Do you have a loved one who is undergoing chemotherapy? Do you want to know how you can plan a diet for a chemotherapy patient? If yes, this is the right article for you. In this article, you would be educated on chemotherapy and the best meals for a Chemo patient. In addition to this, you would also be educated on the foods a chemo patient should avoid. So keep on reading.
Best Meals for Chemo Patients
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to kill cancerous cells in the body. Due to the rapid rate of multiplication and division of cancerous cells in the body, powerful chemicals are used to destroy them and to stop the further reproduction of these cells. In some cases, these drugs affect somebody’s organs leading to side effects. Chemotherapy is considered one of the most effective ways of treating cancer.
Chemotherapy drugs are made from plants, bacteria, and other inorganic sources. They may be administered based on the type and stage of the cancer being treated and the patients’ treatment plan. Administering chemotherapy drugs could be orally (through pills), intravenously, injections, topically through creams, etc.
Doctors who specialize in treating cancer with medications are called oncologists. Oncologists can use chemotherapy in various ways, they include;
- Neoadjuvant Therapy: This implies using chemotherapy to shrink tumors in preparation for the introduction of other therapies such as radiation and surgery.
- Adjuvant Therapy: This involves using chemotherapy after surgery to destroy hidden and recurrent cancer cells.
- Palliative chemotherapy: This implies using chemotherapy to relieve the signs and symptoms of cancer by killing cancerous cells in the body.
- For treatment of cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This type of cancer is called metastatic cancer.
- Chemotherapy can also be used alone without other treatments.
What is the Side Effect of Chemotherapy?
Having gotten the knowledge of what chemotherapy is all about, you may wonder “what is chemotherapy side effects?” As it was said earlier in this article, these drugs may not only kill the cancerous cells but may go on to affect some of the body’s tissues and organs. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy include:
- Hair loss
- Sore on the mouth
- Pains in the joints and other parts of the body.
- Nausea and vomiting.
These are some side effects of chemotherapy, but you don’t have to worry about this. Having the right diet can help chemo patients by subsiding these side effects. This is where the best meals for chemo patients come in.
What are the Best Meals for Chemotherapy Patients?
To help you and or a loved one go through the chemotherapy process, the right diet is needed before, during, and after chemotherapy. As a chemotherapy patient you should take meals containing the following foods:
- Avocado: Avocado is a fiber-containing food that increases the body’s calories level. If you experience fatigue as a chemo patient, this is the right food for you. Avocado also contains monosaturated fatty acid which lowers high cholesterol levels. They also help in increasing bowel movements in the case of constipation.
- Eggs: Eggs are protein-containing foods and they also contain a substantial amount of fat. This fat supplies energy to your body in the case of fatigue. Also, the protein in eggs helps you build your muscle mass in the case of weight loss.
- Oatmeal: This is one of the richest nutrient-containing grains. It contains a lot of antioxidants, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The creamy feel of oatmeal in the mouth could also ease the discomfort caused by sores in the mouth.
- Broth: Broth should be an option whenever you feel fatigued. It is done by simmering water with vegetables and dairy products such as meat or poultry. Broth replenishes strength in the case of diarrhea by supplying electrolytes (ie sodium) to the body.
- Fish: Fish contains a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the brain. Fish also contains proteins that help you build your muscle mass in the case of weight loss during chemotherapy.
- Others include; almonds, honey, vegetables like pumpkin, etc.
With this, you should plan a healthy for yourself as a chemo patient.
Some Fruits to Eat After Chemotherapy Includes:
- Blueberries etc.
Eating these fruits boosts chemotherapy patients’ immune system. So you should give them a try.
What Meals Should I Avoid as a Chemotherapy Patient?
As a chemo patient, you should be careful of what you eat as it may aggravate the side effects of your therapy and also interfere with the treatment. Chemotherapy patients should avoid meals containing:
- High acidic contents such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Hot and Spiced foods as this may worsen sores.
- High sugar-containing foods and beverages.
- Foods with strong smells as may induce vomiting.
As a chemo patient, you should always maintain good hygiene habits and stay hydrated.