The chemotherapy treatment can be very harsh on the body. Therefore, cancer patients need a lot of energy to deal with the side effects. The food needs to contain extra calories and proteins. However, hygiene is also an essential factor.
A healthy diet can reduce some of the side effects during chemotherapy. Part of the routine should be food rich in nutrients and whole foods. Vegetables, fruits and healthy fats should also be included in the diet. Another thing to keep in mind is the texture and consistency of the meals. Most times, cancer patients have trouble chewing and swallowing food.
Nutrition is vital to patients who have cancer. Since the treatment affects the eating habits, the patient needs to adapt to a new diet. Eating healthy during chemotherapy helps to maintain the body’s nutrient stores. Besides energy and strength, a healthy diet can lower the risk of infection and accelerate healing.
Chemotherapy can mess with the appetite and lead to other eating issues, such as sour mouth or nausea. Therefore, paying attention to nutrition can ease the treatment side effects a little bit. Without further ado, here is what you should include in your diet during chemotherapy:
- lean red meat
- whole grains
- nuts, seeds, and nut butter
- olive oil
- dairy products such as yoghurt
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- products made from plants (e.g. tea and tofu)
If the neutrophil levels are deficient, it means the risk of infection is very high. Therefore, you need to be extra careful with food handling and cooking.
Always store food at the indicated temperature. Don’t just wash the fruits before eating, but also brush them. Do the same to vegetables. If the raw fruit is small and soft, such as berries, soak them in water and rinse before eating.
Cooking utensils must be cleaned before and after use. Pay attention to washing hands after handling raw meat, fish, and poultry. Use colour-coded cutting boards to make sure you don’t contaminate the other ingredients. Also, make sure every meal is well cooked before eating.