A healthy diet is important for everyone, but doubly so following a cancer diagnosis. Proper nutrition can help cancer patients gain the strength they need to endure chemotherapy treatments, defend against infections, prevent body tissue from breaking down, and rebuild tissue. Eating well can also help patients cope with any side effects of cancer treatments and may even be able to help them handle higher doses of certain drugs.
Nutrition recommendations for cancer patients may focus on helping them eat more higher calorie, higher protein foods. The doctor may recommend drinking more milk or eating foods like cheese and cooked eggs. Other suggestions might include increasing the use of sauces and gravies, or changing cooking methods to include more butter, margarine, or oil. Sometimes, nutrition recommendations for cancer patients suggest eating less of certain high-fiber foods which can aggravate problems such as diarrhea or a sore mouth.
During treatment, cancer patients may suffer from lack of appetite. When that is the case, the recommendation is to try to eat anything that can be easily digested.
On treatment days, patients should:
- Talk with the nurse to learn about ways to relax if feeling sick before treatment.
- Learn the best time to eat and drink. Some people feel better when they eat a little just before treatment. Others feel better when they have nothing to eat or drink before treatment.
- After treatment, wait at least one hour before eating or drinking.
Some foods and drinks that may be easier on the stomach during cancer treatments include:
- Clear broth
- Grape juice
- Baked chicken without skin
- White rice
- Baked potatoes
A healthy diet is vital for a person’s body to work its best. The care team at North River Home Care in the Boston area can help cancer patients plan, shop for, and prepare nutritious meals that meet their caloric needs, as well as monitor food intake to ensure that nutritional needs are being met. Contact us to learn more about our in-home care services and how we can make you feel more comfortable as you go through your treatments.