Chemotherapy can turn your palate upside down and decrease your appetite dramatically. Foods you might have enjoyed before treatment can be unbearable or you might not feel up to chewing solids. This calls for a drastic change in diet and the consistency of the foods you eat. Whether you’re still under treatment or bouncing back from it, drawing up a menu of the best chemotherapy foods can give your body the nourishment you need and manage the changes in your taste buds.
Eating healthy should begin before the treatment even starts. It’s the perfect time to feast on proteins, good fats and carbohydrates. Stack your plate with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and foods that contain a healthy amount of carbs. The aim is to prepare your body by giving it everything it needs before chemotherapy. Providing your body with enough nutrients will help you recover faster than if you lived on processed food.
During chemo, it’s common to experience side effects like nausea, diarrhea, pain and vomiting. The worse the symptoms are, the higher the need to take in more nutrients and water. Since eating can be a difficult task, you might start eating smaller portions. If you can’t finish a full plate of food, changing your diet to include green smoothies is a great idea. Green smoothies are a blend of green vegetables and fruits. The number of ingredients is unlimited. Try to target foods that boost the immune system like garlic, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.
You can also make delicious breakfast smoothies by throwing a variety of fruits and nuts into the processor. Add plain yoghurt and sprinkle with cinnamon. Not only are they tasty but they are two of the best chemotherapy foods around because they give extra support your immune system. Another effective way to pack nutrients into one meal is to blend whole meals, including fish and meats. In addition to water, sip on green tea as a daily beverage to benefit from its powerful antioxidants.
Many patients report to be repulsed by how food smells post-chemo. If you suffer the same symptom, staying clear of foods with strong odors like fish and some vegetables can help bring back your appetite. Replace these foods with less pungent-smelling foods like plain yoghurt and noodles. If both the smell and taste of food make meal time challenging, you can enjoy a serving of unsalted mashed potatoes, unsweetened yoghurt without fruit, lettuce and other bland foods.
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Any form of junk food should be avoided during chemotherapy treatment. Cake, doughnuts, soft drinks, biscuits, sweetened fruit and other high-sugar snacks should be wiped off the meal plan. They are empty calories and will have little or no nutrition to offer.
Recovering from cancer is no easy feat and meals prepared using the best chemotherapy foods will contribute greatly to your healing process. All the nutrients you consume will work together to repair any muscle damaged, keep your immune system strong and give you the energy you need for a fresh start.