5 Benefits of The Cancer Survivor Smoothie Recipe!

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Cancer Survivors completing treatment have a lot of healing to do.  Cancer treatment causes nutritional deficiencies, in part due to poor appetite, which can lead to severe fatigue.  Understanding and planning a healthy diet takes a lot of concentration and energy, two things many cancer survivors don't have to spare.  Luckily, Brio Survivor Wellness has an easy solution!  Cancer survivors can adopt ONE THING to begin restoring their bodies through food - the Cancer Survivor Smoothie.

Before we get to the recipe, let's review 5 nutritional benefits of using the smoothie as a solid beginning to fighting fatigue and malnutrition after cancer treatment:

1. High Protein

Poor appetite, inactivity, and changes in gut function cause protein deficiency in cancer survivors.  I see protein deficiencies in cancer survivors finishing treatment almost 100% of the time in my practice.  If you are protein deficient, it's important to eat more protein than the average person to restore protein loss.  A high protein diet is not easy to eat when you have altered taste, sensitivity to odors, and upset stomachs.  The protein in The Cancer Survivor Smoothie is palatable and easier to stomach than eating yet another dry chicken breast.

2. High Fiber

Fiber has incredible health beneifts.  It regulates bowel function, supports the immune system, balances cholesterol and blood glucose, and helps prevent weight gain.  It has also been shown to decrease the incidence of certain cancers including breast and colorectal cancers.  Fiber in the Survivor Smoothie comes from banana, spinach, blueberries, chia seeds, and nut butter.

3. Contains Good Fats

Healthy, natural fats are good for your body.  Fad diet teachings have brainwashed our society to believe that all fat is bad.  While there are certainly some bad fats, and while a very high fat diet can actually increase your risk of cancer, eating the right amount of good fats is essential for good nutrition.  Good fats complete an optimal, omvnivorous diet and help the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants.  Cooking with good fat helps preserve nutrients in food.  Eating good fat helps you feel full, which helps you avoid cravings for junk and sugary foods.

4. Low in Refined Sugar

Many smoothies, especially those that contain fruit juice and refined sugar, are absolutely loaded with carbohydrates.  Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, but an excess of simple sugar can put us on a roller coaster of sugars highs and crashes and cause inflammation contributing to survivor fatigue.  The Survivor Smoothie contains a reasonable amount sugar from whole fruit.  Additionally, the Survivor Smoothie uses a choice of coconut or nut milk and avoids dairy milk.  Dairy milk is high in the sugar lactose.

There is A LOT of press out there about low or no sugar diets and their effect on cancer.  It is true that high carbohydrate diets are a set up for chronic inflammation and increased cancer risk.  It is also true that cancer cells require large amounts of sugar to support their growth.  The research is not complete on this topic, but there are some promising preliminary findings regarding the effectiveness of sugar deprivation diets on certain cancers.  That said, there are still no formal medical guidelines for use of low carb diets to treat cancer. 

The take home message is: Cancer survivors should not stress about eating sugar from whole fruit and vegetables.  Cancer Survivors should also avoid trying to follow an unrealistically strict diet at this point in their lives.  A more moderate approach, avoiding simple sugars (white bread, pasta, pastries, white sugar) to prevent the sugar roller coaster and resultant fatigue, is advised.  It is best for any healthy diet to eat complex carbohydrates and whole grains.

5. Full of Super Food: Fruit, Veggies, Turmeric, and Chia Seeds

The consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces cancer risk.  Colorful, fresh fruit and veggies contain polyphenols - antioxidant molecules that fight inflammation, balance blood sugar and hormones, and support the immune system - serious anti cancer effects!  Turmeric contains curcumin, a flavanoid that has been shown to protect normal cells in our bodies AND inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses with fiber, antioxidants, protein, good fats, and a high concentration of vitamins and minerals!

The Survivor Smoothie is full of fatigue-fighting ingredients.  It's not super sweet but embrace the taste - it's what your body needs to heal.  After drinking this smoothie regularly, you will start to crave the way it makes you feel and ultra-sweet food will be unappealing.

Enjoy making this smoothie for yourself.  You deserve it.  Try the smoothie daily for a week and see if you can feel the difference.  If the smoothie fills you with Brio, let me know at susan@briosurvivorwellness.com - hope to hear from you soon!

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XOXO,

Susan