Nutrition for Cancer Recovery: What You Need to Know. Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well today. As someone who has gone through cancer treatment, I know firsthand how important nutrition is during recovery. The right foods can provide the energy, nutrients, and support your body needs to heal and rebuild. In this blog post, I’ll share some tips and information that I wish I had known when I was going through treatment.
Hydration: Drink Up!
Staying hydrated is key during cancer recovery. Your body needs plenty of fluids to function properly, and it’s even more important during treatment when you may be losing fluids due to medication side effects. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and consider adding in other fluids like herbal tea, broths, and electrolyte-rich sports drinks.
Protein: Fuel for Healing
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it’s especially important during cancer recovery. Aim to get at least 20 grams of high-quality protein with each meal. Good sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and dairy. If you’re having trouble eating enough, consider a protein supplement like whey protein powder.
Fruits and Vegetables: A Rainbow of Nutrients
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to stay healthy. Aim to eat a variety of colorful produce every day, especially those high in antioxidants like berries, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes. If you’re feeling down on energy, try blending fruits and vegetables into smoothies for a quick and easy boost.
Whole Grains: The Fiber Fix
Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system working smoothly during cancer recovery. Look for whole grain bread, pasta, and rice, and aim for at least 3 servings of whole grains a day. Bonus: the fiber in whole grains will also help you feel full and satisfied between meals.
Healthy Fats: Good Fats for Good Health
Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, especially during cancer recovery. They provide energy and support your immune system. Good sources include olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Just be sure to keep portions in check, as even healthy fats can be high in calories.
Avoid Processed Foods: Keep it Real
Processed foods are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, and they can weaken your immune system and increase inflammation. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and instead opt for whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Supplements: Use with Care
Supplements can be tempting, but they can also interact with medications and treatment. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement. If you’re having trouble getting enough nutrients from food, your healthcare provider may recommend a multivitamin or other specific supplement.
Moderation: A Little Goes a Long Way
It’s important to eat enough to provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs, but it’s also important to avoid overeating. Try to practice moderation in portion sizes and frequency of eating to help maintain a stable weight.
Adapt to Changes in Appetite: Listen to Your Body
Cancer and its treatments can impact taste and appetite. It’s important to listen to your body and eat what you can, when you can. If you’re feeling too sick to eat a full meal, try snacking on nutrient-dense foods like nuts, cheese, or yogurt.
Consult with a Registered Dietitian: Your Personal Nutrition Coach