How to Nourish Your Body Before, During and After Chemotherapy

While good nutrition is always important, it’s essential during cancer treatment. Maintaining a healthy diet can help you feel better and recover faster, as well as minimize your side effects and improve the effectiveness of treatments. During chemotherapy, your body needs more calories and nutrients to heal tissues and fight infections. So give your body a helping hand by helping yourself to the right types of foods. If it’s difficult to get enough nutrition through food alone, speak to your cancer care team about getting the nutrients you need with IV therapy at the biostation.

As a woman, you may be used to caring for everyone else, but now is the time to take care of yourself. To conclude our October Women’s Wellness series, we’ve prepared these useful tips to give your body the nutrition it craves at every stage of treatment.

Fuel Up Before Treatment:
Chemotherapy is likely to disturb your normal routine, but you can easily reduce your stress by getting prepared early. Making nutritional changes now can help you maintain your weight, increase your strength and handle any side effects. Try these smart ideas to get a head start on fighting cancer:

  • Start eating healthfully to increase your nutrition and establish a pattern to follow through treatment.
  • Stock your freezer and pantry with your favorite foods to reduce trips to the grocery store. Be sure to include foods that you’ll be able to eat when you’re sick.
  • Cook plenty of meals in advance and freeze them into portions.
  • Begin drinking eight to ten cups of water a day to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning properly.
  • Ask family and friends for help with food shopping and cooking during your treatment. Let them know about any certain foods or spices that may be difficult to eat.

Satisfy Your Body’s Needs During Treatment:
Eat well and eat often. A healthy diet helps your body function at its best and lets you build up your reserves to maintain your strength, rebuild your body tissue and protect yourself from infection. Plus, eating well can help you handle any side effects and may make your treatments more effective. Just as important as eating well is getting enough calories to maintain your weight and help you heal faster. So when it’s time for treatment, keep these healthy hints in mind:

  • Choose foods that are mild and easy to digest since spicy, acidic and fried foods can worsen any side effects.
  • Eat protein-rich foods, such as meats, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, beans, nuts and seeds. These provide your body with the fuel it needs to build up your immune system.
  • Take multivitamins and other supplements to ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients.
  • Eat a rainbow of cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Fill up on healthy fats found in extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, nut butters, avocado and fatty fish like salmon.
  • Drink at least eight cups of water each day. If the taste of water becomes unpleasant, try drinking flavored mineral waters or flavor your own with slices of fruit.  
  • If it’s difficult to eat large meals or get enough calories, have small protein-packed mini-meals throughout the day.
  • If you can only tolerate one food, then eat it. All that really matters is that you get enough calories.  
  • Try taking a 30-minute walk every day. Getting some fresh air and exercise will help you fight fatigue, maintain your strength and jump-start your appetite.

Feed Your Recovery
Once you finish treatment, you may still be coping with how it affected your body. Each person’s experience is different, but it’s quite common to feel fatigued, be weak and find it difficult to concentrate. Be assured that you will feel like yourself again, but it may take a little time. Yet eating well can help speed your recovery by boosting your energy, increasing your strength and sharpening your mental focus. Follow these suggestions to feel better faster:

  • Ask a dietitian to help you develop a nutritious eating plan.
  • Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods.
  • Enjoy plenty of lean protein, such as lean meats, chicken, turkey, seafood, eggs, beans and nuts.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in every meal and snack.
  • Fill up on high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals.
  • Have a moderate amount of healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and nut butters.
  • Choose low-fat milk, cheeses and yogurts.
  • If you’re struggling to regain your appetite, focus on the foods that you loved before treatment.
  • Aim to maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active.

Cancer is beyond your control, but your diet is in your hands. At every stage of treatment, eating well is the key to feeling well and getting well.

Call the biostation™ today at 561-257-3497 or contact us online to schedule your private, personal consultation.

South Florida’s leading provider of Functional and Age Management Medicine, the biostation offers comprehensive, individualized, and a holistic approach to total wellness and age management. By focusing on customized medicine, the biostation helps patients earlier in the aging process in order to help prevent, rather than treat age-related issues. Founded and run by Martin G. Bloom, M.D., a Cardiologist and Functional Medicine Expert with 40+ years of experience, the biostation, which has locations in Delray Beach, Miami and now Boca Raton at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, is dedicated to helping patients identify the root causes of any issues in order to restore the body to its peak performance, alleviate symptoms and ultimately, reverse the effects of aging and prevent age-related diseases. the biostation creates personalized treatment plans with proven, effective and safe anti-aging solutions that include highly advanced testing, bioidentical hormone therapy, nutrient therapy, sexual health programs, medical aesthetics and much more.

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