10 nutritional tips during chemo

My personal recommendations for those affected

"You can eat anything you can tolerate". This is a typical nutritional recommendation for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. That's basically not wrong. In individual cases, but not necessarily sufficient to cope with the problems of feeding under difficult conditions.

Every cancer is different and every human with its individual tolerances and intolerances even more. It is important to find out. Although no diet is currently known that could specifically counteract cancer or increase the proliferation of blood cells in the short term. However, it is well known that a good nutritional status can favorably influence the tumor treatment.

The right knowledge helps you to cope better in this difficult nutritional situation and to avoid one or the other negative experience. Find out, ask your doctor and, if necessary, use the offer of qualified nutritional advice. The following tips serve as a small impetus.

My 10 most important tips

  • 1. Take normal food as long as possible. Chemotherapy is a heavy burden on your body. Special features in the diet, such as the as"Astronaut food" known drinking foodNevertheless, special foods, vitamins or diets are not automatically necessary. We recommend a light and germ-free diet. Even more important than usual is the avoidance of nicotine and the lowest possible alcohol consumption.
  • 2. Not cheap is the otherwise recommended high-fiber diet. Cabbage, beans and other legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, nuts, bran and other full-grain products are just as red meat as not so cheap, as they stress the digestive tract. In contrast, bananas are generally well digestible and have high nutritional value.
  • 3. Eat what you like. This is often easier said than done during chemotherapy. Nausea and vomiting have become rarer thanks to appropriate concomitant medication. Loss of appetite and taste disorders continue to complicate many people taking chemo food intake. In this exceptional situation, then sometimes also apply a different diet rules. First of all, it is important that you have enough nutrients and energy at all. Even if your diet may temporarily not seem too "healthy". Pay attention to your normal weight. A long-standing underweight can be an indication of a deficiency supply of important nutrients.
  • 4. Listen to your body and be patient. Do not let the topic of food put you under pressure. After a while, this usually rebalances with appetite, digestion and tolerability. Also try foods that initially cause discomfort, again and again in small quantities. Later they may be wholesome again. This facilitates a return to - or even a new start - with a balanced and healthy whole-nutrition that is particularly important after chemotherapy. In support of this, you can keep a food diary and thus consciously identify good and not so well-tolerated food.
  • 5. There are some tricks to whet your appetite. For example, a small pre-meal aperitif (with the permission of a doctor), bitter substances (for example in Tonic Water or Bitter Lemon), ginger tea or a meat broth, if necessary mixed with enteral drinking food. In order not to have to spend a lot of time cooking when the appetite for food sets in, you should have a supply of various snacks, frozen foods or ready meals. Slight exercise is also an appetite stimulant and counteracts constipation. If the smell of the food disturbs you, it is advisable to eat cold dishes.
  • 6. If chemotherapy causes you nausea, you should better abstain from your favorite foods before. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will develop a permanent reluctance. Often the problem can be avoided, if already preventiveMedicines for malaise and vomiting be taken in sufficient dosage. In addition, chemotherapy may even be an option if you can not tolerate it.
  • 7. Drink enough. Unlike usual, it is not just about the intake of fluids, but also about the supply of nutrients and minerals. For this purpose, e.g. Vegetable or meat broth. This is especially important if you lose a lot of fluids and salts due to vomiting or diarrhea.
  • 8. Avoid foods that additionally irritate the mucous membranes in the mouth and digestive tract. These are already attacked by chemotherapy anyway.So rather no citrus, strong and spicy spices, strong salted and hot food and drinks. Strongly acidic and therefore also not recommended are pineapple, oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, currants, raspberries, sour cherries, rhubarb, tomatoes, fruit juices and fruit teas. Many small meals are better than a few big ones. Hard or crumbly food should be avoided. Cheaper is soft or liquid food. By drinking while eating in small sips, the food can be additionally moistened. Dodge into the assortment of baby food is also an option. In addition to mildly spiced preparations, there are, for example, low-acid apple juices, which can be better tolerated. Ultimately, it is a matter of trial and error.
  • 9. Pay attention to your teeth. Careful body care is even more important during chemotherapy than in healthy times. Regular brushing with a clean, soft toothbrush helps prevent infections in the mouth and throat area.
  • 10. Forspecial nutritional measures like the ketogenic diet or fasting, there are now scientific efficacy advice. A two-day fast before chemotherapy seems to reduce their side effects. Whether fasting itself also has a cancer-inhibiting effect is currently still controversial. The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, uses a lot of fat and low carbohydrates to create a metabolism that can apparently reduce the energy supply to the cancer cells and thus the growth of particularly aggressive, "sugar hungry" tumors. In addition, it helps to gain the necessary strength for chemotherapy in heavy wasting. If necessary, discuss the possibilities of such nutritional approaches with your doctor.

One more tip:If you want to play it safe with your vital substance supply, we recommend a special oneHealth juice, One spoon per day covers all important nutrients and phytochemicals, a bottle holds for 50 days. The efficacy has been proven by studies.

Author: Dr. Hubertus Glaser