Chemotherapy, as anyone who has experienced it or has known someone who has experienced it well knows, can bring upon its own host of side effects that can be difficult to deal with. One of the most important aspects of your life during a fight with cancer is maintaining a healthy diet. Your body needs as much nutrients as it can take to stay in tip-top shape in order to fight off the cancer.
Here are 20 practical tips to help maintain a healthy diet during chemotherapy
- 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.
Of course, when in doubt, never hesitate to consult with your physician or a dietician to develop a plan to combat your dietary-related symptoms that are affecting you. Feel free to check out the infographic below for some dietary inspiration!