Saturday, February 24, 2024

Foods To Eat While On Chemo

Alcohol In Moderation If At All

What to eat during chemotherapy

Drinking alcohol is a known risk factor for breast cancer. A large, observational study of 105,986 women suggested that drinking three glasses of wine or more per week throughout life increases a womans risk of breast cancer by a small but significant percentage.

The study saw a 15% increased risk of breast cancer when women drank an average of three to six drinks per week, compared to women who did not drink. Try to avoid intake of alcoholic beverages when possible.

Some studies tout possible benefits for heart health from moderate intake of red wine, but regardless of the type of alcohol, daily alcohol intake is associated with increased risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer, notes Taylor.

The Importance Of A Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for both physical and mental wellbeing. It helps your body to grow, repair, and work well.

Staying in good general health can help:

  • make the full range of treatment options available to you
  • prepare your body for treatment
  • tolerate higher doses of chemotherapy
  • protect you from infection
  • keep your strength and energy levels up
  • lower the risk of developing other cancers and illnesses.

Lymphoma Action’s Karen Bonell talks to Lymphoma CNS Sarah Wells about diet, nutrition, how to eat well and how to manage eating-related side effects of lymphoma and treatment.

Importance Of Food Safety And Hygiene

When a person receives chemotherapy, doctors monitor a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil, which is part of the immune system. Very low neutrophil levels are known as neutropenia.

People with neutropenia have a higher risk for infection, so they must follow safe food handling and cooking practices to minimize this risk.

There are several food and hygiene precautions people can follow, including:

  • Store food at the correct temperature.
  • Scrub raw fruits and vegetables with water and a brush before eating.
  • Soak berries and other foods that cannot be easily washed in water and rinse before eating.
  • Wash hands, knives, and countertops before and after preparing food.
  • Wash hands after touching raw meat, fish, and poultry.
  • Use different cutting boards for meat, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook meat, poultry, and eggs thoroughly.
  • Thaw meat, poultry, and fish in the refrigerator or defrost them in the microwave.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure cooked meat is at a safe temperature.
  • Make sure to consume pasteurized dairy and juice products.
  • Eat nuts that are shelled and roasted.

People undergoing chemotherapy may find it difficult to eat and may have a low appetite. They should try to eat at regular intervals, snack as needed, and drink plenty of liquids.

During a course of chemotherapy, people should eat:

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Mouth Sores Chewing Or Swallowing Difficulties

Soreness and tenderness in the mouth and throat are not uncommon. If your swallowing difficulties are minor, the following suggestions may help. You may need to work with a dietitian or swallowing therapist or consider alternative methods of feeding if you have severe problems.

  • Eat frequent small meals and snacks to ensure that you are getting enough calories. Choose cool, smooth and bland foods. Soft solids and liquids work best.
  • Cut foods into bite-sized pieces or grind them so that less chewing is required.
  • Choose soft foods or foods that can be cooked until tender such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes , carrots, applesauce, ground beef or turkey and tofu.
  • Consume liquid supplements such as Prosure, Ensure Plus, Boost Plus or shakes that can be made in your blender.
  • Consider using a blender to puree the foods your family is eating. When adding liquid to process the foods, remember to add high-calorie liquids such as gravy, milk or soy milk, or broth instead of water.
  • Drink generous amounts of nutritious liquids with meals.
  • Be adventurous. Try new sauces, gravies, or different oils on foods to make swallowing easier.
  • Try apple, cranberry, or grape juices or fruit nectars if you are sensitive to citrus juices.
  • Keep some baby food on hand for something quick and tasty.
  • Try drinking liquids through a straw or as recommended by your swallowing therapist.
  • Avoid spicy, salty and acidic foods and beverages.

Nausea Is A Very Common Side Effect Of Chemo Are There Foods Or Ways To Eat If You Feel Nauseated Can Probiotics Help

12 Foods to Avoid During Chemotherapy

The following tips can help you cope with chemotherapy-associated nausea:

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    Take any anti-nausea medicines exactly as prescribed. Many people make the mistake of waiting until they are nauseous to take these medicines. Nausea is much easier to prevent than to stop once it starts. Food and nutrition can help with nausea, but medicines are your fist line of defense.

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    Avoid food smells strong odors can make nausea worse. Ask for help preparing food and stay out of the kitchen while meals are being made. Take a quick walk before each meal to get some fresh air.

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    Stick to small, frequent meals. Avoid eating or drinking too much at once. Feeling overly full will make nausea more intense.

  • Avoid laying down immediately after meals.

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    Avoid drinking large amounts of liquid with food. Instead, sip liquids slowly and often throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Probiotics generally do not help with nausea, although some people take them for diarrhea. If you want to take probiotics during chemotherapy, ask your doctor or dietitian first because they may not be safe for people with neutropenia.

