When you are healthy and fit, eating a proper diet that has a good amount of nutrients is never an issue. A healthy person is recommended to have a proper diet that includes eating fresh vegetables and fruits, low-fat foods, drinking water and limiting packaged and junk foods and drinks.
But, if you are being treated for cancer, you might have to change your diet pattern due to its side effects. The cancer patients going through chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments experience sores in mouth and throat that makes hard to eat anything. There are other side effects such as weight gain or loss, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and dry mouth that eventually lead to decreasing in appetite.
Adopting nutrient-rich food becomes essential for cancer patients as it can help them to build strength to withstand the effects of cancer and its treatment. Eating an appropriate cancer diet can even speed up the recovering or healing process.
One needs to understand that the nutrition requirements may differ from person to person. Your dietitians, doctors, and nurses can help you in choosing the best diet during cancer therapy.
Here, is the list of foods to be included in your cancer diet during treatment.
Foods To Include in Best Diet During Cancer
Fruits and Vegetables
Choose among a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as it has antioxidants and phytonutrients. You can drink the juice of fruits or vegetables and even eat the same. But, you must not take it uncooked because the raw veggies and fruits may have germs and dirt in it that may cause you food poisoning.
- Try to eat at least two plates of vegetables and fruits a day.
- Include deep green and yellow veggies as they contain antioxidants, fibers, Vitamin C and K, iron, and calcium. The best way to have these vegetables is to steam them as steaming can kill the germs inside it.
- The fruits rich in Vitamin C such as Orange and Lemon can prove beneficial to the skin, teeth, and lymphatic system. It also lowers bad cholesterol.
Eating high-protein and healthy calories diet during the cancer treatment will make your body strong and help in repairing the damage caused due to treatment.
Some of the protein-rich foods include:
- Plant-based proteins like beans, soy, lentils, peas, etc
- Cheese, yogurt, and milk
- Fish, chicken, and lean meat
Here, one should intake cooked meats rather than having the processed one as it has a high amount of nitrites, saturated fats, and salt.
Drinking plenty of liquids is crucial during the treatment of cancer. Water is the best choice. You may also drink freshly-squeezed juices, soups, milk, and tea.
If you may not feel like drinking water as it may taste metallic during chemo, try drinking flavored water or add a lemon slice to the water. Try to drink at least 8 to 10 cups of water a day to stay hydrated during the cancer treatment.
Remember, you may require extra fluid intake if you are suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, or you are unable to take much solid food.
The carbohydrates are the best source of calories that maintains the overall health of cancer patients during treatment. It helps them to get extra energy to sustain the weight and fight cancer cells.
- Adding foods like fruits, cooked vegetables, and whole grains in your diet can raise the number of calories in your body.
- You can even eat mashed potatoes, rice, and bread with butter, jam, cheese or cream. This diet will provide you ample amount of calories.
Vitamins and Minerals
A well-balanced cancer diet not only includes proteins and carbohydrates but also vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
- One can acquire all of them through plant-based foods such as fruits, beans, veggies, whole grains, and many more.
- There are several animal-based foods like cheese, eggs, yogurt, and chicken that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
- If you are unable to eat a balanced diet due to the side effects of cancer treatment, your doctor may suggest vitamin and mineral supplement. This will help you to cope up with the vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
There may be time during cancer treatment when you would want to give up eating but one should aim for victory against cancer by taking at least small amounts of foods and fluids to strengthen the body to recover quickly.