Why did Shafi Mittal try intermittent fasting after beating breast cancer?  What is her diet plan to help her through chemotherapy?

Why did Shafi Mittal try intermittent fasting after beating breast cancer? What is her diet plan to help her through chemotherapy?

When breast cancer survivor, model and actress Xavi Mittal shared her recovery journey with the world, she figured it out by documenting her pain and scars along with practical suggestions she worked with in her fight to get back to what she was, her life in the studio, her gym and in home for her children. Now that she’s cancer-free, she’s hoping to keep it that way with her diet, something that’s completely changing for the survivor and crucial to his/her well-being.

“I am now trying to stay away from non-vegetarian foods, eat more vegetables, stay away from acidic foods, eat fresh food, not eat out, and repeat my meals. I have given up processed food and sugar for good. I also practice a form of intermittent fasting, which has shown some Research shows that it works with breast cancer survivors.But let me tell you that each survivor will have different ways of coping with their condition and need a diet plan tailored to their requirements in consultation with their oncologist and clinical dietitian.The balanced diet program is not about denying indulgence.In fact, with A little thought, all of these foods can be delicious and refreshing.”

Diet during chemotherapy

Getting the proper nutrients is vital during chemotherapy. Your food acts as medicine during this time, curing you from the side effects of the procedure and also building your strength to fight off any unwanted infections, which can complicate matters. During this phase, I was advised to include healthy fats and foods rich in protein and fiber in my diet. Definitely stay away from raw foods and salads, which can contain microbes and cause an infection in your immune system,” says Mittal. She doesn’t eat raw yet and fry vegetables, vegetables and fruits a little. Other than that, she’s particular about meeting her sugar requirements from natural sources ( Lightly fried banana toast, and fruit cut up and fried and layered on fried bread makes a great snack.) She learned to cook as much as she could finish in one sitting, and store food at the right temperature.

“I sometimes get nausea, vomiting, and mouth pain during chemotherapy cycles. I had and still had a lot of kokum because it’s non-acidic. I eat a lot of nuts, dates, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds, the last of which is usually roasted, ground, and mixed in water,” says Mittal. She also recommends taking protein from natural sources.” “I go for foods rich in protein like Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, fish, chicken, paneer, and broccoli, which help keep me strong and energetic. I have Sato (toasted gram flour) pancakes, which are very rich in protein. In fact, stir in a little sattu in water for a great protein shake,” Mittal adds. Eating small portions slowly and every few hours seems to work best on the day of the treatment.

Diet after chemotherapy

Mittal these days is busy finding quick fixes, relying on legumes, whole grains, and white and black chana. “Just boil it, steam it, or sprinkle it on, and you can give your body a great start without much effort. These foods help you raise your immunity,” she says. There are other thoughtful practices to follow, such as eating out at a healthy restaurant, avoiding street food altogether, carrying house food and boiling water instead of buying filtered water, and most importantly choosing dishes devoid of lettuce or greens. “I don’t have a burger for this. Lettuce can be cut in the morning and bacteria multiply there throughout the day. But I rarely eat a thin-crust whole-wheat pizza knowing it comes fresh from the oven.” She uses a lot of plant-based proteins, and adds them to her smoothies after a workout.

But the biggest change was in her consumption of sugar and limiting her intake of dairy products, especially milk. It is best to avoid sugar after fighting cancer. I have khand and jaggery as well as complex carbohydrates which take longer to break down and thus give satiety. I avoid animal milk because cows are given injections of the hormone lactate and it is transferred into the milk, making it carcinogenic. Besides, it takes eight hours to digest a glass of milk. “And we eat so much food with it that we don’t even realize we’ve overloaded our digestive system,” says Mittal.

Why did you adapt to intermittent fasting?

Mittal modified the intermittent fasting model according to her requirements after medical advice. In fact, there are studies that suggest that a certain type of intermittent fasting is safe and feasible for people diagnosed with cancer and may enhance the effectiveness of some cancer treatments. In a study published online November 17, 2021, by the journal Cancer Discovery, researchers looked at an intermittent fasting schedule called a fasting-mimicking diet. The diet involved eating very few calories for five days, followed by about three weeks of regular eating. The researchers also analyzed how diet affected certain blood markers.

Researchers at several universities in San Diego suggest that fasting for 13 hours a day may reduce the chances of breast cancer recurrence and death. Separately, scientists at two other California universities concluded that reducing calorie intake and fasting may help reduce cancer risks and improve the effectiveness of treatment in attacking cancer cells. A 2016 University of Southern California study suggests that fasting may make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy, protect normal cells and boost stem cell production. Another study hypothesized that fasting may help rejuvenate the immune system. The researchers also suggested that fasting for two days along with chemotherapy was better at slowing the progression of cancer than chemotherapy alone.

“The logic is fairly simple. Fasting may lower blood glucose levels, making it more difficult for cancers to grow. Cancer cells feed on glucose, consuming it at a much higher level than normal cells.

With the science clear in her mind, she spaced out her food by only eight hours. “I respect my limits because I can’t send my body into shock mode. I follow a very simple mantra. I don’t eat if I’m not hungry. I always take small portions, never overload my plate and risk indigestion. I always carry some nuts and bananas in my bag to sustain me for a little while.” of time in a hungry rage in a traffic jam,” Mittal says. These simple hacks, after all, work for everyone with their burden of disease.


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