Feed Your Body, Not Your Cancer

18 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

When you have cancer it can be hard to eat. Between the nausea, exhaustion, dry mouth, and lack of appetite, you may be tempted to avoid food all together. However, now is the most important time for you to give your body the nutrients it needs. Here are some tips for choosing the right foods.

1. Go for nutrient dense foods. If your appetite has diminished, make sure you pack a nutritional punch into the bites you can take. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Here are some foods to eat frequently: 

  • broccoli
  • berries
  • avocadoes
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • walnuts 
  • almonds
  • cabbage 
  • squash 

2. Get as much fiber as you can. This will help your system eliminate toxins. Eat lots of

  • beans
  • nuts
  • whole-wheat foods 
  • fiber supplements 
  • fruits and vegetables 
  • fiber enriched foods 

3. Add flavor. Try to make your foods as appetizing as possible by adding salt, sugar or a sugar substitute (in moderation), fat (like butter), and spices. 

4. Eat natural foods. White flour and too much sugar will elevate your blood sugar levels, which can feed your cancer cells. Don't eat too much white rice, potatoes, candy, desserts, and other unhealthy foods. An occasional treat is fine, but it is best to eat it right after a healthy meal instead of as a snack. Pair it with some fiber and some protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.

5. Buy lots of single-serving foods. Stock up on them so when something sounds good, you have it. Have plenty of yogurt, applesauce, dried fruit, frozen vegetables, fiber bars, protein bars, popcorn, boiled eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables of all varieties, peanut butter packets, and protein shakes on hand. You can ask someone (or hire someone) to bring you some meals frozen in single servings as well so you can warm one up when it sounds good. 

6. Drink plenty of water. If you get tired of it, add packets of flavored fiber or vitamins. There are lots of types and flavors with little to no added sugar. 

7. Drink tea. This is another way to hydrate. Drink peppermint and ginger to help with nausea, chamomile to help you relax, or orange to help you stay alert. There are also some great teas that will relieve constipation. Buy some loose leaf at a local store, find the perfect cup and teapot, and make tea time your favorite part of the day. 

8. Try new recipes. Think of cooking as healing. When you are feeling well, make some new recipes and freeze them. Having something new to try may motivate you to eat when you aren't feeling well. 

9. Just eat. Sometimes the only thing that you can get down will be cheesecake. Eat the cheesecake and enjoy it. Eating something is better than nothing. 

Talk to your doctor about your specific case and they can give you more tips, too. Remember that every bite of healthy food will help your body fight the cancer so eat as many as you can. For assistance, talk to an oncologist.