How Do Nutrition And Exercise Empower Cancer Survivors? A Guide

Written by Dr. Amber Jones

Everybody has an idea of how cancer affects a person, his/her mentality, and health. And when they recover from immense stress and weakness due to exhausting treatments, it is necessary for them to stay motivated and enjoy the chance at life they’ve got. Even when you get diagnosed with it, everything becomes hard, and there is no second opinion about it. And, yes, nutrition and exercise do help cancer survivors by increasing their immunity and metabolism.

Anyway, you are not alone in suffering from it, and if you are one of the survivors, make sure you are living the best out of your life. Here, you are going to learn all the details and information about the effects of cancer on your body and activities that will prove to be best for your second life. Keep reading:

How Does Cancer Affect A Person Emotionally?

Not only does cancer threaten your life, but there are also tons of other issues like distress, anxiety, and depression that you go through. Getting diagnosed with cancer changes your mentality, affects your roles at home, and works as well. Even when you get out of that treatment phase and recover, there may still be some effects that last in your body.

How Does Cancer Affect A Person Emotionally

Going through chemotherapy, losing hair, and distress on the faces of your family members is quite depressing. Even after the recovery, there may be constant fear of remission and lingering sadness, which can be harmful to you both physically and emotionally. So, keep reading further about all the activities that can improve your life after surviving the worst situation of your life.

How Does Nutrition Affect You After Cancer Recovery?

After surviving cancer and harsh treatments, you might feel tired all the time and have no appetite. However, tackling those side effects with proper nutrition will make you healthy and strong, which is necessary to eliminate the risks of remission. Oncologists and expert pediatricians suggest cancer survivors should eat at least 3 cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

Here are a few essential food choices you can make after your cancer recovery:

  • Vitamin-rich foods: A diet filled with vitamin-rich food can improve your immunity and metabolism, so choose green vegetables like broccoli, winter squash, peas, and lettuce.  
  • Carotenoids: These are tetraterpene pigments present in plant-based foods like pumpkin, grapefruits, tomatoes, and carrots. Carotenoids help a person by increasing immunity and cognition while reducing any growth of abnormal cells in the body.
  • Protein-rich foods: Beans, broccoli, chickpeas, and nuts are a few of the richest sources of plant-based protein and can improve a person’s strength, muscle mass, and cognitive abilities.

Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are some of the most abundant nutrients present in fruits and vegetables and are necessary for eliminating the chances of remission. Increase your stamina and immunity with fibrous fruits and green leafy vegetables every single day after your treatment.

What Benefits A Cancer Survivor The Most?

When it comes to ideas and activities to improve your living after recovering from cancer, improving your mental state is crucial. A cancer survivor has to focus on both his/her mental as well as physical health to cope with all the negativity inside.

Following a nutritious diet, doing exercise regularly, and prioritizing mindfulness are some of the best things you can do to avoid severe aftereffects of cancer. Dig deeper into beneficial activities and detailed information about them down below:

1. Staying Clear Of Addiction

Addiction to smoking or alcohol is one of the common things that a cancer survivor might contract. Make sure you are staying clear of any type of addiction after recovery, as it can have adverse effects on your body more than a normal person. And, if you want to get rid of those addictions, go to therapies, do meditation, set goals, and conquer them.

2. Attaining A Healthy Diet

When you cope with cancer, your immune system has already been through immense stress and needs time to rejuvenate. Make sure you are providing enough nutrition to your body and taking a plant-based diet for the time being. When you eat more plant-based foods, your digestion undergoes less stress, and this diet also promotes a better nutrition supply to your cells.

3. Having Mindfulness And Better Mental Health

Mindfulness and a positive mentality can treat half of your distress and depression. When you practice mindfulness and positivity after your recovery, you can feel improvement in your focus, stress reduction, and quality of life.

To achieve mindfulness, you need to do some variations of Yoga and meditation; these two are some of the best ways to improve cognition and sharpen your focus.

Significance Of Regular Exercise After Cancer Recovery?

When you recover from cancer, the treatments it takes to get you freed make your body weak. Your testosterone levels drop and immunity weakens, which can make it hard for you to work out instantly after the treatment. However, as you recover more, make sure you are doing exercise on a regular basis, even if it is for short periods of time. 

Do some running, swimming, or cycling to regulate your blood flow, and take enough rest to recover properly. Doing regular exercise will improve your heart health and increase your appetite for good. Not only that, but regular exercise will also enhance your metabolism and increase your testosterone levels significantly.

Additionally, doing Yoga and stretching routines can also improve your mobility and flexibility at the same time. Doing Yoga and stretching will improve your heart rate along with your oxygen supply and increase the glow of your skin.

Wrap-Up - Cherish The Second Life You’ve Got With These Tips

Not only do exercise and proper nutrition improve your mentality, but they also increase your strength, which is essential to rejuvenate your body. In 2018 alone, 1 in every 6 deaths was caused due to cancer, and nearly 10 million people die from it every year. You are some of the lucky ones to survive the atrocity, and now it’s up to you how you cherish this second chance at life.

Make sure you are following all the tips and activities mentioned above to improve your lifestyle and eliminate the chance of cancer remission. When it comes to living a healthy and disease-free life, exercise and eating nutritious foods are always beneficial. And, be sure to get yourself checked by your doctor every 3 to 4 months continuously for the time being. 


  • Arends J., Bachmann P., Baracos V., Barthelemy N., Bertz H., Bozzetti F., Fearon K., Hütterer E., Isenring E., Kaasa S., et al. ESPEN guidelines on nutrition in cancer patients. Clin. Nutr. 2017;1:11–48. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.07.015. [PubMed]
  • Campbell K.L., Winters-Stone K.M., Wiskemann J., May A.M., Schwartz A.L., Courneya K.S., Zucker D.S., Matthews C.E., Ligibel J.A., Gerber L.H., et al. Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors. Consensus Statement from International Multidisciplinary Roundtable. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2019;11:2375–2390. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002116. [PMC free article]

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Amber Jones is a sought-after dietitian nutritionist with expertise in public and community health. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and completed her dietetic internship with the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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