Cancer Diet: Eating Right When You Have Cancer

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What you eat is really important when you have cancer. Your body needs enough calories and nutrients to stay strong. But the disease can make it hard to get what you need, which can be different before, during, and after treatment. And sometimes, you just won’t feel like eating.

You don’t need a drastic diet makeover. Just a few simple tricks to make good-for-you foods easy and appetizing.

Before Treatment

Start focusing on healthy foods even before you begin your treatment. You don’t know how it will affect you or what kind of side effects you might have. That’s why it’s a good idea to get good nutrition now. It can help you feel better and your body stay strong.

It’s also a good time to plan for the days when you won’t feel like making anything to eat. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy foods, especially those that need very little (or no) cooking. Nuts, applesauce, yogurt, pre-chopped veggies, and microwaveable brown rice or other whole grains are easy options. Make batches of some of your favorite entrees and freeze them, too.

You may also want to line up some friends and family who can bring you meals for the first days or weeks of your therapy.

During Treatment

You may have days when you feel hungry, and others when food is the last thing you want.

On good days, eat lots of balanced diet with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Limit your sugar, caffeine, salt, and alcohol.