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Constipation And Diarrhea Are Two Other Common Side Effects Can You Talk About How To Eat For Both Of Those Conditions

Fiber is key to managing both constipation and diarrhea. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber becomes sticky when it gets wet. Oats, which are rich in soluble fiber, are an example of this. When you add liquid to oats, they become thick and gooey.

Insoluble fiber does not absorb much water, so it doesnt change when liquid is added to it. Think of what a piece of celery dropped into a glass of water. It doesnt absorb liquid or change much at all. Thats insoluble fiber.

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    For constipation, include a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. Drink plenty of liquid to help move things through your digestive tract more quickly and easily. This can ease constipation.

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    For diarrhea, you want to eat ONLY soluble fiber. Think of foods that absorb water and have a sticky quality after preparation or cooking. Examples include oats, barley, and white rice.

For more soluble fiber, try:

Beans and peas contain significant amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

A daily fiber supplement, which is mostly soluble fiber, can address diarrhea and constipation. If you arent currently taking a fiber supplement, ask your doctor before starting one.

Getting Calories And Protein

During your treatment, your clinical dietitian nutritionist may recommend certain foods to help you get more calories, get more protein, or eat more comfortably. Some of these foods may seem like less healthy choices. Its important to remember that you will only be eating this way for a short while. Once your side effects go away and your appetite goes back to normal, you can stop eating foods you feel are unhealthy. Your clinical dietitian nutritionist can help you find an eating plan that works best for you.

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Be Prepared Stock Up On Healthy Foods

Another ingredient to a healthy diet during radiation therapy is to plan ahead.

  • Stock up your pantry with diverse and healthy foods.
  • Prepare and store healthy meals in your refrigerator and freezer before you begin therapy.
  • Always have your favorite snacks available at work or on the go.

A small amount of pre-planning and preparation will make it easy to eat well even if you are not feeling your best.

Why Is Your Diet Important During Cancer Treatment

How to Manage Chemotherapy Symptoms Through Food | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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

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What Foods To Avoid During Chemo

The following are some of the common side effects of chemotherapy:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Aches and pain in body.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Changes in the tongue sensations. The saliva produces metallic or bitter taste
  • Throat inflammation and difficulty in swallowing.

Due to the side effects of chemotherapy, the cancer patient should AVOID the following type of foods during chemotherapy:

Hot and spicy foods such as hot pepper and curries should be avoided.

High fiber foods such as raw vegetables and fruits should be avoided on regular basis. Coarse whole grains can create problems in digestion, especially if the cancer patient is also having nausea and vomiting while undergoing chemotherapy.

Fatty, greasy and deep fried food should be avoided, as it aggravates the digestion problem, the mouth sores and adds no nutritional value to the diet of the cancer patient.

Best Foods For Chemo Patients To Eat Plus Five Tips For Easing Chemotherapy Symptoms With Food

I met my friend Rebekah when she was in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. She had three small children at the time, and getting meals together when she was sick was a horrible idea. Neighbors and family members pitched in, but she still had to find the energyand the desireto eat once the meals were prepared.

I learned one thing from watching Rebekah: food counts, even during cancer treatment. You have to eat well enough to keep your body functioning without overloading it. Macronutrients like protein and carbs are essential, and so are the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that keep immune systems working optimally.

The best foods for chemo patients to eat may vary from household to household, but they seem to be easy to digest, easy on the immune system, and easy to prepare. If youre interested in learning more, read through this list of the best food for chemo patients. At the end of this article, Ill share five tips for using food to ease the process of chemo treatment.

Also Check: Does Radiation Treatment Affect Your Immune System

Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

When your body struggles to consume the calories you need, youre more likely to lose concerning amounts of weight. To get the nutrients you need, DeBoer recommends eating several mini-meals throughout the day rather than three large meals and snack as needed. Keep protein-rich snacks on hand that are easy to prepare and eat, such as yogurt, hearty chicken soup or trail mix.

What Do I Eat After Chemotherapy And For The Next Few Days

Foods to Eat During Chemotherapy (With images)
  • Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day .
  • Eat lower fat, blander foods!
  • Try colder or cool foods these give off less odor and aroma and are especially important if you feel nauseous. Hot foods can have a more pronounced odor, therefore causing an aversion to certain foods.
  • Drink fluids frequentlythis will prevent dehydration and remove some of the byproducts of the chemotherapy. Water is the best, but there are other sources of fluids such as:
  • Apple and grape juice
  • Herbal teas, such as ginger and mint
  • Weak black teas

