Sunday, February 25, 2024

Best Snacks For Chemo Patients

Living With Cancer Exercise Ideas

Chemo Diet

There are lots of ways you can become more active. It is important to do something you enjoy that also fits in with your life.

If possible, try to do a mix of activities that improve your aerobic fitness, balance, strength and flexibility.

We have more information on types of physical activity.

Remember, you can ask for advice from your cancer specialist or GP if you have any questions about becoming more active. They may refer you to an exercise specialist or physiotherapist.

Tips for getting started include joining a walking group or exercise class, playing a sport or encouraging your friends and family to join you. Setting realistic targets and keeping a record of your progress will help you to stay active.

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Healthy Snacks And Drinks

Most infusion centers carry a variety of beverages and snacks to help you stay well hydrated and nourished during your chemotherapy session. You may also choose to bring your favorites from home.

The American Cancer Society recommends choosing small snacks and focusing on eating protein when you can.

Some ideas for snacks include:

It’s also a good idea to pack a water bottle so that you will always have a drink readily accessible. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout chemo to help prevent or reduce dehydration.

There is some evidence that using ginger for chemotherapy-induced nausea may be beneficial, though store-bought ginger ale often contains little if any real ginger. Bringing your own homemade crystallized ginger, ginger ale, or ginger tea may help reduce nausea in addition to being a pleasant reminder of home.

What Are Good Snacks For Chemo Patients

When battling cancer and the effects of its treatments, no patient wants to have to plan or prep their meals, especially if they have to contend with constant nausea, mouth sores, or other unpleasant side effects associated with chemotherapy. Still, these conditions dont change the fact that chemo patients need to eat in fact, nutrition for cancer patients is arguably even more important than nutrition for healthy individuals. Its not uncommon for those dealing with this disease to lose significant weight, jeopardizing their health and recovery, so finding ways to get the nutrition you need during chemo is important, even if its just in the form of snacks. So, what are some good snacks for chemo patients? To find out, keep reading as the people at ENU, makers of liquid nutritional supplements for cancer patients, explain.

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Dont Forget About Physical Activity

Physical activity has many benefits. It helps you maintain muscle mass, strength, stamina, and bone strength. It can help reduce depression, stress, fatigue, nausea, and constipation. It can also improve your appetite. So, if you dont already exercise, talk to your doctor about aiming for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity, like walking, each week. If your doctor approves, start small and as you are able, work up to the goal of 300 minutes a week. Listen to your body, and rest when you need to. Do what you can when youre up to it.

What About Supplements Are There Any That Should Be Avoided During Chemo

12 Best Foods For Chemo Patients To Eat, Plus Five Tips For Easing ...

In general, you should limit the use of most dietary supplements during chemotherapy to minimize the risk of the nutrients interacting with the chemotherapy medicine. If you are interested in taking supplements during chemotherapy treatment, talk to your oncologist BEFORE you take anything.

You also should avoid any supplement that contains highly concentrated forms of a food or beverage during breast cancer chemotherapy.

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For example juice one carrot a chunk of cucumber a small beet a piece of ginger and a small apple. Ad Quietest Juicer That Takes Care of Your Loved Ones Health. Product and Service Warranty.

Whether youre trying to avoid cancer or youre currently dealing with cancer already here are some juicing recipes for cancer you may want to try out in your juicer.

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Foods That Taste Good During Chemo And Radiation Cancer Treatment

by Rebecca Bitzer MS RD LD CEDRD | Cancer

Nutrition is of critical importance during cancer treatment and it is key to find foods that taste good during chemo and radiation. Your body needs enough calories to stay strong, but sometimes eating can be a challenge.

Eating before and during cancer treatment can be a long, tiring struggle but there are tips to keep you nourished before and during treatment so you can focus on fighting cancer.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a percentage of any sales made through those links, at no extra cost to you. Affiliate links are identified with an asterisk .

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Colorectal Surgery Nutrition Guidelines

The most common surgery for colorectal cancer is called a colon resection . The surgeon removes part of the colon and then joins the remaining parts back together. Your surgeon calls this anastomosis. Other specific types of surgery may include: partial colectomy or right colectomy . Regardless of surgery type, nutrition and diet play a very important role in the preparation for the surgery and immediately after the surgery. Here are some tips and guidelines that will help you with your diet and nutrition before and after your surgery.

Follow your surgeons instructions very carefully before your surgery.

Your surgeon will most likely give you very specific instructions to follow in the days leading up to your surgery. It is very important to follow these to minimize any complications and to allow your surgeon to do the best job possible.

