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Juicing: Is It Okay to have Only Juice During Cancer Treatment?

Patient: I've heard that juicing is an important part of a cancer-fighting diet. Should I be juicing?

Juicing (the process of separating the juice from the pulp of fruits, vegetables and plant foods) is a great way to add more servings of vegetables and fruits to an already-healthy diet.

However Juicing should not be used to meet basic nutrition needs as it significantly reduces the amount of fiber you get from a vegetable or fruit. For cancer patient who cannot chew well and have difficulty in swallowing, or having severe weight loss due to active cancer treatment then it is recommended to drink juice to meet fiber intake however DO NOT filter out the juice pulp because it contain fiber.

Juicing can be a great way to add a variety of fruit and vegetables and naturally occurring phytochemicals to the diet. Phytochemical is a term that refers to a variety of plant-derived compounds with therapeutic activities such as anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, antiinflammatory, and antioxidant properties (McGuire, 2011).

However, relying only on juices for nutrition while undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment is not recommended.

Cancer survivors should strive to eat a diet containing enough protein and calories for maintaining body weight during cancer treatment. It is important to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before adding them to the juicer.

Here tips for you if you want to have juice during your treatment (but make sure to eat main meal first! to get balanced diet!)

1. Go for protein! Have your juice with a serving of protein, and a little bit of fat. Protein balances out the carbohydrates in the juice, and fat helps your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from the juice. For example, if you juice thing in the morning, enjoy it with plain yogurt with some nuts and seeds sprinkled on top. Or have your juice with scrambled or hard-boiled eggs.

2. Embrace variety! In the same way that you get different nutrients from different foods, you absorb different nutrients from the same food, when it is prepared differently. What you absorb from a cooked carrot is different from what you absorb from a raw carrot, which is different from the nutrients you absorb from carrot juice. Don't rely on juicing for all of your servings of any one particular food, or you will miss out on vital nutrition.