The pancreas is too important an organ in the proper functioning of the body. It is responsible for regulating the way the body processes sugar, tIt also plays an important role by releasing enzymes and is key to digesting food, therefore in the digestive process. However the pancreas is prone to inflammation or swelling and with this their activity begins to deteriorate, this condition is known as pancreatitis. Which can be acute and is normally derived from inflammation of the pancreas due to the presence of gallstones and in cases of chronic pancreatitis, in which outbreaks recur over time and are directly related to lifestyle and diet.
However, what happens with the pancreas is that it is often confused with other diseases, so serious diseases such as cancer they are rarely detected in its early stages. Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas. Various types of tumors can also occur in the pancreas, including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. The most common type of cancer that forms in the pancreas begins in the cells that line the ducts that carry digestive enzymes out of the pancreas. The main symptoms of possible pancreatic cancer include: abdominal pain radiating to the back, loss of appetite or involuntary weight loss, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice), stools of light-colored and dark-colored urine, itchy skin, recent diabetes diagnosis, blood clots, and fatigue.
Therefore it is no news to say that diet has a lot to do with the prevention and control of any pancreas disease, which can lead to something more serious. The good news is that science never ceases to amaze us and puts at our fingertips valuable information to make the best food decisions, which will be a fundamental point to protect and even help heal a damaged pancreas.
What foods benefit the health of the pancreas?
It is very important to base your diet on the consumption of whole foods, natural and free of any chemical. Therefore it is essential to consume foods rich in proteins, low in animal fats and containing antioxidants. Medical experts emphasize prioritizing the consumption of lean meats, beans and lentils, clear soups, vegetable broths, and dairy alternatives (such as plant-based milks: oatmeal, rice, almonds and walnuts, and soy products). Natural and seasonal products make the pancreas not have to work so hard to process them.
One fact that specifically draws attention lies in the consumption of fats: lResearch suggests that some people with pancreatitis and other conditions in the pancreas can tolerate between a 30-40% of calories from fat when it comes from whole plant sources or medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Therefore, it is too relevant to bet on the consumption of healthy fats rich in omega-3, such as fatty fish, nuts, cold-pressed vegetable oils, avocado and seeds. Some people with pancreatic conditions tend to be much more sensitive and their fat intake should be even lower: experts recommend 50 grams or less per day.
Other foods highly recommended for their high content of essential nutrients and antioxidants: spinach, blueberries, cherries, artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus, and whole grains, protect digestion and fight free radicals that damage organs. It is very important to monitor the consumption of products rich in sugars and to bet on controlled portions of fresh fruits, since people with alterations in the pancreas are at high risk for diabetes.
2. What foods damage the pancreas?
The most important thing is to avoid all that processed and ultra-processed product, sugar and of course, with special emphasis on alcohol. Therefore, the foods best to avoid are red meats, organs, cold cuts, mayonnaise, margarine, butter, and whole dairy products. It is also vital avoid desserts and drinks rich in added sugars. In general, you should avoid any food that is rich in trans fatty acids. There are numerous studies and medical references in which it is endorsed that the Fried or heavily processed foods, such as fast food french fries and hamburgers, are some of the worst offenders. Also fried foods can trigger a pancreatitis outbreak, as well as products rich in refined flour found in cakes, pastries and cookies. These foods can affect the digestive system as they increase insulin levels.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.