Also Check: Sores In Mouth From Chemo

What Foods To Eat During Chemo

  • Nutritional Supplement Liquid Food:- Instant breakfast items supplement shakes and butter milk are some items, which a cancer patient can have for breakfast during chemotherapy. Eggs, porridge and butter tortilla is also good for health. Patient should try to consume fat integrated products, so that his/her body can regain the weight lost during chemotherapy and the fight against the cancer.
  • Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter greatly improves the taste of food whether applied on bread, cracker or toast and it is great in nutritional value too. During the brunch period of a day, the cancer patient can consume fruit salad as well as bread with peanut butter. Usually, cancer patients will experience decrease in appetite because of which they are not able to take complete meals even twice a day. Peanut butter has essential vitamins, protein and folic acids, which are lost during the chemotherapy sessions. Blood is burnt during the treatment, which is very important to regain by eating good food. So peanut butter is also a very good option to incorporate in diet during chemotherapy.
  • Cheese: There are different types of cheeses which are high in full fat and protein. A plain salad can become tasty by adding some cheese toppings. Cheese is an excellent snack that a cancer patient can have after coming back from a chemotherapy session. The cancer patient can nibble on some cheese in between the main meals to keep his/her energy levels up.
  • Strategies To Help You Eat Well When Nausea And Vomiting Strike

    Here are some general strategies for healthy eating during and after chemo include:

    • Avoid eating for one to two hours before and up to three hours after chemotherapy to stave off nausea and vomiting and prevent food aversions
    • Eat smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to three big meals
    • If chemotherapy causes nausea and vomiting, choose foods that are easy to digest
    • Eat dry toast or crackers before getting out of bed to help curb nausea in the morning
    • Don’t skip meals or snacks because this can make nausea worse
    • Try products made with natural ginger these may help relieve nausea
    • Choose cool, light foods that don’t have a strong odor, such as applesauce

    Read Also: Does Radiation Make You Lose Weight

    Shopping And Cooking During Treatment

    Simple tasks like shopping and cooking can seem exhausting during your treatment and as you recover. Try to accept any offers of help, even if youre used to coping on your own. You can also take advantage of online shopping or ask local shops if they have a telephone ordering and delivery service.

    Its important to have fresh food in your diet, but if you can’t shop regularly, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables are full of nutrients and can be eaten every day. Choose tinned fruit in juice rather than syrup and tinned vegetables that have less salt.

    Find out more about coping with fatigue during and after treatment.

    Vitamins Minerals And Antioxidants

    Eating Well Through Chemo and Beyond

    Getting enough vitamins and minerals is critical to overall health. Following a well-rounded diet is the best way to ensure a person has an optimal intake of vitamins and minerals. However, some people with cancer may need to supplement with specific vitamins and minerals.

    Depending on the type of cancer, 3090% of people may have an inadequate diet. This can increase the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies. For example, people undergoing chemotherapy are more likely to be deficient in several nutrients, such as magnesium, iron, vitamin D, and folate.

    Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging healthy cells. They include certain vitamins and minerals, such as:

    People can consume more antioxidants by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Doctors do not usually recommend taking large doses of antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy.

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    Diet During Radiation Therapy: The Fundamentals

    Including these 5 components in a healthy diet during radiation therapy is a recipe for a swift recovery with fewer side effects. Radiation therapy can change how a patients body accepts certain foods and uses nutrients. Each radiation therapy patient reacts differently to treatment but here are the basic guidelines to develop a diet while undergoing radiation therapy for cancer:

  • Pay attention to your side effects and how they affect your appetite. Discuss the changes with your doctor.
  • Plan ahead for changes to your diet.
  • Focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Avoid saturated fats, sugar, salt, and alcohol.
  • Change your eating habits and times. Eat smaller meals more frequently.
  • Stay hydrated. Water is best but there are other healthy options.
  • Staying Healthy During Chemo

    • Avoid Alcohol. During chemotherapy, be kind to your liver because it is helping to metabolize all the potential toxins in your bloodstream. According to Anselmo, alcohol can cause undue stress on the liver and make it harder for the liver to process chemo drugs. Alcohol can also make your nausea or other gastrointestinal side effects worsen and may interact with certain drugs that are given in conjunction with chemo.
    • Watch Supplements. Dietitians in top cancer treatment centers across the country suggest not taking dietary supplements during chemo. These include vitamins, minerals, herbals, and botanicals. There are potential drug-nutrient interactions that can interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Talk to your doctor about taking any supplements when you are undergoing chemo.
    • Limit Green Tea. Some physicians limit the amount of green and white tea consumed by patients who are undergoing chemo. Anselmo advises her patients to limit tea drinking to one or two mugs a day. Green and white teas are packed with antioxidant phytochemicals and may interfere with the desired effect of chemo.
    • Ask Your Doctor About Soy-Based Foods. Before eating soy-based foods, check with your oncologist regarding your specific type of cancer or chemotherapy.

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    Also Check: Side Effects Of Chemo Treatment

    Drink Plenty Of Liquids

    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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