Best Foods to Eat During Chemotherapy

Best Foods to Eat During Chemotherapy

What to eat during chemotherapy is one of the most searched questions. Here in this article, you will read about healing foods that help to reduce the side effects of chemo. Make sure to get a personalized diet plan from your doctor after finishing your chemo sessions.

Carrots

Nutritionists usually recommend carrots in every diet plan for cancer patients. There are certain compounds in the carrot that improve the efficiency of chemo. It stops a mechanism which otherwise interferes with the chemotherapy.

As per a study from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (2014), carrots can help in getting better results from conventional treatment procedures for patients.

Gravy

Most of the cancer patients feel a permanently dry mouth effect that is sometimes uncomfortable. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy that may make swallowing food difficult for you.

In that case, try to use gravy-based foods. The liquid food is easy to chew and eat. Also, it will help to get rid of dry mouth.

Rice and bananas

Another common side effect of chemotherapy is diarrhea. For this, various bland foods such as rice, bananas, cooked apples, and dry toast will make you feel better. Do not use foods that have high fats in them. Also avoid raw fruits and whole grain products, as it may make diarrhea worse.

Whole grains

On the other hand, if you don’t have diarrhea but constipation, whole grains are a game changer. It is better to drink plenty of fluids and eat insoluble fibers in any forms. It will improve the functioning of your digestive system and there will be no more constipation. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends using 8to 12 cups of any liquid daily during the chemotherapy.

Ginger candy and lemon

Chemo sessions may also make a person feel nausea all the times. To get rid of nausea, ginger candy and lemon drops work like anything. Try using them before eating any big or small meal. It will boost your digestion by settling your stomach, thus reducing nausea for you.

Custard

Sometimes the mouth sores make eating painful even the softest foods. If chemo has given you mouth sores, try eating foods that are easy to chew and swallow. For example, you can eat custards, rice, eggs, porridge, and soups.

Go easy with spices; more spices will make these sores even worse. Also do not eat crunchy foods like crackers, chips or raw foods. Avoid using all types of sauces and prefer eating bland foods until your sores go away.

Onion and garlic

Onion and garlic have natural healing properties. For cancer patients, the diet should essentially include these two ingredients that are rich in antioxidants. Together these two fight against all the pathogens and stimulate the immune system.

Lean protein

Most of the doctors recommend using more protein when undergoing chemotherapy. It gives the body energy required to perform its functions well. This protein diet also makes your muscles strong during the treatment. The better is to go for lean protein such as eggs, fish, tofu, and chicken. Many people experiencing chemo don’t find read meat appealing as it may give them a metallic taste in the mouth.

Selenium-rich foods

Certain foods such as Brazil nuts, seafood, oats, and brown rice have a high quantity of selenium. This selenium is a cancer-fighting mineral that is proven to boost immunity. But make sure that you aren’t eating shellfish and any raw fish as it may put you at risk of foodborne diseases.

 

Additionally, prefer eating smaller meals instead of big meals! 

Loss of appetite is another undesirable effect that makes chemotherapy unbearable. Usually, the patient force feeds himself and it often results in diarrhea or constipation. Instead of eating big meals without an urge, it is better to eat smaller meals throughout the day.

Using five to six small meals a day will help you to get proper nourishment. It will energize you and make you capable of standing a chemo session. For better effects, your doctor may add protein supplements and higher-calorie foods to your diet. It will help you to sustain a healthy weight during chemo.

 

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The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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