Foods That Can Help You During Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the use of a combination of different drugs to fight cancerous cells in the body. Cancer is one of the world’s most leading causes of death. Cancerous cells can grow anywhere within the body, and anybody can develop cancer cells, regardless of factors like age and gender.
The symptoms of cancer vary, and the cure or vaccine against cancer is yet to be developed. However, this does not make cancer a death sentence if you report symptoms early enough with an immediate attack on the growth of the cells. The world is beginning to record more cases of cancer survivors. This is proof that with the right treatments in place and with the early detection, you could be a survivor as well.
A number of cancer treatments exist, all of which are effective in their own ways. One of the most popular and most effective treatments is chemotherapy. It involves the combination of one or more drugs to inhibit and put an end to the growth of cancer cells in the body.
The symptoms of cancer which include fatigue, nausea, taste changes, and dry mouth, are enough reasons to have eating or food aversions.
However, eating healthy in the course of your treatment is important. Consuming a healthy balanced diet during treatment would increase your healing process by ensuring the proper running and functioning of your body system.
Some of the best options of food to consume during this period are foods that are mildly flavored, nutrient-rich, and easy in the stomach.
The succeeding list are 10 healthy foods that you can consume during your chemotherapy process;
Oatmeal comprises a lot of nutrients that can improve your healing process and assist in your chemo process. Oatmeal contains reasonable amounts of antioxidants, carbs, and protein, as well as healthy fats. It is also known to regulate the activities and movement of the bowel due to its beta-glucan content – a soluble fiber that serves as food for the good bacteria in your gut.
Also, the delicious, smooth, and creamy taste of oatmeal helps ease symptoms of cancer and chemo side effects like mouth sores and dry mouth.
Oatmeal can be enjoyed in several ways. You can decide to eat overnight refrigerated oatmeal. All you need to do is absorb the oatmeal in milk and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, top it with nuts, honey, or any berry of your choice and enjoy it.
Natural healthy add-ins you can include in your oatmeal are nuts, avocado spread, eggs, a pinch of salt, maple syrup, and fruits.
Avocado is another healthy fruit that can add speed to your recovery. It is packed with numerous nutrients that it can make up for a number of diet-lost nutrients. If, for instance, your diet is lacking some nutrients, with the introduction of avocado alone, all of those nutrients will be abundantly replenished and replaced.
Avocado has high monosaturated fats contents. Monosaturated fat is a healthy fat that can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body while giving good cholesterol a boost. It also has a high fiber content of 100g daily intake value. Its fiber adds bulk to your stool and also serves as food for the healthy bacteria in your gut.
The smooth and soft texture of avocado makes it one of the best options of food to eat when you experience cancer symptoms and chemo side effects like dry mouth, mouth sores, and constipation.
You can eat avocado alone. You can make it a spread on other healthy foods. Just ensure that you wash them before peeling as the peel can harbor listeria, a food poisoning-causing bacterium.
One of the most typical side effects of chemotherapy is fatigue. An egg is a good source of food that helps combat this chemotherapy-related tiredness. This is as a result of their high protein and fat contents.
Fats ensure that the body is supplied with sufficient energy, while protein builds and maintains the muscles in the body, which is important during chemotherapy.
There are several ways of cooking and enjoying eggs. You can either scramble or hard boil them. However, make sure they are properly cooked before eating them to prevent food poisoning.
The egg white is an awesome option when you experience mouth sores in the course of treatment.
During chemotherapy, you may begin to experience a change in the taste of everything you eat. Even the taste of the water will change in your mouth at some point. However, to keep you hydrated, a healthy alternative is the broth. This is water from the boiling of herbs, veggies, bone, meat, or poultry together with water.
During the boiling process, nutrients are released from the ingredients into the water, such that when you drink the water (now broth), it assists in the proper functioning of your body. Some of the nutrients released in the broth during the boiling process include; chloride, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These form electrolytes that are replaced after you must have lost some through vomit, diarrhea, or sweat.
If you experience nausea, sip your broth slowly to avoid vomiting.
Almonds, for example, is a healthy nut that is essential, especially during chemotherapy. They are portable and can be carried in and out of your numerous medical appointments. They are snacks that are not just healthy but are highly handy. Other nuts like cashew nuts also are handy and essential during chemo. They contain a sizable amount of protein and healthy fat.
Almonds contain copper and manganese with 32% and 27% daily intake value, respectively. These nutrients can function as antioxidants that can help combat free radicals that damage the body cells.
Pumpkin seeds, just like nuts, are nutritious, healthy, and handy. They provide high contents of vitamin E, which is known to combat inflammation. it also supplies the body with 9g of iron per cup. However, when treatment of cancer begins to involve blood transfusion, there may be iron overload in your body, and you may want to watch pumpkin seeds intake level and also reduce your iron-rich foods consumption level.
Broccoli is packed with vitamin C, a nutrient that is essential for the strengthening and boost of your immune system. It also has a plant compound known as sulforaphane which improves neurological functions. Sulforaphane is also known to reduce inflammation and prevent the damage of brain cells.
Steam the cruciferous vegetables with olive oil. If in case you experience a change of taste, you can include a pinch of salt if you are sure you do not have sores in your mouth.
If you find it difficult chewing, thus getting limited nutrients from your meals, then a smoothie is a great option for you. You can blend a combination of kefir or milk, fresh fruits, seeds like flax seeds, vegetables like spinach and peanut butter.
Rinse your fruits and vegetables before blending to prevent the introduction of bacteria into your smoothie.
Crackers and Bread
White bread is good for you when you experience nausea or diarrhea due to the fact that bread is easy to digest. Crackers that contain reasonable amounts of salt are good choices in the replenishing of sodium that you must have lost during vomiting.
You can eat bread or crackers plainly, you can eat them with healthy spreads like avocado or peanut spreads, or you can top them with cheese or berry paste.
While undergoing chemotherapy, it is important that you eat at least 2 servings of fish per week because it provides omega 3 fatty acids and high amounts of protein.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats that healthy for you and should be included in all your diets. They provide a large number of health benefits, some of which include; supporting the brain and boosting brain functions, prevents unhealthy weight loss during treatment, and also, is a healthy source of anti-inflammatory properties.
Other seafood, asides from regular fishes, can do the job as well. Fishes like herrings and salmons are packed with vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for the absorption of calcium into the blood and bone. It also ensures optimum immune health.
You can roast or steam your fish with a tiny squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt for flavor.
In conclusion, chemotherapy is the chemical treatment for cancer, and it ensures the elimination or killing of cancer cells in the body. Supporting this treatment with a balanced diet can speed up the recovery process by a reasonable amount.