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What is the best diet for someone going through chemo?

By Anonymous March 16, 2015 - 3:31pm
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Hi I was wondering what the best diet for someone going through chemo would be? Paleo, vegetarian, vegan? There are so many different ones, but which one is the best for someone going through chemo?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Per an EmpowHER article, for patients undergoing Chemo Treatments , the benefits of nutrition are significant. A few of the advantages provided by a healthy, balanced diet are as follows:

Improved digestive function. From bowel irregularity to indigestion and nausea, chemotherapy can dramatically affect the digestive system. A nutritious diet, especially one rich in fiber, can restore healthy digestion in patients receiving chemotherapy.

Increased energy. Lethargy and fatigue are extremely common among cancer patients; however, a diet with high vitamin and mineral content can promote lasting energy as well as deeper, more restful sleep.

Improved physical strength. Cancer and its treatment methods can often lead to weakened muscles and reduced physical strength. A diet high in vitamins, minerals and lean proteins can significantly improve muscle function and physical strength.

Improved immunity. Chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can weaken immunity. However, a nutritious diet can help boost the immune system as well as repair some of the damage caused by cancer and its treatments.

Nutrition Tips
For some patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments, getting the proper nutrition can be a challenge. Since chemo treatments can often affect appetite, many patients are at an increased risk for malnutrition and other harmful complications. However, there are several ways patients can ensure proper nutrition. For example, instead of eating two or three large meals per day, many patients find it helpful to eat several small meals and snacks. This can reduce effects like indigestion, nausea and more.

When creating a meal plan, it's important for patients to select the proper foods. The following types of food options should all be included in a healthy, balanced diet.

Fruits and Vegetables
A plant-based diet can be extremely beneficial for patients undergoing chemo treatments. Fresh fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Combined, these substances work to detoxify the system, provide energy and help the body repair illness-related damage. Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, like greens, tomatoes, carrots, berries and oranges, are a few great choices. Plus, high-calorie fruits and veggies, like bananas, coconut and avocado, can help patients increase caloric intake without eating unhealthy foods.

Whole Grains
Whole grains are especially important for patients in treatment. As previously mentioned, cancer treatments can wreak havoc on the digestion system, which can lead to a host of other problems and complications. Fiber-rich whole grains can help remedy these effects as well as provide clean, long-lasting energy. For an extra boost in nutrition, whole grains fortified with vitamins and minerals are great options.

Protein is essential to healing; however, choosing lean, healthy proteins is important. While rich in protein, fatty or processed meats can do more harm than good. Instead, patients can experience health benefits from lean meats or vegetable proteins. A few great protein choices include beans, nuts, seeds, soy and lean cuts of chicken or fish.

Healthy Fats
Not all fats are unhealthy. In fact, some fats can help promote healing, sharpen mental focus and send energy levels skyrocketing. A few examples of healthy fats include olive, sunflower and peanut oils as well as the omega 3 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds and fish.

Since dehydration can occur as a result of cancer treatments, increasing fluid intake is essential to health and wellness. Patients in treatment should drink at least eight glasses of water a day as well as a variety of fruit and vegetable juices. Plus, smoothies and juices are a quick and easy way for chemotherapy patients to boost nutrient intake.

A healthy, balanced diet can provide significant advantages for individuals with cancer. To create a nutritious, personalized meal plan, patients should speak with a doctor or nutritionist.

Has this helped, Anon?



March 17, 2015 - 5:31am
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