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Tips for Eating Right During Cancer Treatments

Maintaining a healthy diet during chemotherapy and radiation is critical for preserving energy levels and helping stave off other forms of illness. As anyone who has undergone these treatments knows, however, eating right in the midst of them is easier said than done.

Are there things that patients can do to bolster their dietary intake to ensure the body is properly nourished when it’s needed the most? Fortunately, there are. Here are just a few tips that can help make eating healthier during cancer treatment a bit more feasible:

  • Keep flavor in mind – One of the biggest complaints about eating during chemo treatments involves a funny, often heavy, metallic taste left behind in the mouth. This consequently can make eating anything tough. To get past it, try experimenting with different foods and flavors. If water tastes funny, go with flavored brands instead. Remember, that what you loved to eat before chemo might not be the best right now. Experiment to see what fits the best.
  • Go small – There’s no need to eat giant meals to gain the nourishment you need. In fact, smaller, more frequent meals make a whole lot more sense. This is true during chemo and long after. The fact is eating like this is better for the body, plus it can help stave off nausea.
  • Take care of the mouth – Mouth sores can be a big problem during chemo and they can sideline efforts to eat in a healthy manner. Help yourself by rinsing with salt water regularly. Also be sure to stay away from very hot or spicy foods that will only irritate the sores.
  • Don’t push it – Don’t feel obligated to eat when others eat or just because they’re asking. Do your best to eat when nausea levels are low and stick with foods that are easy on the stomach. Go with what sounds good, tastes good, and what you can tolerate. Try to balance it out over the course of each day whenever possible.

Chemotherapy and healthy eating don’t necessarily go together, but they need to. Just give yourself a break and try to eat as healthy as possible to maintain overall health and strength as much as possible. For more tips, be sure to consult your oncologist.

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