Mesothelioma Diet - Tips for Patients

Mesothelioma Diet – Tips for Patients

Do you want to know more about a diet for Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is rare cancer that targets the protective tissue surrounding the lungs, stomach, and heart. Asbestos primarily causes Mesothelioma and can take years or even decades to develop. This cancer can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including nutrition and dietary needs.

Proper nutrition is crucial for mesothelioma patients, as it can help to manage symptoms, maintain strength, and support overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, many mesothelioma patients experience fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite, making it challenging to maintain a balanced diet.

In the US alone, doctors diagnose approximately 3,000 people with Mesothelioma annually. The impact of Mesothelioma on patients and their families is detrimental, making it more critical than ever to understand the role of proper nutrition in managing the disease.

This article aims to provide helpful tips for the diet of mesothelioma patients to empower them with the knowledge they need to prioritize their nutrition and support their health and well-being during this challenging time.

Importance of Nutrition in Mesothelioma

Nutrition Sciences studies the impact of food on the body and its significance in preserving health and avoiding illnesses. In the case of Mesothelioma, nutrition is even more critical, as the condition can impact a patient’s ability to eat, digest food, and absorb nutrients. This is because Mesothelioma can affect the digestive system, leading to problems such as malnutrition, weight loss, and anemia.

A well-balanced diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help mesothelioma patients maintain their strength and energy.

Today, several dedicated mesothelioma organizations in the US are helping patients and their families find resources and information to help them navigate and receive the support they need during this difficult time.

One such institution is “The Mesothelioma Veterans Organization,” which provides information and resources for veterans and their families affected by Mesothelioma. Their services include:

  • Information on Mesothelioma and its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
  • Help veterans and their families, including financial assistance and support groups.
  • Connections to legal resources and information on filing a compensation claim.
  • Updates on medical research and advancements in the treatment of Mesothelioma.

Foods to Include

When having a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is crucial to understand nutrition and diet’s role in treatment and recovery. Certain foods have properties that can support the body during mesothelioma treatment and improve overall health.

Here are some foods that are beneficial for mesothelioma patients:


Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help protect cells from damage. Other fruits, such as apples, oranges, and grapes, are good sources of vitamins and minerals necessary for strong bones.


Vegetables are low in calories and nutrients, making them an excellent choice for mesothelioma patients. Green vegetables with leaves, such as spinach and kale, are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Other vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, are also good sources of nutrients and have anti-cancer properties.

Dietary supplements

Medical providers may sometimes recommend nutritional supplements to help support mesothelioma patients’ health. Supplements, such as vitamin B12, iron, and calcium, can help address specific nutrient deficiencies and support overall health.


Proteins are an essential nutrient for mesothelioma patients, as it helps to support overall health, aiding in the repair and growth of tissues. Good protein sources include lean meats such as chicken and fish, dairy products, legumes, and plant-based protein sources such as tofu and tempeh. Patients should aim to have proteins in every meal to help meet their daily nutritional needs.

Fiber-rich Foods

Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and controls hunger. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent sources of fiber. Therefore, patients should have a variety of fiber-rich foods in their diet.

Healthy Fats

are essential for overall health and can help regulate inflammation and support the immune system. Nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and olive oil are healthy fats sources.

Hydration and Fluids

Staying hydrated is also vital for mesothelioma patients, as it can help to manage symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. Patients should drink plenty of water and fluids throughout the day and avoid dehydrating beverages such as caffeine and alcohol.

By incorporating these nutrient-dense foods and fluids into their diet, mesothelioma patients can improve their health.

Foods to Avoid

Patients may need to avoid certain foods, as they can worsen symptoms or interfere with mesothelioma treatment. The common ones include:

Processed Foods – Processed foods are typically high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar and are often low in essential nutrients. Therefore, avoiding or limiting processed foods and adding nutrient-dense foods to mesothelioma patients’ diets is recommended. Processed foods include packaged snacks, fast food, and pre-packaged meals.

High-Sodium Foods -High-sodium foods can contribute to many health problems, including high blood pressure, fluid retention, and heart disease. For mesothelioma patients, it is recommended to limit the intake of high-sodium foods, such as processed snacks, cured meats, and condiments. Instead, patients should choose low-sodium options when available or prepare meals at home using fresh ingredients.

Sugary Foods Sugary foods are high in calories and can contribute to several health problems, including weight gain and high blood sugar. For mesothelioma patients, a limited intake of sugary foods is recommended. They may include candy, baked goods, and sweetened beverages.

Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause several symptoms, including jitters, heart palpitations, and disrupted sleep. For mesothelioma patients, limiting the intake of caffeinated foods and beverages is recommended. Patients should choose decaffeinated options if available or limit their caffeine intake to moderate levels, as determined by their doctor.

Fried foods – French fries, fried chicken, and fried fish are high in unhealthy fats and calories. They can also increase inflammation in the body and contribute to weight gain. Therefore, Mesothelioma patients should limit or eliminate fried foods from their diet.

Meal Plan for Mesothelioma Patients

A well-planned and well-balanced diet is essential for mesothelioma patients, as it can help manage symptoms and support treatment. Here is a sample meal plan to provide guidance and inspiration:


  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and whole-grain toast
  • Oatmeal with almond milk, berries, and a drizzle of honey
  • Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruits


  • Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens and a light vinaigrette dressing
  • Turkey and cheese wrap with whole-grain tortilla, avocado, and other vegetables
  • Veggie stir-fry with tofu, brown rice, and a variety of colorful vegetables


  • Roasted vegetables with salmon and a quinoa salad
  • Chicken and vegetable soup with whole-grain crackers
  • Lentil stew with whole-grain bread


  • Fresh fruit and nut butter
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate

It is important to note that this meal plan is just a sample, and everyone’s needs vary. Mesothelioma patients should consult a dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that meets their specific needs and goals.

Remember to be flexible and adaptable when following a meal plan. For example, adjusting the meals per the patient’s preferences is recommended if certain foods are not well tolerated.

Food Safety Tips

For mesothelioma patients, food safety and proper food handling are paramount to ensure their meals are healthy and free from harmful contaminants. Here are some tips to help mesothelioma patients keep their food safe:

Wash hands frequently – Patients should wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before preparing food or eating. This prevents the spread of germs.

Store food properly – Proper food storage is essential to prevent spoilage and the growth of harmful bacteria. Perishable foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs, should be kept in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or below. Also, avoid leaving them out at room temperature for long periods.

Cook food thoroughly – Meat and poultry for mesothelioma patients should be cooked properly to kill harmful bacteria. They should be cooked to the appropriate temperature, which can be determined using a food thermometer.

Avoid cross-contamination – Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria or other contaminants are transferred from one food to another. To prevent this, separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables should be used. Hands and utensils should also be appropriately washed after handling raw meat.

Be mindful of food allergies – Some mesothelioma patients may have food allergies or sensitivities that can make them more susceptible to illness or discomfort. Therefore, it is essential for the person preparing food to be aware of the patient’s food allergies to avoid inconvenience.

Final Thoughts on Mesothelioma Diet

Making informed choices about diet and nutrition is vital to mesothelioma management. By incorporating nutrient-dense foods, avoiding harmful foods, and following safe food handling practices, mesothelioma patients can improve their quality of life and potentially enhance their treatment outcomes.

It is important to note that while a healthy diet for mesothelioma patients can provide many benefits, it is not a cure for Mesothelioma. However, you can better deal with Mesothelioma by adopting a well-rounded approach that includes both conventional treatments and a nutritious diet.

If you or someone you know is looking to improve your health, share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn more about self-care.

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