Chemotherapy, as anyone who has gone through will tell you, can come with its very own, serious side effects. The radiation from the treatment can make your mealtime especially difficult as chemotherapy can alter your appetite and your sense or taste and smell. It can make you nauseous, making it difficult to keep food down. You may experience diarrhea or constipation, severe weight loss or gain, and/or pains from dry mouth or mouth sores. All these potential symptoms can make maintaining a healthy diet extremely hard and this is at a time where being well fed with healthy foods is imperative to maintain strength to fight off any illnesses that may arise during your weakened state.
To aid your journey during chemotherapy, we at Breast Cancer Car Donations have put together a guide on maintain a healthy diet during chemotherapy. While you should be in contact with your doctor about your diet, this can be a great guide to start to your diet plan.
Here are some ideas:
- Water may become distasteful; try flavored water or adding lemon.
- Get enough protein — eggs, beans and fish may taste better than meat.
- Eliminate junk food and empty calories.
- Try new foods; they might stimulate your sense of taste.
- Eat soft foods, including protein milkshakes, if you’re having trouble swallowing.
- If you’re gaining weight, eat lots of vegetables and low-fat foods.
- If you’re losing weight, eat lots of oatmeal, hummus, nut butters and yogurt.
- Take multivitamins if you are not able to eat enough food.
- For mouth sores, stick with soft foods and avoid citrus and tomato-based foods.
- For dry mouth, ask your doctor for an appropriate mouth rinse.
- Fight constipation with high-fiber foods and plenty of water.
- Fight diarrhea by avoiding caffeine, raw vegetables, sugary drinks and caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol — It interferes with chemo treatments and contributes to nausea.
- Avoid spicy, greasy and sugary foods.
- Don’t drink too much green tea; Its antioxidants may disrupt chemo treatments.
- Wash raw foods thoroughly to prevent infections.
- Don’t eat foods past their expiration date.
- Don’t eat food from bulk bins or salad bars.
- Consult your doctor about consumption of soy products.
- Consult your doctor or a registered dietician if you continue to have problems.