Give your colon adequate time to heal and transition slowly back to a regular diet.

While you are in the hospital, your medical team will help you with your diet and advance it as appropriate. If you are still having difficulty tolerating food when you are discharged from the hospital, contact your healthcare team.

Food tolerance after surgery is not one size fits all. Be patient with yourself.

Try to establish regular eating habits and strive for 4-6 small meals per day.

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

If your colon surgery requires an ostomy bag, consult a registered dietitian for advice.

Foods For Cancer Patients To Avoid

“Food for the Fight” – Nutrition Advice for Cancer Patients

If youre losing too much weight, try to avoid foods that provide little energy or nutrients. These include low-calorie drinks, salads and clear soups. These fill you up without giving your body the calories and protein it needs.

You might find you need to avoid certain foods because of side-effects youre having during treatment. If you have a sore mouth, you might want to avoid spicy foods. If your immunity is low , you may need to avoid foods that could cause infection. These include cheeses that are mould-ripened or made from unpasteurised milk, raw meat and seafood, and runny eggs. Your nurse will discuss this with you.

Check with your doctor or nurse before drinking alcohol when youre having treatment for cancer. Youll usually be able to drink small amounts of alcohol with most types of chemotherapy. But alcohol can interact with certain chemotherapy drugs and make you feel unwell. It can also irritate any sores in your mouth caused by cancer treatment.

You can read more about foods to avoid in our section: Tips for eating well during cancer.

With our health assessments you get an action plan thats tailor-made for you. Find out more about health assessments >

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Focus On Nutrients And Get The Most Nutrients Per Calorie

Choose foods from the food groups like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, meats/eggs and dairy products.

A balanced diet helps ensure youre getting the nutrients you need to keep your body strong.

A balanced diet supports a healthy immune system, balanced electrolytes and lean body mass, gives you energy and helps fight the fatigue so often associated with cancer treatment, says Taylor.

Easy Recipes For Cancer Patients Important When Cooking For Cancer

My easy baked chicken breast recipes for Simple Baked Chicken from Eating Well Through Cancer is from the chapter, Day of Chemo and this chapter includes easy-to-tolerate food when going through treatment.

However, this isnt just a food for cancer patients as this tasty simple baked chicken recipe is my family favorite. Simple to make and tastes like chicken soup! Remember, it is important to avoid spicy, rich or fried food when going through treatment because these foods can upset your stomach. Food is nourishment so eating healthy is important. I think my simple baked chicken recipe makes a quick dinner and its protein-rich! I have so many everyday recipes for cancer patients and your family.

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Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

Most patients experience little or no side effects during cancer treatment, while some experience any of a number of side effects. Side effects can occur the same day or after treatment.

Radiotherapy can come with side effects such as lack of appetite, taste changes, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and intestinal problems like diarrhea and nausea, says Lara.

Thats because while radiation therapy mostly affects cancerous cells, it can impact healthy cells as well. When good cells are affected, patients may experience various side effects.

The location of the body targeted by radiation therapy can cause different side effects including:

  • nausea/vomiting

Throughout your treatment, listen to your body and adjust your diet according to what it is telling you. You may find only some foods taste good on a given day. Be flexible and make adjustments to the foods you eat during radiation treatment.

Do not approach radiation treatment with a strict food plan, says Komar. Instead, listen to your body and take it one week at a time.

Your radiation diet may include switching to a bland diet or adding lots of flavorful foods to your meals. Tell your doctor if you begin to experience any side effects from your radiation therapy.

Drink Plenty Of Liquids

Healthy Recipes For Chemo Patients

Hydration is an important aspect of a healthy radiation diet. It is recommended that individuals drink 3-4 quarts of liquids every day. Drinking lots of water is especially important if you experience diarrhea during radiation therapy.

Good hydration flushes toxins out of the body and reduces treatment side effects such as nausea, weakness, bowel changes, and fatigue, says Komar. Staying hydrated can also help keep a patient from going into the cancer center for IV hydration.

Keep a filled water bottle with you at all times and drink, drink, drink. Some Jello, pudding, popsicles and juice products are additional hydration sources, but be cautions of their sugar content. If you do not care for the taste of water, try sneaking water into soup broths, fruit shakes, and flavored teas.

