best foods to fight lung cancer
Healthy food choices can help improve lung cancer treatment outcomes. Learn about foods to include in your lung cancer diet

Nutrition is essential to good health and can help your body fight diseases, whether it’s an infection, autoimmune disease, or even cancer. While your individual dietary needs may vary depending on your specific condition, healthy food choices can help keep you nourished and improve lung cancer treatment outcomes.

Consult your doctor or dietician about which foods or supplements may work best for you. However, keep in mind that no foods or supplements can cure or treat your cancer

Foods that may help fight lung cancer (along with adequate treatment) include:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds (avoid if you have allergies)
  • Fatty fish (such as trout, salmon, cod)
  • Oats
  • Lean meat (such as poultry without skin)
  • Beans
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Soy (after consulting your doctor)
  • Healthy oils (such as olive oil)
  • Plenty of water

Smart eating habits may help manage your symptoms and counteract the effects of cancer treatment. If you have nausea or feel full easily, try eating smaller and more frequent meals.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer refers to uncontrolled growth of mutated cells that cluster together to form a mass or tumor in the lungs that can spread to other sites in the body (metastasis). Our lungs are quite vulnerable to cancer development because they are exposed to all types of pollutants and harmful substances in the air we breathe. 

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and causes more deaths than any other cancer, regardless of gender.

Can supplements help fight lung cancer?

You should try to fulfill your nutritional requirements through diet instead of supplements. 

Avoid taking any supplements unless prescribed by your doctor, since they can sometimes interact with other medications or cause unwanted side effects. Especially when taken in high doses, supplements can even interfere with lung cancer treatments, including radiation and certain chemotherapies.

Can certain foods cause lung cancer?

Although some studies have shown that the risk of developing lung cancer may increase with consuming certain foods, such as processed meat, red meat, and alcohol, there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to support these claims.

However, since maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood sugar levels under control may help in the prevention of lung cancer, it’s important to avoid eating too many processed or sugary foods.

During lung cancer treatment, you should avoid fatty or spicy foods, since these may worsen the side effects of certain therapies such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/6/2021
References
American Lung Association. Nutrition and Lung Cancer Treatment. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/patients/treatment/stay-healthy/treatment