Receiving a cancer diagnosis is devastating, scary, and confusing. Once the initial shock wears off, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Many will likely center on what you can do to stay as healthy as possible during your treatment.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about nutrition for cancer patients.
1. Eat Mild Foods to Soothe Your Stomach
Chemo can cause a variety of side effects, including an upset stomach and diarrhea. Eating the right foods can help to minimize these.
Bland foods that are gentle on the stomach are a good choice, especially on days when you have chemo treatments. A few good snacks or small meals include:
- White rice
- Cooked apples
- Toast without butter or other toppings
One food in particular that is both bland and good for you is yogurt. With probiotics and a mild flavor, it can help settle your stomach and boost your immunity. To learn more about its benefits, buy Bravo Probiotic Yogurt Kit now.
2. Avoid Spicy Foods
Just as some foods can soothe your stomach, others may upset it.
Avoid spicy foods, raw foods, or those that contain a lot of fat. All of these can leave you feeling even sicker.
3. Add Carrots and Parsley to Your Diet
Some tips about planning a smart diet for cancer patients center on foods that help keep your stomach settled or to help give you energy. But there are a few foods out there that can actually help make your cancer treatment more effective.
Studies have found that some foods, including carrots and parsley, contain compounds that can make chemotherapy more effective. They do so by stopping a naturally occurring mechanism in the body that disrupts cancer treatment.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
While it may not be particularly nutritious, staying hydrated is extremely important.
You should be drinking at least 8 to 12 cups of liquid while undergoing treatment. Any liquid will do on days when you’re struggling to eat or drink, though avoiding too much caffeine and sugar will help keep from further upsetting your stomach.
5. Keep Meals Small
It’s common to lose your appetite while undergoing chemo treatment. But eating healthy meals is important for keeping up your strength.
Rather than trying to force yourself to eat 3 larger meals each day, aim for 5 or 6 small meals or snacks instead.
6. Add in Plenty of Protein and Calories
Because you likely will eat less than normal while undergoing treatment, you need to add in as many calories and as much protein as possible.
Add protein supplements and healthy, high-calorie foods. Don’t pad your calorie count with fatty foods.
7. Ginger for Nausea
Chewing ginger candies or sipping on ginger ale can help settle your stomach. If you opt for ginger ale, allow the soda to go flat before drinking as the carbonation may upset your stomach rather than settling it.
Better Nutrition for Cancer Patients
Nutrition for cancer patients doesn’t have to be confusing. Eating a healthy diet, sticking to smaller meals, and avoiding spicy dishes can help keep you healthy and prevent an upset stomach.
But the most important thing you can do is listen to your body. Everyone responds to chemo differently. Finding the foods that you enjoy eating and that don’t upset your stomach will help you stay fueled through your treatments.