Importance of nutrition during chemotherapy

Eating a nutritious diet makes a difference during and after chemotherapy treatment.

Getting into the habit of eating a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables is difficult at any time. When cancer patients are going through chemotherapy, it may be even harder when they may not feel up to cooking or stepping foot in a grocery store. Fast food or ordering a pizza may seem like an easier option when depression, fatigue and low self-esteem may be taking over their lives.

Living on a diet of unhealthy food could cause malnutrition. Malnutrition can occur any time during a person’s life when the food consumed is not healthy and lacks essential nutrients. Cancer.net has some suggestions about diet and chemotherapy. It mentions consulting with a registered dietician about a personal diet plan to reduce the chances of being malnourished and how to achieve optimal health through healthy food intake. This optimal health can minimize side effects experienced during chemotherapy.

While receiving chemotherapy treatment it is vital for the body to have the ability to repair itself and to remain as strong as possible. According to Michigan State University Extension, without the proper nutrition the body may not be well enough to continue treatment or possibly cause a lapse in treatment schedules, thus prolonging the time a person will require chemotherapy. WebMD gives suggestions to combat side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as a decrease in appetite, or mouth sores. This article goes in depth explaining many side effects that are common while going through chemotherapy treatment and how diet plays a role in reducing these experiences. Although medications to reduce side effects have come a long way in recent years, it is possible to further decrease these experiences by eating a healthy diet.

A healthy diet that includes a daily variety of fruits and vegetables can help cancer patients maintain a healthy weight, according to an article by Chemocare. The article references the importance of a plant based diet and lists modified diets which could fit in any person’s lifestyle. Plant based diets provide phytonutrients or phytochemicals that are plant compounds, like carotenoids, lycopene, resveratrol and phytosterols which have protective or disease preventative qualities.

It seems that the benefits of a nutritious diet are frequently in the headlines as being the key for an individual’s optimal health and wellbeing, whether a person is healthy or going through chemotherapy. Going through cancer treatment is a stressful time, making a habit of eating healthy will help increase the best quality of life. With so many things on a cancer patient’s mind, the thought of paying attention to one additional thing may seem daunting. If this is a concern, it may be a good time to talk to a registered dietician about diet and some simple changes that could make a difference for healing.

An article published by Tuff’s University states there is a possibility to reprogram one’s brain to crave healthy food instead of food that isn’t healthy. It has been proven in many studies that a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables has the ability to reduce the onset or the return of cancer. Making strides to fill a cancer patient’s diet with nutritious foods, thus reprogramming the brain, is a positive step towards their current and future health.

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