused in part by a Stomach function disorder, it is essential to keep this organ happy and healthy.

These guidelines can help you eat in harmony with your body's natural cycles:

  • Eat larger meals earlier during the day to give your body nutrition when its Qi, or vital energy, is naturally rising.

  • Don't eat late at night. Allow your digestive organs to rest while you sleep, conserving more energy for healing.

  • Eat until you feel not hungry, not until you feel full. Don't overeat. This forces your digestive system to use up extra Qi that you need for healing.

  • Don't work or multitask while eating. We all do it, but it's not a healthy eating habit. Again, working while eating diverts Qi, or precious vital energy, from your digestive system and hampers your body's ability to extract nutrition from healing foods. Over time, this can unbalance your Stomach function.

  • Take twenty minutes out of your day to eat a meal in an unhurried way. This can have a profound impact on your health.

  • Eat "softly." Try to maintain a quiet and relaxed manner while eating to make your digestive process smoother.

  • Chew food thoroughly. This also makes digestion easier.

  • If you're undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, eat small meals more frequently.