Typical cancer patients face the following symptoms, but there are also some nutritional recommendations they can follow in order to fight each problem:
Cancer nutrition: Low protein and calorie intake
As a cancer patient, you must enter plenty of proteins and calories in order to stay energized and toward off infections, because the disease itself eats up all your nutritional reserves. Eventhough you feel like you have no apetite, you must eat because in that way your body is better equiped to handle all the medications given to you.
You should definitely consume the following high-calorie and high protein foods:
- Seeds, dried fruits and nuts
- Avocado and beans
- Olives and canola oil
Moreover, it is important to cut back on low-calorie drinks and opt for:
- Fruit juices
- Smoothie shakes
- High-protein drink supplements.
Due to the medications you use, drinking milk can make you lactose intolerant, cause bloating, cramping, gas and diarrhea, so you should avoid it.
Loss of appetite (Anorexia) and Depression
During chemotherapy you may feel tired and week all the time, and you won’t feel craving for food and all these are result of cancer treatment medications. However, you must eat in order to feel energized, so you may try to:
- Eat with friends and family, and improve the mood of your surroundings with music, plenty of light and good food.
- Exercise lightly through cycling, yoga, brisk walking and swimming.
- Nutrition can be achieved by following these practical dietary tips, no matter how difficult is the illness to deal with. After some time, even the adverse effects of chemotherapy can be countered.
Nausea and Vomiting
During chemotherapy you may experience nausea and vomiting. In order to decrease nausea and to prevent it from occurring, follow this tips:
- Add lemon extract to warm water and drink it twice a day to get rid of vomiting sensations.
- Whether you are hungry or not, try eating small frequent meals every few hours.
- Dehydration is one of the causes why you fell nauseous, so drink at least 10 glasses of water per day.
- Try taking encapsulated ginger, ginger candy or fresh ginger to counter nausea.
During chemotherapy, you have to take numerous medications which cause you this side-effect. In order to alleviate the discomfort associated with mouth sores, try to:
- Eat more soft and blended food like porridge, soups, pudding, custard rice, milk.
- Avoid spicy, salty and acidic foods because these will aggravate your oral pain.
Vanquish Constipation and Drive-away Diarrhea
With proper nutrition, you can overcome these two very uncomfortable side effects of cancer treatment.
Patients with constipation should:
- Eat fresh fruits
- Eat dried fruits
- Drink lots of water
- Eat foods rich in fiber like vegetables, beans, lentils
Similarly, patients with diarrhea should:
- Drink lots of water and other liquids to stay hydrated
- Eat bland foods like banana, rice and apples.
You can fight the chemotherapy side effect and complications with the proper diet. Here is a summary of what should be followed by a properly modified diet in cancer treatment:
- Low Lactose: Cancer patients should avoid the intake of milk or any products that contain lactose, since they are experiencing bloating, diarrhea, and lactose intolerance.
- Full Liquids: Full liquids are recommended as a diet plan to those cancer patients who have difficulty in eating or their esophagus is narrow or they are suffering from mouth pain. Such liquids include: plenty of water, creamed soups, pudding, commercial supplements, milk shakes, milk, ice creams, cereal, yogurt and custard.
- Clear Liquids: These are normally recommended for bowel rest with diarrhea and vomiting and they include: tea, fruit juices, fruit ice coffee, gelatin and Popsicle.
- Soft/Low Fiber Diet: As the name suggests it avoids raw veggies, fruits and foods with skins, seeds and nuts, etc. It includes white potatoes and fruit juices. It is recommended for all those cancer patients with mild to severe bowel obstruction.
Cancer patients should avoid refined foods like white bread, muffins, donuts or all those food high in sugar content as we know that cancer cells feel on sugar.
Instead of this harmful foods, they should include in their diet at least five meals of fruits and vegetables per day. They can eat dark leafy greens and berries, whole grains foods that involve high fiber bread and cereals, oats, barley, brown rice, etc.
Cancer patients should also avoid as much as possible red and processed meat, and replace them with fish, tofu and poultry. Food other than supplements are the best sources of minerals and vitamins. As there is no fine proof that they give same anti-cancer benefit as the fruits and vegetables.
It is very important for cancer patient who undergoes cancer treatment to live a healthier life. To achieve this, cancer patients should stay hydrated, eat more nutritious food rather that processed foods and supplements.