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Why Is Your Diet Important During Cancer Treatment

Since cancer treatment can lead to fluctuations in appetite and body weight, its important to pay close attention to your diet. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet during chemotherapy or radiation therapy can:

  • Help manage treatment side effects
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce inflammation

Should You Take Supplements During Cancer Treatment

If youre not eating as much as usual during treatment, or if you have side effects like vomiting and diarrhea that cause you to lose vitamins and nutrients, you might consider taking a multivitamin.

Vitamin D tends to be the most common vitamin deficiency, says Rajagopal. Vitamin D helps keep your immune system strong, reduces fatigue and supports bone health. Especially if youre on steroids, youll be at risk for bone density loss.

Talk to a registered dietitian and your oncologist before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet.

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Vitamin And Mineral Supplements For Cancer

If youre eating a good diet, theres usually no need to take extra vitamins and minerals when you have cancer. Your doctor may recommend a multivitamin and mineral supplement if youre finding it hard to get all the nutrients you need from your food. There may be other times when your doctor might recommend particular supplements. For instance, they may recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements if youre having hormone treatments for prostate or breast cancer. This is to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

If youre thinking of taking a supplement, its important to speak to one of your healthcare team first. This is because advice on supplements can differ depending on which treatment youre having. Certain vitamins and minerals might affect how some cancer treatments work. Your doctor, nurse or dietitian can give you advice on your diet and exactly what supplements might be suitable for you.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

What to eat during chemotherapy

This smoothie recipe from A Mind Full Moms blog was inspired by the authors impressive calorie requirements as a result of her cystic fibrosis. However, many cancer patients also struggle to meet their daily calorie quota. This recipe is a delicious, simple way to make headway while ensuring vital nutrients are making up caloric intake.

Furthermore, this recipe offers the flexibility of using whole cows milk or substituting for coconut milk or a favorite nut milk for those with lactose sensitivities. Calling for chia seeds or flax seeds for added fiber, this recipe checks off a lot of boxes on many cancer patients lists!

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Foods To Avoid If You Have Breast Cancer

If you have breast cancer, its advised that you avoid the following:

  • Leftovers that are more than three to four days old.
  • Food that has been left out at an unsafe temperature for four or more hours.

Limit caffeine and alcohol, as both are dehydrating, advises Taylor. Talk to your oncologist for exact recommendations. And if youre having diarrhea, consider avoiding completely, as both can worsen symptoms.

Diarrhea And Constipation During Chemo Or Radiation:

Having digestive symptoms makes finding foods that taste good during chemo more challenging, so best to focus on how to manage these symptoms first to help you get your appetite back.

Here are some suggestions to help you manage possible symptoms.


If you are experiencing diarrhea it is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids such as electrolyte drinks and water

With diarrhea, its best to cut down temporarily on foods that are high in fiber.


If you are experiencing constipation, stay hydrated and add more high-fiber foods into your diet.

Examples of high-fiber foods:

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What To Eat During Chemotherapy

Once treatment starts, a persons body will need healthy foods to function at its best. It is essential to get enough calories and proteins during this time.

Foods that a person does not typically enjoy may taste better during treatment, so people are encouraged to try new foods.

A person should eat foods containing health-promoting properties, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods. They should limit sugary and highly processed food.

Protein-rich snacks such as Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, chicken salad and crackers, or hard-boiled eggs may help maintain strength and energy.

The side effects a person experiences during chemotherapy may affect their eating. For example, a person with a sore mouth may find it uncomfortable to eat acidic fruits, or a person who experiences diarrhea may wish to avoid very high fiber foods.

Following chemotherapy, it is important to:

  • Check with the cancer care team to find out about food restrictions.
  • Ask a dietitian to help create a balanced, nutritious eating plan.
  • Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits daily, such as dark green and yellow vegetables, and citrus fruits.
  • Eat high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
  • Limit intake of highly refined carbohydrates and added sugar.
  • Incorporate protein-rich foods at every meal and snack.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol.

Chemotherapy can cause a number of eating problems as common side effects of the treatment. These may include:

Maintain A Healthy Weight After Treatment

Foods Ideas for Chemotherapy Patients?

People with obesity have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women who are in their ideal body weight range.

Many studies, including a one conducted by researchers from the Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research in Tehran, Iran, have demonstrated an association between body mass size and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

If youre overweight, Taylor recommends losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise once youve finished treatment.

Weight loss during treatment isnt typically encouraged, as this is often associated with undesired muscle loss, leading to fatigue, a suppressed immune system and a slower healing process.

Allow your body the nutrients it needs to fight cancer, she says.

Once your treatment is done, consider meeting with a dietitian for individualized recommendations to decrease recurrence risk and support a healthy weight.

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