During chemotherapy, it is important to adopt good food hygiene habits. Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid.
Before chemotherapy: what foods should be prioritized?
It is not imperative to modify your diet in view of chemotherapy, except on the recommendation of your doctor. Choose a balanced diet rich in nutrients to better prepare the body for treatment.
Your weight can be one of the indicators of your food quality. Under no circumstances should you embark on a slimming diet for chemotherapy, even when faced with weight gain (breast cancer, for example, can lead to weight gain). You will first need to have the approval of a health professional.
Find many recipes during chemotherapy on the platform against cancer, we team up.
During chemotherapy: what foods to favor in the face of side effects?
After the treatment, the chemotherapy causes side effects requiring a change in the contents of your plate. The two main effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting. In both cases, you have the possibility of adapting your diet. Indeed, eating properly will be of great help in tolerating your treatment.
Foods to favor or avoid for nausea:
● Avoid foods that are rich or have strong smells, such as fatty or spicy foods. They could promote disgust.
● Prefer cold foods, such as dairy products, fruit salads or sorbets.
● Choose foods that require little chewing.
● Favor carbonated drinks such as sodas and carbonated water, helping to reduce nausea.
In the face of vomiting, wait one to two hours before eating.
● If feeding is possible again, eat small amounts of solid foods, such as bread or pasta.
● If feeding remains impossible for more than 48 hours, contact a doctor.
Good to know: Disgust with food, what to do?
During or after chemotherapy, you may find your food tastes bitter or metallic. In this case, prefer compotes and cooked fruits. Replace green vegetables with potatoes or pasta, and red meat with white meats or fish. You may also find the smell of hot food unpleasant. In this case, switch to mixed salads and increase your consumption of dairy products and raw or cooked fruits.
Foods to promote or avoid in the face of other side effects:
Other, rarer side effects should not be overlooked:
● In case of diarrhea, drink plenty of water (2 liters per day), avoid dairy products and foods rich in dietary fiber (such as many fresh fruits). Instead, prefer starchy foods in 5 to 6 daily meals. Bananas will also help you. Avoid tea and coffee.
● In case of constipation, drink plenty of water, eat wholemeal bread or cereals. Fruit or a glass of orange juice with breakfast can help. At the same time, physical activity will be recommended.
● In case of dry mouth or of difficult swallowing, decorate your dishes with sauce. Also remember to blend your food.
Good to know: Loss of appetite during chemotherapy, what to do?
Chemotherapy can cause loss of appetite leading to anorexia. Before noticing excessive weight loss, talk to your oncologist. This will provide you with a specific diet based on your illness and your treatment. Don’t hesitate to make mealtime enjoyable: whet your appetite with a homemade juice or smoothie and make it a time to share with your loved ones. Many recipe ideas during chemotherapy are available to regain the taste of food and the desire to eat.
More good eating habits
Adopting good food hygiene habits is essential:
● Favor fresh products;
● Have a varied and balanced diet;
● Wash all your fruits and vegetables;
● Avoid marinades of meat or fish;
● Favor products in small packaging.
In cases where the disease directly affects the digestive tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestine), it would require specific dietary precautions. So, depending on the case, it might be necessary to adopt a low-fat diet, for example.
|Recommended foods during chemotherapy||Foods forbidden during chemotherapy|
|Easy-to-swallow foods: unlimited vegetable and fruit purées, etc.||Foods that are too dry: bread, biscuits,|
|Lean proteins: eggs, fish, white meat.||Acidic foods: citrus fruits, pickles, etc.|
|Sauce dishes for dry mouth||Foods that are too spicy|
|Neutral foods to fight against diarrhea: rice, bananas, …||Alcoholic beverages|
|Soft foods to fight against mouth sores: flan, pudding, etc.||Sugar and refined products|
|Rich foods and fibers for digestive disorders: whole grains, …||Processed foods (prepared meals)|
Food is essential and must be adapted to each situation. Here, these general considerations must be personalized to each individual with follow-up from their oncologist. Many other criteria, such as age, influence diet during treatment such as chemotherapy.
Find many “diet and cancer” advice on the platform against cancer, we team up.
The three key points to remember:
● Your diet is important to minimize the side effects of your chemotherapy. By adapting your dishes, you can calm nausea, vomiting or constipation problems.
● This change must respect, as far as possible, a good nutritional balance and a healthy lifestyle.
● The treatment of certain cancers may be accompanied by specific nutritional advice.
Also read: “sport and cancer: a program of physical activity during and after”