Proper nutrition is an extremely important part of the cancer treatment process, both during and after chemotherapy. During treatment, eating right helps to fuel you with the strength to fight the cancer, explained the National Cancer Institute. Afterward, it can aid in your recovery process and help your body rebuild tissue. However, due to the numerous side effects of treatment, consuming healthy and nutritious foods is not always easy.
Nutrition during treatment
As it is difficult to predict exactly which side effects will impact you as a patient, focusing on a healthy diet before even starting chemotherapy can help to prepare and strengthen your body and reduce your risk of infection during treatment, according to the NCI. Potential side effects that may influence your ability to follow a normal eating pattern include nausea, vomiting, fatigue and loss of appetite. Associated feelings of anxiety or depression also have the potential to impact your diet. Even if you can stomach food, side effects including dry mouth or oral sores may make it difficult to swallow.
During treatment, it is important to get as many calories and protein from food as you can, even if don't have an appetite or find food unappetizing, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Rather than consuming low-calorie drinks, take the opportunity to double up on nutrients by opting for protein smoothies and milkshakes. For more protein, consider adding powdered milk to liquids or meals. If large meals are difficult to handle, try eating six to eight smaller portions or snacks throughout that day, instead of three main meals.
If you are still having trouble getting the nutrients you need, work with a dietician to find an eating plan that is right for you.
Getting the right nutrients during and after chemotherapy can be difficult.
Eating right after chemotherapy
One of the main challenges of getting the right nutrition after chemotherapy is the change in taste that many patients experience. Described as a bitter or metallic flavor, this taste makes enjoying food more difficult than it once was. The reason for this "metal mouth," is often the drugs used in treatment, according to the Chemocare resource center of the Cleveland Clinic. Some drugs immediately give off this taste when they are injected into the veins. Other chemotherapy drugs however, such as carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, dacarbazine, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, levamisole, mechlorethamine and vincristine, to name a few, cause this metal taste regardless.
This bitter taste can last for several weeks or months after treatment.
Today however, there is a way for chemotherapy patients to once again taste the full flavor of their favorite foods. Demonstrated to be successful in temporarily masking metallic taste, the MiraBurst Miracle Berry can change your perception of food or drinks. These berry tablets take your sour or acidic foods from bitter to delightfully sweet and last for up to 90 minutes! With the miracle berry fruit tablets, you can get back your strength by eating healthy and nutritious once again.