The importance of diet cannot be overestimated when it comes to chemotherapy. While a healthy diet is very important for someone undergoing chemotherapy, eating the same types and the same amounts of foods you enjoyed before diagnosis of your cancer may sometimes be difficult. You may feel anxious about eating enough of certain foods. Or you may become concerned about eating the “wrong” foods and eat very little at all. These reactions are normal.
During chemotherapy, you can continue to enjoy most foods. If you are worried about your diet and healthy nutrition during chemotherapy, or have questions, be sure to speak to your healthcare providers – they can provide guidance on proper nutrition during treatment since certain chemotherapy regimens do place restrictions on some foods.
Plan Ahead for Proper Nutrition
Sometimes cancer or chemotherapy can affect your appetite. Though you may not feel like eating, it’s important to do what you can do to maintain your calorie, protein and fluid intake during chemotherapy. Here are some tips for eating while on treatment:
- Cook in advance and freeze foods in meal-sized portions
- Stock your refrigerator and pantry with prepared or easy-to-prepare foods for days when you do not feel like cooking; include foods you know you can eat even when you are not feeling well
- Talk to friends and family members about ways they can help you with shopping and cooking.
It is important to remember to always speak with your doctor or nurse about any changes in your eating patterns and any problems you have with appetite, eating or digestion.
Healthy Recipes for Chemotherapy Patients
We’ve collected 15 healthy recipes for patients receiving chemotherapy. To get the full recipes, click here.
- Applesauce muffins
- Banana bread
- Banana-oatmeal hot cakes
- Multigrain pancakes with strawberry sauce
- Butternut squash, tomato and watercress soup
- Hearty vegetable and brown rice soup
- Mashed grains and cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts with pecans and dried cranberries
- Pumpkin mac and cheese
- Easy spinach pie
- Penne with kale, tomatoes and olives
- Veggie pita pizzas
- Strawberry-melon smoothie
- Peppers with turkey and wild rice
For more information on healthy eating during chemotherapy treatment, click here.