Cancer patients must eat a balanced diet packed with nutrients that can help them stay strong and energetic. This ia not always easy, as cancer medications can cause nausea while radiation treatment can cause sores, affect the taste buds and lead to a loss of appetite.
This is why, doctors and nutritionists advice patients to eat the right food before, during and after the treatment. A nutritious diet can help cancer patients maintain the body weight, stamina levels and better tolerate the side-effects of the chemotherapy & radiotherapy.
It is important for someone undergoing cancer therapy to eat well in order to maintain a good blood profile, which includes platelets, neutrophils and albumin, in order to receive therapy with minimal breaks.
The strategy is to serve them their favorite foods without too much fuss on the finer aspects of a healthy diet. Yet, it is preferable to avoid excessive intake of salt, sugar and oil. We at Impact Guru, largest crowdfunding site in India, provide you a diet which cancer patients should follow.
The foundation of eating with cancer
- Fluids to stay hydrated like coconut water, citrus juices
- Energy (calories) and nutrients from healthy foods
- Protein to help maintain a lean body
Many patients can follow a normal healthy diet by consuming,
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Nutritious fats
- Lean protein
Convenient food that provides nutrients
Some people suffer side effects from treatment like fatigue and digestive problems, in such cases it is helpful to include food that takes little to no preparation at all, like:
- Fresh fruit- The best choice is fruits that are refreshing, easy to eat and citrus. Melons, berries, pineapples, bananas, pears and canned fruit in their own juices.
- Yogurt- It’s easy to eat and helps in digestion.
- Cereal- You can choose anything from oatmeal to cream of wheat to cold toasted oats cereal, rice-based cereals are particularly good if you are tackling digestive difficulties.
- Whole grains- Whole grain breads and crackers promote regularity and digestive health; too much refinement can strip away fiber, protein and other nutrients.
- Meats & Poultry- Unprocessed meat without nitrates is a convenient choice, especially in salads, soups and stews.
- Cooked eggs- Forms of cooked eggs like scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, omelettes are high on nutrition.
The kind food that can be directly consumed
- Tomatoes, Carrots, Peas, Pumpkin and Turnips for vitamin and fibre
- Tomato puree and parsley are especially good for prostate cancer patients
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain plant chemicals that can convert bad oestrogen, and reduce cancer risk as well as the risk of a relapse
- Asparagus and Brussel sprouts for their rich antioxidants
- Bitter gourd for lowering blood sugar levels
- Green leafy vegetables for calcium and iron
- Oranges provide vitamin C
- Bananas, Kiwi, Peaches, Mangoes, Pears, and Strawberries can be consumed for vitamins and fibres
- Avocadoes, Guava, Apricots, Figs, Prunes, and Raisins for energy
- Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs are high on proteins
- Dairy products, nuts, dried beans and chickpeas can be consumed too
- Fish and soy foods are good for curing prostate cancer
- Rice, noodles, chapati, whole grain bread and pasta
- Whole grain crackers, oats, corn, potatoes, beans and dairy products
- Honey, consumed in moderation for it antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in preventing infections
Food to avoid as a cancer patient
- Any food that is deep fried, grilled, barbequed, baked meats that are high on animal fat and heat
- Excessive intake of salt, sugar and oily food
- Red and processed meat such as sausages, ham, bacon etc
- Preserved food like pickles, jams, sauces, and dips which are carcinogenic
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Additionally, according to crowdfunding sites in India, cancer patients should avoid excessive intake of vitamin supplements, as they act like antioxidants and are capable of interfering with the chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.