Maintaining a Healthy Diet During Chemotherapy
Being the literal lifesaver, it is, chemotherapy can be one’s best bet to fight off numerous types of cancer. With that being said, chemotherapy also brings its own host of issues while it attacks cancerous cells, something anyone who’s gone through it knows all too well.
One of more significant challenges brought on by chemo is a person ability to maintain a healthy diet. This is due to the wide range of problems brought on by chemo that interfere with eating habits. Chemo can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, appetite loss, dry mouth, sore throat, loss of taste and smell and fluctuation of weight. All inhibiting your ability to maintain a healthy diet.
The infographic below, 20 Healthy Diet Tips for Chemotherapy, is important reading for anyone who is undergoing or soon to undergo chemotherapy. The tips are easy to follow and simple enough to keep in mind. Anything that will make eating more enjoyable and more nutritious during the course of treatment will be beneficial as you will feel stronger and healthier to fight off the cancer and side effects of chemo.
- Water may become distasteful; try flavored water or adding lemon.
- Get enough protein — eggs, beans and fish may taste better than meat.
- Eliminate junk food and empty calories.
- Try new foods; they might stimulate your sense of taste.
- Eat soft foods, including protein milkshakes, if you’re having trouble swallowing.
- If you’re gaining weight, eat lots of vegetables and low-fat foods.
- If you’re losing weight, eat lots of oatmeal, hummus, nut butters and yogurt.
- Take multivitamins if you are not able to eat enough food.
- For mouth sores, stick with soft foods and avoid citrus and tomato-based foods.
- For dry mouth, ask your doctor for an appropriate mouth rinse.
- Fight constipation with high-fiber foods and plenty of water.
- Fight diarrhea by avoiding caffeine, raw vegetables, sugary drinks and caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol — It interferes with chemo treatments and contributes to nausea.
- Avoid spicy, greasy and sugary foods.
- Don’t drink too much green tea; Its antioxidants may disrupt chemo treatments.
- Wash raw foods thoroughly to prevent infections.
- Don’t eat foods past their expiration date.
- Don’t eat food from bulk bins or salad bars.
- Consult your doctor about consumption of soy products.
- Consult your doctor or a registered dietician if you continue to have problems.
Consulting a physician or a dietician to plan out your diet is always recommended. This guide does not exist to take the place of the experts, but it can be a good start. Continue reading the guide for dietary inspiration.