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.
The recommendation for optimum nutrition for those with cancer may be to consume more higher calorie, higher protein foods. For example, the doctor may recommend drinking more milk or eating more 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.
However, cancer treatments may result in a lack of appetite for patients. When that is the case, it’s important 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 best if they eat a little immediately before treatment. Others feel better when they have nothing to eat or drink before treatment.
- After treatment, it’s best to 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. Best Senior Care provides professional senior care services that help cancer patients by planning, shopping for, and preparing healthy meals, as well as monitoring food intake to ensure that nutritional needs are being met. Contact us to find out more about our home care services and how we can help you feel more comfortable throughout your cancer treatments.